This lovely portrait of Marilyn – taken during filming of Let’s Make Love – adorns the cover of Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn & Me (due out in May, currently £11.32 at Amazon UK), though rather disappointingly, this standard edition only contains 18 photos.
The boxed set edition from Taschen is an altogether more spectacular affair – but then, it will set you back £650.00 (or a slightly more reasonable £487.50 from The Book Depository.)
While I’m sure Taschen’s version is beautiful and will certainly become a collector’s item, I think it’s rather unfair on ordinary fans. Hopefully a more affordable photo book will be published in future.
Meanwhile, Schiller’s work with Marilyn will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair.
Lawrence Schiller, who photographed Marilyn on the set of her last film, Something’s Got to Give (and later served as art director on Norman Mailer’s Marilyn) has written a new book about his experiences.
Marilyn & Me: A Photographer’s Memories will be published in June, currently priced at £11.48 on Amazon UK. A deluxe, limited edition version from Taschen, available in May, will set you back a jaw-dropping £450.00 (or £337 from The Book Depository.)
‘”You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous,” photographer Lawrence Schiller said to Marilyn Monroe as they discussed the photos he was about to shoot of her. “Don’t be so cocky,” Marilyn teased, “photographers can be easily replaced.” The year was 1962, and Schiller, 24, was on assignment for Paris Match. He knew Marilyn already – they had formed a bond two years earlier when they met on the set of “Let’s Make Love” – but nothing could have prepared him for the day she agreed to appear in the nude for his camera during the swimming pool scene in “Something’s Got to Give”. Her chronic lateness and absence soon got her fired from the film, but the worldwide publicity the photographs garnered – her first nudes since the calendar she posed for as a young starlet – guaranteed she would be hired back. But this victory was truly a pyrrhic one: two weeks later, she was dead. “Marilyn & Me” is an intimate tale of a legend before her fall and a young photographer on his way to the top. Via words and pictures, Schiller takes us back to that time, and to the surprising connection that allowed a star of her stature to open up to a kid from Brooklyn with a lot of ambition but very little experience. Onset, backstage, in her dressing room, at her house, in her car, they made pictures, made deals, and talked and talked, quite intimately at times. When Schiller asked her if she always wanted to be Marilyn Monroe, she answered candidly, “I never wanted to be her – it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane.” A unique addition to the lore of Marilyn Monroe, Schiller’s is a story that has never been told before, and he tells it with tact, humor, and compassion. It is a story brought to life by the photographs he took – from those headline-grabbing nudes to the almost surreal pictures from the day of her funeral, the tragedy of her death hanging heavy in every frame. And if Schiller isn’t already famous from his work as a photographer, director, producer, and writer, this book will surely change that.’
Lawrence ‘Larry’ Schiller, whose nude photos of Marilyn during filming of Something’s Got to Give are currently on view at the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles, has spoken to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I knew Marilyn over a two-year period. I met her first on a movie called Let’s Make Love. I photographed her at that time on and off through the time of her death. I was 22 years old and she was 34 or 35. The relationship was not a sexual relationship. It was very much a relationship of a young guy who isn’t even that good of a photographer yet and how she teaches him how to take pictures of her. She shows me how the light would be better from this angle or that angle…The dumb blonde was a great performance. She had shaped this voice to go with it.”
Costumer Angela Alexander, reported to have worked on several Monroe movies during her tenure at Twentieth Century-Fox’s wardrobe department, has died aged 94.
I must admit, I haven’t heard of Ms Alexander before, so can’t comment on her relationship with Marilyn. Her IMDB listing doesn’t mention any MM movies, but it’s quite likely that her early work was uncredited.
Here is an extract from an obituary published today by the Hollywood Reporter:
“Alexander, as a member of the costume department at Fox, met Monroe on the set of the actress’ first film, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), and they became close friends, according to Alexander’s nephew, editor and director Nicholas Eliopoulos.
Often summoned by Fox to help ease tension during production, Alexander worked with Monroe on We’re Not Married! [pictured above], Don’t Bother to Knock and Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business, all from 1952; Niagara (1953); There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954); and Something’s Got to Give, which was never completed as Monroe died during filming in August 1962. Eliopoulos said Alexander never believed that Monroe committed suicide.
Eliopoulos recalls his aunt telling him a story about the time Monroe was upset about being set up on a blind date. Alexander asked if she knew anything about the guy, and Monroe replied, “Oh, he’s just some ballplayer.” When Alexander found out it was Joe DiMaggio, she urged Monroe to go. “The rest is history,” Eliopoulos said.”
‘12 Photographs‘, a selection of nudes taken by Lawrence Schiller during filming of the pool scene in Something’s Got to Give, will be on display at the Duncan Miller Gallery, Venice Beach, from October 21-November 26.
While you’re in Venice Beach, why not check out the work of pop artist Ron English at Post No Bills (featuring a screenprint, ‘Marilyn Comic‘.)
Something’s Got to Give comes 4th in Obsessed With Film‘s list, behind Hitchcock’s Kaleidsoscope, Orson Welles’ Don Quixote, and Kubrick’s Napoleon.
Interesting that it is Marilyn, not director George Cukor, who is the driving force behind our continuing interest in the unfinished comedy – the other 3 are all director-led choices.
“Possibly one of the most famous unfinished pieces of cinema in Hollywood’s history…Shooting soon fell behind schedule and the production quickly went over budget. The unreliable nature of Monroe’s health eventually forced 20th Century Fox to dismiss her from the project, in what was more likely an attempt to offset the escalating budget of the Taylor-Burton epic Cleopatra (1963), which was also in production at the time and wildly over budget…Production was due to start again in October 1962, but before it could begin, Monroe’s death that month finally halted production once and for all. What remains is approximately 40 minutes of footage that was assembled for the television documentary ‘Marilyn: The Final Days’ (2001), which reveals how wonderful the film really would have been if completed.”
Rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe in a 1948 stage show, Strictly For Kicks, will be sold in a Bonham’s and Butterfield auction of entertainment memorabilia, to be held in Los Angeles next month. Marilyn wore the same floral bikini and platform sandals in her first movie, Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1947)
In 1948, Marilyn signed a 6-month contract with Columbia. However, she had previously worked at Twentieth Century Fox, and in March she appeared in a studio talent showcase at the Fox Studio Club Little Theater. An outside arena was built instead of using the stage on the lot, as studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck would be attending.
Marilyn appeared in two brief scenes, and the script included directions such as ‘Miss Monroe butts onto the stage…’
Marilyn appears to be wearing a costume from Ladies of the Chorus, which she filmed at Columbia in April.
In other pictures from the event Marilyn wears a light-coloured dress, which could be the same gown which she would wear in Love Happy (1949.)
Other items on offer at Bonhams’ include contractual papers for Bus Stop; a signed photo; personally-owned scripts for Let’s Make Love and Something’s Got to Give; a handwritten note by Marilyn, reminding herself to call poet Carl Sandburg; a mortgage agreement signed by Monroe and third husband Arthur Miller; a receipt for a gas payment, dated to Marilyn’s last birthday; and some airline tickets.
More details at Jezebel
Thanks to Megan at Everlasting Star