In November 2019, the Swiss watchmaker Blancpain hosted an exhibition of Marilyn’s personal property, including one of their 1930s designs purchased for $225K at Julien’s Auctions during their 2016 sale of items owned by Monroe, at their Manhattan store (see here.) The platinum and diamond watch is more ostentatious than Marilyn’s other jewellery, and its provenance is unclear though it’s said to have been a gift from either Arthur Miller or Joe DiMaggio. Now Blancpain has used the watch as inspiration for their limited edition Saint-Valentine 2020 model, available now for a cool £30, 140, as Tracey Llewellyn reports for London’s Telegraph.
Heiress and socialite Paris Hilton’s love of Marilyn has been evident since she became a reality TV star in the early 2000s. (Personally, I’ve always thought she resembled one of the ditzy gold-diggers Marilyn played on film than Monroe herself.) Now 36, Paris is a DJ, singer and has even launched her own perfume. Her new, retro-style single, I Need You, was released on St Valentine’s Day, and the accompanying video – directed by fiance Chris Zylka – shows Paris embracing vintage glamour, with at least one Marilyn-inspired costume – more details over at Instyle.
Some Like It Hot is free to stream on Amazon Prime today (US only.) But while it may have the perfect blend of love and laughs for St. Valentine’s Day, it was inspired by a very different event, as Jack Matthews writes for Gold Derby.
“Let’s face it, Valentine’s Day, more than just about any other day with a title, is a mass marketing scheme playing lovers for suckers, a bonanza for Hallmark Cards and Whitman’s Samplers and one that probably creates as much heartbreak as romantic goodwill. I’m not the sentimental type, but I do have an enormous fondness for one movie in which Valentine’s Day plays a prominent role.
It’s not about mass marketing, but mass murder, and based in fact.
In the early scenes of Some Like it Hot, the 1959 Billy Wilder masterpiece that is consistently chosen by critics and film people as the best comedy ever made, a pair of itinerant Depression Era musicians witness the gangland execution of seven men in a Chicago garage and spend the rest of the movie on the run from the mob.
In real life, the massacre resulted from a territorial feud between the Italian mob led by Al Capone and the Irish gang of Bugs Moran. In the movie, the shooting is carried out by the gang of Spats Colombo (George Raft), who coincidentally encounters the two witnesses, now undercover and in drag in an all girls’ band at a beachside resort in California.
Some Like it Hot received six nominations, including two for Wilder’s script and direction and one for Jack Lemmon as the bass player who gets all too comfortable in high heels. Tony Curtis, equally hilarious as the band member smudging his lipstick on the saxophone, should have received one, as well.
In fact, If time could actually fly, it would go back to 1960 and right the wrongs done to both Curtis and Marilyn Monroe, who is wonderful as Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, a singer hoping to marry well but falling instead for Curtis’ Cary Grant-impersonating phony billionaire.”
Whether you’re a diehard romantic or born-again cynic, Some Like It Hot is a St Valentine’s Day treat – screening at the Mini Microcinema in Cincinnati on Wednesday at 7 pm.
Los Angelenos, please note: Elisa Jordan of L.A. Woman Tours is leading a special tour of Marilyn’s Hollywood in partnership with Dearly Departed Tours on February 14 (St. Valentine’s Day,)
Some Like It Hot will be screened at 8pm on St February 14 at the Old Market in Hove, East Sussex. Its connection to the most romantic day of the year is an unlikely one, as the story begins in Chicago, on the night of the St Valentine’s Day massacre. But Empire magazine’s Angie Errigo describes the 1959 farce as ‘a joyful classic which delivers on comedic value no matter how many times you’ve seen it.’
Singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked is to publish a new song ‘I Will Be Loved’, a tribute to Marilyn – part of her current work-in-progress, Indelible Women – on her website tomorrow, to celebrate St Valentine’s Day.
The sheet-music will be available to buy for $5.00. Michelle was inspired to write about Marilyn after seeing an ‘ethereal’ painting by David Willardson. (Indelible Women is described as a mixed-media collaboration between these two artists.)
Flowers were placed on Marilyn’s grave for St Valentine’s Day, by Carla Orlandi on behalf of the Immortal Marilyn fan club. Thanks to donations from fans, another $241 was raised for Animal Haven.
And while on the subject of Marilyn and Joe, here’s a snippet from a 1966 article by Gay Talese, published in his collection of sports essays, The Silent Season of a Hero:
“There are some baseball trophies and plaques in the small room off DiMaggio’s bedroom, and on his dresser are photographs of Marilyn Monroe, and in the living room downstairs is a small painting of her that DiMaggio likes very much; it reveals only her face and shoulders and she is wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat, and there is a soft, sweet smile on her lips, an innocent curiosity about her that is the way he saw her and the way he wanted her to be seen by others – a simple girl, ‘a warm, big-hearted girl,’ he once described her, ‘that everybody took advantage of.'”