Marilyn’s ‘Blondes’ Suit, and More, at Bonham’s

10659145_750351251704217_7588656055951611251_nBonham’s will auction Marilyn’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes suit – in which she sang ‘When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right’, back in 1953 – at their TCM Presents … Treasures From the Dream Factory sale on November 23. Other MM-related items include her red saloon gown, also designed by Travilla, and worn while singing ‘One Silver Dollar’ in River of No Return (1954); Marilyn’s signed contract for The Asphalt Jungle (1950); Paddy Chayevsky’s annotated early screenplay for The Goddess (1958), a thinly veiled portrait of Marilyn, starring Kim Stanley; and Natalie Wood’s bound screenplay for Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1947), in which Marilyn made her screen debut.

Drew Barrymore Joins Marilyn at the ‘Bus Stop’


To all our readers in the US, don’t miss January 3rd‘s episode of The Essentials on Turner Classic Movies (Saturday, at 8pm), when Robert Osborne will introduce a screening of Bus Stop by discussing the 1956 comedy with his celebrity co-host, actress turned director and producer Drew Barrymore.

Drew is a lifelong fan of Marilyn, and even posed as her idol for the cover of John F. Kennedy Jr’s magazine, George, when it launched in 1996. In an article for the TCM website, Roger Fristoe explains what makes Bus Stop a classic:

“Most importantly, Bus Stop marked what is generally considered to be the outstanding performance of a true American icon: Marilyn Monroe…Whatever difficulties in achieving it, her performance shines like a beacon through a film that otherwise may seem a bit dated for modern audiences…Some critics felt that Monroe surpassed Stanley’s highly lauded turn on Broadway.

It’s simply a great performance, one that grows more impressive with repeated viewings. There was no justice in the fact that, while Murray was Oscar-nominated for his one-dimensional, at times almost cartoon-like portrayal, Monroe was not. This was a great disappointment to many including director Logan and Monroe herself.”

Thanks to Christy Putnam


Dreams Are Made at Bonham’s


What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic‘, is an auction curated by TCM at Bonham’s on November 25. Several MM-related items are featured, including this rare photo of the newylwed DiMaggios in Japan, and the Millers on the set of Let’s Make Love, both signed; and original storyboard titles from River of No Return, and Fox’s 1963 documentary, Marilyn.

While perusing Bonham’s website, I also found these two stunning screenprints made from vintage movie posters by Mimmo Rotella (circa 1990), to be sold at the Period Art & Design auction on November 17.


Men, Movies and Marilyn

Ahead of TCM’s Marilyn movie marathon on August 4th, Rafer Guzman studies her impact for Newsday – arguing that, even in her most farcical roles, she was never just a dumb blonde.

“If people remember Monroe as a distressed damsel, that’s because of her personal life — failed marriages, failed pregnancies, a sorrowful death by drug overdose at the age of 36 — and not because of her movies. Monroe rarely played sad or tragic roles; her final film, 1961’s The Misfits, written by her soon-to-be ex Arthur Miller, is an exception. Rather, Monroe specialized in versions of herself: a regular girl from Little Rock or Colorado (though she was born in L.A.) who has grown up to be an actress, model or showgirl, all bubbles and energy and good cheer.

People also remember Monroe as a dumb blond — but again, she rarely if ever played dumb. Frequently in her movies, some poor chauvinist suddenly realizes there’s an intellect inside that hourglass figure. ‘That’s a very interesting line of reasoning,’ Ewell admits in The Seven-Year Itch after Monroe explains why she prefers married men. ‘Say, they told me you were stupid!’ says a spluttering businessman after hearing Monroe’s Shakespearean soliloquy on love and wealth in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. In All About Eve (1950), a snobby theater critic corrects her manners, only to find himself corrected. ‘You have a point,’ he says. ‘An idiotic one, but a point.’

Despite the frequently condescending attitudes, there’s something wonderful about the way men interact with Monroe on screen. They tend to be Average American Males, a now-extinct species recognizable by their fedoras and enormous confidence. These fellas knew how to approach a girl, as long as she knew how to be approached; there were rules about these things. There’s a line that Richard Widmark uses on Monroe in Don’t Bother to Knock that men today can only dream of using: ‘Are you doing anything you couldn’t be doing better with somebody else?’ It worked, too!”

31 Days of Oscar

The New York Post reports on 31 Days of Oscar, TCM’s countdown to this year’s Academy Awards by screening a special program of classic movies – including Some Like it Hot (February 1st) and Let’s Make Love, which though not one of Marilyn’s more successful films, earned Oscar nominations for its impressive soundtrack; BAFTA nominations for director George Cukor and Yves Montand; and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical/Comedy.

‘Battle of the Blondes’ on TCM

Turner Classic Movies (US) are showing a ‘Battle of the Blondes’ season this month, including two Monroe movies – Niagara and Some Like it Hot.

TCM’s review of Niagara is particularly interesting:

“To make strong impressions in this setting, the human stars have their work cut out for them. The one who succeeds best is, not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe as the wicked wife, who riles her husband by wearing lusciously colored low-cut dresses, and tantalizes the audience by showering behind a translucent curtain and playing peek-a-boo with her curvaceous body behind towels and sheets. These hijinks aside, Monroe gives a nicely controlled performance, blending the sultry and the sinister without upstaging or eclipsing her costars… an overhead shot of Monroe lying supine in the carillon tower, framed by silent bells hanging above, has a canted perspective worthy of a Salvador Dalí dreamscape. These are only a couple of the creative images that make Niagara more than a routine suspense story and travelogue; it’s a first-rate specimen of Technicolor noir in the late years of the original noir cycle.”

TCM have also selected their ’10 Favourite Marilyn Moments’, including her seduction of Louis Calhern in The Asphalt Jungle; her comedic turn as an inept stenographer in Monkey Business; and her love scene with David Wayne in How to Marry a Millionaire.