“Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, I was able to take pictures of in an intimate situation rather than a public one. This was in her hotel room in 1956*, when I was covering the film she was making at the time, Some Like It Hot.* She may have been reading a script when I took it. It was just me and her, and she was going about her business. I like the atmosphere, and the fact that it’s a famous person being photographed in an ordinary way. And I found her very sympathetic, I must say. She was nice, smart, kind of amusing, and very approachable. Not a bimbo at all.”
*Actually, Erwitt first photographed Marilyn in 1954, while she was filming The Seven Year Itch in Manhattan. They worked together again on The Misfits (1960.)
Four of Elliott Erwitt’s most iconic images will be presented in the UK for the first time as editioned, large format platinum prints, in an exhibition of fine photographs spanning Erwitt’s distinguished career. Produced in May 2010 using cutting edge technology, and launched at this year’s Recontres D’Arles in July, these 30”x40” platinum prints feature Erwitt’s photographs of racial segregation in North Carolina, 1950; a kiss reflected in the wing mirror of a car, California, 1955; a glamorous movie star Marilyn Monroe … and one of his best loved pictures of the relationship between man and dog Felix, Gladys and Rover (New York, 1976).
Included alongside the platinum set are signed silver gelatin prints of some of Erwitt’s most well-known images: portraits of Marlon Brando (1954), Grace Kelly (1956), Sophia Loren (1962) Che Guevara (1964) and his beloved dogs, as well as his evocative documentary of stolen moments such as the couple dancing in a kitchen in Spain (1952), a dove taking flight (1955), and a mother (his then wife) and baby (1953).
Now in his 80s, Erwitt continues to travel widely and produce both personal and commercial work. This year alone he has shot high profile campaigns for San Pellegrino, Tod’s and the Puerto Rico Tourism board. Recent books include Rome and The Art of André S. Solidor in 2009, and his exhibitions Dog Dogs and his Retrospective continue to tour widely.
‘Austerlitz notes that his biographical chapters are intended to create a conversation among comedy’s most influential practitioners. Arranged in rough chronological order, the effect is cumulative. Mae West’s brazen sexuality primps the pillow for Marilyn Monroe’s bombshell self-awareness; unlikely bedfellows Jerry Lewis and Richard Pryor somehow manage to conceive Eddie Murphy.’
Debbie Reynolds, star of classic movies including Singing in the Rain (1952), is to put her collection of Hollywood memorabilia, worth about $5 million, on auction, after failing to find a buyer.
Miss Reynolds, 78, owns several Monroe-related items, including the famous white dress designed by Travilla for The Seven Year Itch (1955.)
‘Most people collect for themselves … but she collected for the public,’ Reynold’s son, Todd Fisher, told Knoxville News. ‘She collected for all of us. She collected for the American people to preserve the history of their industry.’
On his Marilyn Monroe Collection Blog today, Scott Fortner asks, ‘Will the Seven Year Itch subway scene dress come up for auction? If so, will it outsell the “Happy Birthday Mr. President” dress, which sold for $1.3 million in 1999?’
In this summer release, written and directed by Offer ‘Vince’ Shlomi (better known to US readers as ‘the ShamWow guy’), Lindsay Lohan recreates the famous ‘subway scene’ from The Seven Year Itch, as a skit, but with one major difference – this time, ‘The Girl’ pulls a gun on the paparazzi.
In the sketch, one of the characters tells Lohan, “You look like Marilyn Monroe,” to which she replies, “Marilyn never had to wear a SCRAM bracelet!”
I think this ‘revenge fantasy’ is quite a clever idea, and is most likely a spoof on the paparazzi, not Marilyn herself – but please be warned – as the trailer indicates, Underground Comedy Movie 2010 is peppered with violence, sexual innuendo, and profanity, and therefore is not suitable for the easily offended.
The girl upstairs almost kills me with a cast iron bucket. So I ask her down for a drink. What’s wrong with that?
“A grand and goofy comedy” – The New York News
It’s a long, hot New York City summer in 1952 and advertising man Richard Sherman has sent his wife and son to enjoy the cooler climate of the beach while he stays home to work. When the upstairs neighbor, a stunning model for “US Camera” almost kills Richard with a tomato plant dropped from above, Richard begins to invest in his fantasy life, until the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred. A hilarious take on the shifting morals of 1950’s America.
George Axelrod’s comic play, The Seven Year Itch, which became a hugely successful film starring Marilyn Monroe in 1955, is being revived at the New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad, California (near San Diego), from today, July 29th, through August 22nd.
“You can tell that George Axelrod had a great respect for women,” says Kristianne Kurner, executive artistic director at the theater. “The Girl (played by Jacque Wilke) doesn’t have a name, but she’s really strong. And I think the humor, instead of coming out of a derogatory thing about women, comes from the husband’s guilt. That guilt is really funny.”
On the WowOwow (Women on the Web) site today, ‘Mr Wow’ enjoys some classic movies – starting with Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Heat Wave’ from There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), as what song could be more apt in the heat of July?
Two other Monroe movies are also mentioned: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), not really a ‘summer movie’ but a great film noir with one of Marilyn’s most affecting performances as the disturbed babysitter, Nell Forbes.
An interesting observation is made on the scene in Niagara (1953), where Marilyn, as the trampy Rose Loomis, requests her favourite song, ‘Kiss’. (Monroe had recorded her own version, which was deemed too sensuous for the movie but can found on most MM compilation albums today.)
“She wears a tight, blazing red dress, and when she walks toward the camera, pelvis thrust out, a bit of a womanly belly obvious, it is her most erotic screen moment. (Later, she would look sexy – all butt and bust – but not be sexy.)”
However, surely the ideal Monroe vehicle to watch right now is The Seven Year Itch(1955), as the comic storyline hinges on the unbearable heat of Manhattan in July, and a middle-aged man’s existential crisis when his wife and son leave the city and he attempts to seduce his gorgeous neighbour (Marilyn, of course), via the wonder of air conditioning.