Meeting George Zimbel

Melinda Mason’s account of meeting George Zimbel – one of the photographers who covered the famous ‘subway scene’ shoot from The Seven Year Itch – last week at the ongoing Marilyn exhibit at the McMichael, Ontario, is posted at The MMM Blog.

Top 10 MM Films

According to viewers of the Reelz Channel in the US:

  1. Some Like it Hot
  2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  3. The Seven Year Itch
  4. The Misfits
  5. All About Eve
  6. How to Marry a Millionaire
  7. The Prince and the Showgirl
  8. Bus Stop
  9. There’s No Business Like Show Business
  10. Niagara

The top 3 were much as I expected, but I was surprised that All About Eve – a classic for sure, but only a minor part for Marilyn – rated so highly, and that There’s No Business Like Show Business made the list while River of No Return and Let’s Make Love did not.

Personally, I would place Bus Stop much higher, and I’d also include one of MM’s lesser-known starring roles, in Don’t Bother to Knock. What would your choices be?

Marilyn in the Blogosphere

‘Norma Jeane’ is the latest offering from Marilyn Wines. The photo on the label, of a young Marilyn, was taken by John Engstead in 1947. He said later, ‘Her pretty face was all that impressed me and I still wonder what transformed this sweet young thing into the superstar and sex symbol of a generation.’

This week marks the 12th anniversary of Joe DiMaggio’s death. He graces the cover of this month’s Sports Illustrated, and is the subject of several new books. ‘Today’s true baseball “heroes” are few and far between,’ writes Liz Smith, ‘and I don’t think they’d cut the mustard with this man who made the game a craze 70 seasons ago.’

Over at Watertown Patch, MA, Dennis Noonan remembers some childhood pets with glamorous names who met an untimely end:

‘Growing up, we always had cats in the family. Most cats were free, mixed breed and outdoor in those days. On Robbins Road in 1954,  someone gave us a pair of kittens from the same litter – a female and a male. Mom named them “Marilyn” and “Joe” after the famous celebrity couple of the day – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. The celebrity marriage lasted less than a year;  the cats didn’t last much longer either. Joe got hit by a car, and a year later Marilyn caught some evil disease called cat typhus and had to be put down.’

On her Work in Progress book blog, Dani Torres reports that there is currently a display at her local library with the theme, ‘Are You as Well Read as Marilyn Monroe?’

A trailer for The Smurfs movie reveals a reference to Marilyn’s famous ‘skirt-blowing’ subway scene from The Seven Year Itch. ‘Nothing like a cool breeze through my enchanted forest,’ says Gutsy (Scottish) Smurf who’s letting a vent blow cold air up his kilt.

‘Palaces of Montezuma’, the latest single from Grinderman II (Nick Cave’s side-project), contains a curious reference to Marilyn Monroe and JFK.

Okay. Well, one of the most beautiful songs on the CD is “Palaces of Montezuma”…
Jim Sclavunos: It’s amazing how much this song is coming up.
Nick Cave: Every second journalist talks about that song.

…But then there are these lines about JFK and Marilyn Monroe: “The spinal cord of JFK/Wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee/I give to you.” That’s a really vivid and disturbing image to deposit two thirds of the way through this lovely track.
JS: It’s a variation on the classic, “I’ll give you the moon and the stars,” kind of thing. Only this one’s full of very odd curiosities and phantasmagorical, fetishistic things, like a spinal cord and a negligee. But it is a classic type of love song.
NC: I quite like the unsuspecting lyric, or line. You’re sitting listening to a song and it’s going along and suddenly there’s that, “F—, did he just say that?” kind of thing. I guess that’s just become one of the things I kind of do. It suddenly changes the trajectory of the lyric.

Entertainment Weekly

You can read those lyrics in full here

Erwitt’s Marilyn: Sequentially Yours

The Guardian reviews a new Elliott Erwitt exhibition, showing at London’s Atlas Gallery until March 19, including a series following Marilyn during filming of the famous ‘subway scene’ in The Seven Year Itch, NYC, 1954.

“Photographing Marilyn Monroe … Erwitt plays at being the flâneur whose wanderings around the city are prompted by erotic opportunism. Here there is no need for a narrative, a diptych or trilogy that organises images into a short story. Monroe, unlike the characters in the other sequences, sticks to her assigned spot…The result is an array of poems written with light, contrasting the self-conscious stance of the woman…with the uncontrollable antics of the dress, which behaves in successive frames like a flaunting tail, an inverted flower, a soft shell or a billowing parachute. ”

MM Film Season in New Jersey

A screening of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes heads a month-long ‘Essential Marilyn Monroe Film Series’ at Middletown Library, NJ. on Monday, February 28, at 7pm. Admission free.

Here’s the full schedule:

Monday, February 28th, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)

Monday, March 7th, “The Seven Year Itch” (1955)

Monday, March 14th, “Bus Stop” (1956)

Monday, March 21st, “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1957)

Monday, March 28th, “Some Like It Hot” (1959)

Short Hair Inspiration

On the set of ‘The Seven Year Itch’, Tom Caffrey, 1954

Marilyn’s blonde crop of the mid-1950s is featured in Audrey M. Brown’s list of the best short hairstyles on female movie icons, over at Born For Geekdom:

“No list of iconic short-haircuts would be complete without the lighter side of the empowering short cut, Marilyn Monroe’s signature wavy shag-like pixie. Her signature style is a reminder of a time when, culturally speaking, short to medium-length hair was considered much more feminine and attractive than the long hippie hair of the seventies or the glam lengths of the eighties up through today.”

Lara Stone as ‘The Girl’ for Red Nose Day

Model Lara Stone imitates Marilyn’s famous pose from The Seven Year Itch to launch this year’s Red Nose Day appeal for Comic Relief.

“I had so much fun being Marilyn Monroe for the day and recreating the iconic shot with a Red Nose twist. It was an honour to be asked to take part.”

This year’s Red Nose Day telethon will be broadcast on BBC1, March 18.