Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Marilyn by Lee & and that 1962 film that wasn't ...

Marilyn Monroe would be 90 this year. Yes, I know, its impossible to imagine her - or James Dean - being "old" now - they are forever young, preserved in amber in that Golden Age: the 1950s and early '60 for Marilyn. Would she have aged like her once room-mate Shelley Winters? Would he have aged like Brando ? 

What is astonishing now is looking once again at those test shots for the uncompleted 1962 Fox film SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE where she looks simply radiant and totally gorgeous - a new sleek. slim, svelte slimmed-down Marilyn for the new decade, a few months before that still mysterious death - compare with how chubby (by today's standards) she looked in the second half of the 1950s: in that skintight white dress she spends most of THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL in, those Orry-Kelly (see below) creations in SOME LIKE IT HOT, how her looks and weight varied in LET'S MAKE LOVE in 1960, or in THE MISFITS in '61 ... I like this pensive shot of her on set in that dress in 1962.
Here also is what remains of SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, mainly Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse, and that pool scene which Marilyn did, her intention was to get Liz Taylor (shooting the wildly expensive CLEOPATRA in Rome) off the covers of the world's magazines - 
she certainly succeeded there. We still find those pictures and footage fascinating. Liz of course was getting a million from Fox while Monroe was still on her contract salary and this would be her final Fox comedy - it looks as if it would have been more fun than her last one, the rather dull and tedious LET'S MAKE LOVE ...  I somehow never wanted to see MOVE OVER DARLING, Fox's reworking of the material for Doris Day in 1963 ...
Right: MM and Curtis on the set of SOME LIKE IT HOT ....
Here too is that 1987 documentary hosted by our Projector favourite Lee Remick  (four years before her own death in 1991....) - maybe the best of the Monroe documentaries - fascinating seeing one star commenting on another and of course Lee, back in 1962, had been named as replacing Marilyn in the Cukor film - which it seems was a bargaining ploy to get Marilyn back - it was the only film Fox had in production apart from the ruinously expensive CLEO .... I have the video-cassette of the Monroe/Remick documentary, shame its not on dvd. 
Left: that Nov1962 issue of British TOWN magazine with some of those last photos of Marilyn on the beach at Malibu, shot by George Barris - more on these at MM labels. We love those photos here ...I had this magazine when I was 16, it now fetches astronomical prices on the internet, I have seen it on eBay for £100, or £299 on a vintage magazine site - luckily I snapped up another copy of it last year for £40 ! 

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