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.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Latest MM memorabilia

We have found a treasure trove of Monroe memorabilia including some "Vanity Fair" magazines I had not seen, and photographer Lawrence Schiller's memoir MARILYN & ME (see post below) covering that shoot on SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE in 1962 when he took those pool photographs which made the cover of LIFE magazine and are still fascinating now. 
This year too VANITY FAIR ICONS appeared, a choice glossy magazine for MM fanatics, with great text and photographs, including appraisals of the Strasbergs, De Maggio, Miller; excerpts from Tony Curtis's memoir, and Lawrence Schller's. and reports on those MM documents and possessions which were stored away after her death, and inherited by Lee Strasberg's third wife, who did not even know MM. 

The first serious writing on Monroe was probably that nice feature by David Robinson in that October 1962 issue of TOWN magazine, which I had when I was 16 - it was great to find it again recently on a vintage magazine site, it costs quite a lot now!  There was also that early fan mag, covering the MM years.

Back in the early sixties, we liked those early MM books, before the avalanche of them followed: that early one by George Carpozi; MARILYN, THE TRAGIC VENUS by Edwin P. Hoyt (first published in 1967),  and NORMA JEANE by Laurence Guiles with that silvery Beaton cover shot. THE FILMS OF MARILYN MONROE of course, Then the 1973 Norman Mailer tome certainly brought Marilyn into the mainstream, collecting as it did those major photographs by Milton Greene (which a lot of us had not seen before), and the pool pictures by Schiller, and some Eve Arnold shots, and that Mailer text cementing Monroe as the American Icon. Schiller, now 79, and a writer/producer, shot those pool pictures when he was 25. 

Eve Arnold's book on MM contains a wealth too, as does the Barris, Stern, Schiller books on those late photoshoots. The best of the later books is the enormous MARILYN IN THE FLASH, reviewed last year, covering her many public appearances. A lot of the other MM books are not worthwhile and just rehash the usual stuff or try to seek a new angle on her death. 
The books by her maid Lena Pepitone and by Susan Strasberg are worth reading though for different facets on the Monroe persona and life, James Spada's 1982 MARILYN:  A LIFE IN PICTURES is another nice one, and Donald Spoto's huge biography seems to get everything right
(No, Marilyn was not killed by the Kennedys. Her 'suicide' may have been accidental, after being fed all those barbiturates by different people over the years; and her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson and her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, may have had a hand in it.).
So, the Monroe industry goes on and on ..... 

4 comments:

  1. Hi Mike. I never get tired of reading about Marilyn. I feel so sorry for her, but I think she would have been deeply moved actually to see how many fans she still has today. On screen and in her photo sessions, she has this glow about her. You can't take your eyes off her.

    You're so lucky to have got those magazines. I only have one MM Vanity Fair issue, it focuses on the famous pool scene in Something's Gotta Give. Read several MM books, but I still haven't checked out Spoto's book yet.

    I think Marilyn doesn't get enough credit as an actress, a terrific comedienne and a very good dramatic actress. In The Misfits, Clash By Night, Niagara and River of No Return, Marilyn proved she was more than capable of being a dramatic actress; I think it is such a shame that she wasn't offered more dramatic roles in her career. I never get tired of watching her films. I think Marilyn will continue to have fans for many more generations to come.

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  2. Hi Mike. I never get tired of reading about Marilyn. I feel so sorry for her, but I think she would have been deeply moved actually to see how many fans she still has today. On screen and in her photo sessions, she has this glow about her. You can't take your eyes off her.

    You're so lucky to have got those magazines. I only have one MM Vanity Fair issue, it focuses on the famous pool scene in Something's Gotta Give. Read several MM books, but I still haven't checked out Spoto's book yet.

    I think Marilyn doesn't get enough credit as an actress, a terrific comedienne and a very good dramatic actress. In The Misfits, Clash By Night, Niagara and River of No Return, Marilyn proved she was more than capable of being a dramatic actress; I think it is such a shame that she wasn't offered more dramatic roles in her career. I never get tired of watching her films. I think Marilyn will continue to have fans for many more generations to come. Maddy

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  3. Thanks Maddy, how I agree. Liz Taylor was her main rival then - the blonde and brunette major stars of their time. Taylor was great in those Tennessee Williams dramas and those looks, but MM could also sing and dance and do comedy - Taylor couldn't.

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