"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: marilyn monroe

New York Minute

My twin sister loved Marilyn when we were growing up. As much as I loved David Bowie or the Stones or Woody or anyone else I ever loved.

Sam had Marilyn posters on her wall, had Marilyn books, and of course, saw all of her movies, or at least the ones we could find on videotape. I remember going with her to a double feature of Gentleman Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire  at the old Regency Theater on 67th Street and Broadway. This must have been in the mid-80s sometime. I pretended not to care about Marilyn or worse, put her down because Sam dug her, but I remember that day, sitting in the balcony watching those two movies and enjoying Marilyn just fine.

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death.

Million Dollar Movie

Over at NYRB, Larry McMurty reviews a trio of new books on Marilyn Monroe:

In film Marilyn’s talent shows most strongly in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, Some Like It Hot, Bus Stop, and The Misfits. The director Billy Wilder quarreled with her on Some Like It Hot—but Wilder was no dummy and had this to say about her: “I think she was the best light comedienne we have in films today, and anyone will tell you that the toughest of acting styles is light comedy.”

She was almost always photographed smiling, her lips slightly parted, her skin aglow with an aura all its own, and yet there was usually a curl of sadness in her smile: sadness that just managed to fight through; sadness that was always considerable and sometimes intense.

In a review of “Marilyn,” by Norman Mailer, Pauline Kael wrote:

Monroe used her lack of an actress’s skills to amuse the public. She had the wit or crassness or desperation to turn cheesecake into acting–and vice versa; she did what others had the “good taste” not to do, like Mailer, who puts in what other writers have been educated to leave out. She would bat her Bambi eyelashes, lick her messy suggestive open mouth, wiggle that pert and tempting bottom, and use her hushed voice to caress us with dizzying innuendos.

…Her mixture of wide-eyed wonder and cuddly drugged sexiness seemed to get to just about every male; she turned on even homosexual men. And women couldn’t take her seriously enough to be indignant; she was funny and impulsive in a way that made people feel protective. She was a little knocked out; her face looked as if, when nobody was paying attention to her, it would go utterly slack–as if she died between wolf calls.

She seemed to have become a camp siren out of confusion and ineptitude; her comedy was self-satire, and apologetic–conscious parody that had begun unconsciously…The mystique of Monroe–which accounts for the book Marilyn–is that she became spiritual as she fell apart. But as an actress she had no way of expressing what was deeper in her except moodiness and weakness. When she was “sensitive” she was drab.

Sugar!

Hubba Hubba.

Million Dollar Movie

Man, an ice-cold, air-conditioned movie theater sounds like the place to be today as the temperature hits 100 in the Big Apple.

From There’s No Business Like Show Business:

How do you follow that? Well, never one to be upstaged…

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver