I am a little scared to admit this to my fellow Classic Film Fans but, there was a day where I couldn’t tolerate Marilyn Monroe. Ill duck while you throw things at me…………
Okay, now hear me out.
Anyone my age (28) has spent years having images of Marilyn thrown at them. She was this “sex goddess” with a tragic story. Idiots like Anna Nicole Smith & Lindsay Lohan have idolized her and recreated her image. (blech) When people like Lindsay Lohan name you as their idol…something is wrong. Right? Everyone knows who she is, everyone knows the tragic story that surrounds her. Everyone assumes she posed nude all the time, slept with a Kennedy and tragically “overdosed”. These are the things I had heard. When you said Marilyn Monroe first this garbage popped into my mind.
The term I like to use was Over Exposed. Highly, Horribly, Sadly over exposed. They made her a tacky product. (Just like one of my old fav’s Audrey Hepburn) Everywhere you look, there she was in this sexy pose with that nearly white hair and pouty lips. I didnt care for it.
When I first got into Classic Films I was and still am head over heels in love with Tony Curtis, hello sexy! But, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch Some Like It Hot. That awful Monroe woman was in it. She isnt an actress. Yuck. But, I gave in…Loved it and doubt started to wash over me. I concluded it was a fluke, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made her look good. They could make me look good. So, I was not convinced.
Along came How To Marry a Millionaire.
I am a huge Bacall and Powell fan so naturally I could look past the fact Marilyn was in this film. I devoured it. Robert Osborne said in his closing of the film Saturday that everyone expected Monroe to be the hit of the movie but, it turned out Bacall was, etc. Well, I NEVER disagree with Bob…until now. I found her to be so funny, and sweet. I thought she was the star of the film! She can do comedy and do it very well. I was starting to question why I hated her so much. She was so endearing and I was eating my words. Over the next couple years I found “Millionaire” to be my favorite “cleaning” or “Working” film. If I was doing some editing I would turn that movie on and just listen to it, Cleaning was the same routine. I had seen it so many times that I could listen and not have to watch. I decided to give Monroe a chance.
I watched “River of No Return”, “Niagara”, “Gentleman Prefer blonde’s” and “Seven Year Itch” I was shockingly blow away! I really enjoyed these films and even more, I enjoyed her. Yes, the breathy voice exhausts me but, who cares she was damn good. I will admit, It surprised me. So, when The TCM Summer under the Stars line up came out, I was excited for a day of Marilyn Movies.
Saturday night after watching “Gentlemen Prefer Blonde’s” I walked into the kitchen, called my husband “piggy” in the breathy Monroe voice and laughed. My wise husband looked at me and said “You know, people thought she was dumb, I think she was smarter than all of them. She built an image that people still talk about today and can mock knowing that is your imitation of Monroe” Wow, color me blown away! He was right. She wasn’t stupid, not at all.
I am sad at all the years I refused to give her a chance. I know there are others like me and I really hope that if you read this, and you are one of those people…give her a chance. I wished she knew how much she is really appreciated. Take away all the tacky shit, and there is a movie star…a legit movie star there. Better yet, there is a vulnerable woman who did her best. I hope somewhere she is smiling knowing that TCM and other film fans are doing our best to have her known for this…
I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.