Thursday, June 27, 2013

A good show to watch

I don't like the sort of blog where the blogulator says "You have to watch this show or else!"   But I do recommend the special on HBO called "Love, Marilyn."

She was an interesting woman, Marilyn Monroe.  Compared to the ectomorphic women who play the sexy parts these days, she would be called pudgy.  But she was THE hot woman of the 50s and early 60s, and she is still revered today by many of us who have no interest and certainly no attraction to the Gwyneths and the Nicoles and the Umas.

Marilyn had a troubled childhood and things did not get better with fame and fortune.  She had a face and voice that movie cameras loved, and she wanted to learn to act.  As the documentary showed, she produced the movie "The Prince and the Showgirl" and hired Laurence Olivier to play the prince.  Seeking acting advice from the stuffy British thespian, Marilyn asked what her motivation should be in a certain scene, and he said, "Just be sexy; that's what you do, isn't it?" She was crushed.

Olivier is also the guy who said to Dustin Hoffman, who insists on "getting into character" and staying that way throughout the filming of a movie, "Wouldn't it be simpler to just act?"

So, on the plus side, Marilyn was beautiful and attractive.  Men loved her.  After a first wartime marriage, she married Joe DiMaggio, who had retired from playing for the damn Yankees, and he thought she would sit home with him and make lasagna all day.

After her divorce from Mr Coffee, she thought she could find happiness with moody playwright Arthur Miller, who gave us "Death of a Salesman."  He also treated her shabbily.

This would be a good time for me to editorialize and say that it's not fair to marry someone because you fell in love with the person they are, and then immediately set about changing them into the person you want.  Both of these men sought to do just that.

So marriage didn't work out, and she turned to the bottle and pills for help, and her sad end came in August, 1962, when she ODed.  There are millions of words written about Marilyn Monroe, and in the HBO special you see a lot of today's actors reading the words of Norman Mailer and other authors about her...but, because some boxes were recently found that contain some of MM's thought journals, there are actors reading her own words as a backdrop to film of her.

I recommend the show for those who love the memory and image that Marilyn left us.  Just last week, Turner Classic showed a couple of Mamie Van Doren's awful movies.  Mamie, born Joan Olander, was a bosomy blonde whom other film studios tried to trot out as a substitute for the real thing - Miss Monroe.  One quick look served to show why no one is compiling any biographies of Mamie.

There was only one Marilyn, only one Elvis, only one Shakespeare.  He said, "What's done can't be undone," and what was done to Marilyn should never have been done.

I hope you enjoy the show!

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