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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Marilyn writes to her new psychiatrist about her stay at the Payne Whitney part 5

Marilyn & Joe DiMaggio after her release from the Payne Whitney
By the way, I have some good news, sort of, since I guess I helped, he claims I did. Joe said I saved his life by sending him to a psycho-therapist; Dr. Kris says he is a very brilliant man, the doctor. Joe said he pulled himself up by his own bootstraps after the divorce but he told me also that if he had been me he would have divorced him too. Christmas night he sent a forest-full of poinsettias. I asked who they were from since it was such a surprise, (my friend Pat Newcomb was there)-- they had just arrived then. She said: "I don't know the card just says "best, Joe". Then I replied: "Well, there's just one Joe". Because it was Christmas night I called him up and asked him why he had sent me the flowers. He said first of all because I thought you would call me to thank me and then he said, besides who in the hell else do you have in the world. He said I know I was married to you and was never bothered or saw any in-law. Anyway, he asked me to have a drink some time with him. I said I knew he didn't drink -- he said he now occasionally takes a drink -- to which I replied then it would have to be a very, very dark place. He asked me what I was doing Christmas night. I said nothing, I'm here with a friend. Then he asked me to come over and I was glad he was coming though I must say I was bleary and depressed but somehow still glad he was coming over.
I think I had better stop because you have other things to do but thanks for listening for a while.
Marilyn M. 
PS: Someone when I mentioned his name you used to frown with your moustache and look up at the ceiling. Guess who? He has been (secretly) a very tender friend. I know you won't believe this but you must trust me with my instincts. It was sort of a fling on the wing. I had never done that before but now I have - but he is very unselfish in bed.
From Yves I have heard nothing - but I don't mind since I have such a strong, tender, wonderful memory. 
I am almost weeping.....

Marilyn & Yves Montand in "Let's Make Love"

Friday, December 8, 2017

Marilyn writes to her new psychiatrist about her stay at the Payne Whitney part 4

The scene from "Don't Bother to Knock" that Marilyn mentions in this letter
I didn't sleep again last night. I forgot to tell you something yesterday. When they put me into the first room on the sixth floor I was not told it was a Psychiatric floor. Dr. Kris said she was coming the next day. The nurse came in (after the doctor, a psychiatrist) had given me a physical examination including examining the breast for lumps. I took exception to this but not violently only explaining that the medical doctor who had put me there, a stupid man named Dr. Lipkin had already done a complete physical less than thirty days before. But when the nurse came in I noticed there was no way of buzzing or reaching for a light to call the nurse. I asked why this was and some other things and she said this is a psychiatric floor. After she went out I got dressed and then was when the girl in the hall told me about the phone. I was waiting at the elevator door which looks like all other doors with a door-knob except it doesn't have any numbers (you see they left them out). After the girl spoke with me and told me about what she had done to herself I went back into my room knowing they had lied to me about the telephone and I sat on the bed trying to figure if I was given this situation in an acting improvisation what would I do. So I figured, it's a squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I admit it was a loud squeak but I got the idea from a movie I made once called "Don't Bother to Knock". I picked up a light-weight chair and slammed it, and it was hard to do because I had never broken anything in my life -- against the glass intentionally. It took a lot of banging to get even a small piece of glass - so I went over with the glass concealed in my hand and sat quietly on the bed waiting for them to come in. They did, and I said to them "If you are going to treat me like a nut I'll act like a nut". I admit the next thing is corny but I really did it in the movie except it was with a razor blade. I indicated if they didn't let me out I would harm myself -- the furthest thing from my mind at that moment since you know Dr. Greenson I'm an actress and would never intentionally mark or mar myself. I'm just that vain. Remember when I tried to do away with myself I did it very carefully with ten seconal and ten tuonal and swallowed them with relief (that's how I felt at the time.) I didn't cooperate with them in any way because I couldn't believe in what they were doing. They asked me to go quietly but I refused to move staying on the bed so they picked me up by all fours, two hefty men and two hefty women and carried me up to the seventh floor in the elevator. I must say at least they had the decency to carry me face down. You know at least it wasn't face up. I just wept quietly all the way there and then was put in the cell I told you about and that ox of a woman one of those hefty ones, said: "Take a bath". I told her I had just taken one on the sixth floor. She said very sternly: "As soon as you change floors you have to take another bath". The man who runs that place, a high-school principal type, although Dr. Kris refers to him as an "administrator" he was actually permitted to talk to me, questioning me somewhat like an analyst. He told me I was a very, very sick girl and had been a very, very sick girl for many years. He looks down on his patients because I'll tell you why in a moment. He asked me how I could possibly work when I was depressed. He wondered if that interfered with my work. He was being very firm and definite in the way he said it. He actually stated it more than he questioned me so I replied: "Didn't he think that perhaps Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin perhaps and perhaps Ingrid Bergman they had been depressed when they worked sometimes but I said it's like saying a ball player like DiMaggio if he could hit ball when he was depressed. Pretty silly.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Marilyn writes to her new psychiatrist about her stay at the Payne Whitney part 3

The first day I did "mingle" with a patient. She asked me why I looked so sad and suggested I could call a friend and perhaps not be so lonely. I told her that they had told me that there wasn't a phone on that floor. Speaking of floors, they are all locked -- no one could go in and no one could go out. She looked shocked and shaken and said "I'll take you to the phone" -- while I waited in line for my turn for the use of the phone I observed a guard (since he had on a grey knit uniform) as I approached the phone he straight-armed the phone and said very sternly: "You can't use the phone". By the way, they pride themselves in having a home-like atmosphere there. I asked them (the doctors) how they figured that. They answered: "Well, on the sixth floor we have wall-to-wall carpeting and modern furniture" to which I replied: "Well, that any good interior decorator could provide -- providing there are the funds for it" but since they are dealing with human beings why couldn't they perceive even an interior of a human being".

The girl that told me about the phone seemed such a pathetic and vague creature. She told me after the straight-arming "I didn't know they would do that". Then she said "I'm here because of my mental condition -- I have cut my throat several times and slashed my wrists" --she said either three or four times.

I just thought of a jingle:

"Mingle - but not if you were just born single"

Oh, well, men are climbing to the moon but they don't seem interested in the beating human heart. Still one can change but wont -- by the way, that was the original theme of THE MISFTIS -- no one even caught that part of it. Partly because, I guess, the changes in the script and some of the distortions in the direction and .....


I know I will never be happy but I know I can be gay! Remember I told you Kazan said I was the gayest girl he ever knew and believe me he has known many. But he loved me for one year and once rocked me to sleep one night when I was in great anguish. He also suggested that I go into analysis and later wanted me to work with his teacher, Lee Strasberg.

Was it Milton who wrote "The happy ones were never born". I know at least two psychiatrists who are looking for a more positive approach.


Elia Kazan on his relationship with Monroe
She was a little stray cat when I knew her. I got a lot out of her just as you do from any human experience where anyone is revealed to you and you affect anyone in any way. I guess I gave her a lot of hope. She is not a big sex pot as advertised. At least not in my experience. I don't know if there are such as "advertised" big sex pots. She told me a lot about [Joe DiMaggio] and her, his Catholicism, and his viciousness (he struck her often, and beat her up several times). I was touched and fascinated. It was the type of experience that I do not understand and I enjoyed (not the right word) hearing about it. I certainly recommended her to Tennessee's attention. And he was very taken by her.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Marilyn writes to her new psychiatrist about her stay at the Payne Whitney part 2

There was no empathy at Payne-Whitney -- it had a very bad effect -- they asked me after putting me in a "cell" (I mean cement blocks and all) for very disturbed depressed patients (except I felt I was in some kind of prison for a crime I hadn't committed. The inhumanity there I found archaic. They asked me why I wasn't happy there (everything was under lock and key; things like electric lights, dresser drawers, bathrooms, closets, bars concealed on the windows -- the doors have windows so patients can be visible all the time, also, the violence and markings still remain on the walls from former patients). I answered: "Well, I'd have to be nuts if I like it here" then there screaming women in their cells -- I mean they screamed out when life was unbearable I guess -- at times like this I felt an available psychiatrist should have talked to them. Perhaps to alleviate even temporarily their misery and pain. I think they (the doctors) might learn something even -- but all are only interested in something from the books they studied -- I was surprised because they already know that. Maybe from some live suffering human being they could discover more -- I had the feeling they looked more for discipline and that they let their patients go after the patients have "given up". They asked me to mingle with the patients, to go out to O.T. (Occupational Therapy). I said: "And do what?" They said: "You could sew or play checkers, even cards and maybe knit". I tried to explain the day I did that they would have a nut on their hands. These things were furthest from my mind. They asked me why I felt I was "different" (from the other patients I guess) so I decided if they were really that stupid I must give them a very simple answer so I said: "I just am".

Lines from the movie "Niagara"
     GEORGE LOOMIS (played by Joseph Cotten)
My wife told you I was neurotic, didn't she? 
     POLLY CUTLER (Jeane Peters)
She just said you weren't feeling very well. 
Well she'd like everybody to believe I'm crazy. 
     RAY CUTLER (Max Showalter)
Don't be silly, why would she want people to think you're crazy. 
I don't know but she's got her reasons, you can bet on that. She's got her reasons. Occupational therapy! 
(Kicks over a table)

Marilyn reading the script for "Niagara"

Review of the movie "Niagara"

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Marilyn writes to her new psychiatrist about her stay at the Payne Whitney part 1

March 1, 1961

Just now when I looked out the hospital window where the snow had covered everything suddenly everything is kind of muted a green. The grass, shabby evergreen bushes -- though the trees give me a little hope -- the desolate bare branches promising maybe there will be spring and maybe they promise hope.

Did you see "The Misfits" yet? In one sequence you can perhaps see how bare and strange a tree can be for me. I don't know if it comes across that way for sure on the screen -- I don't like some of the selections in the takes they used. As I started to write this letter about four quiet tears had fallen. I don't know quite why.

Last night I was awake all night again. Sometimes I wonder what the night time is for. It almost doesn't exist for me -- it all seems like one long, long horrible day. Anyway, I thought I'd try to be constructive about it and started to read the letters of Sigmund Freud. When I first opened the book I saw the picture of Freud inside opposite the title page and I burst into tears -- he looked very depressed (which must have been taken near the end of his life) that he died a disappointed man -- but Dr Kris said he had much physical pain which I had known from the Jones book -- but I know this too to be so but still I trust my instincts because I see a sad disappointment in his gentle face. The book reveals (though I am not sure anyone's love-letters should be published) that he wasn't a stiff! I mean his gentle, sad humor and even a striving was eternal in him. I haven't gotten very far yet because at the same time I'm reading Sean O'Casey's first autobiography --(did I ever tell you how once he wrote a poem to me?) This book disturbs me very much in a way one should be disturbed for these things --after all.


Marilyn in "The Misfits"

Monday, December 4, 2017

Marilyn writes from the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic (February 1961)

Dear Lee and Paula, 
Dr. Kris has had me put into the New York Hospital- pshichiatric [sic] division under the care of two idiot  doctors- they both should not be my doctors. 
You haven't heard from me because I'm locked up with all these poor nutty people. I'm sure to end up a nut if I stay in this nightmare- please help me Lee, this is the last place I should be - maybe if you called Dr. Kris and assured her of my sensitivity and that I must get back to class so I'll be better prepared for 'rain'. 
Lee, I try to remember what you said once in class "that art goes far beyond science"
And the science memories around here I'd like to forget- like screening women etc.
Please help me- if Dr. Kris assures you I am all right- you can assure her I am not. I do not belong here!
I love you both 
P.S. forgive the spelling- and there's nothing to write on here. I'm on the dangerous floor its like a cell. Can you imagine- cement blocks. they put me in here because they lied to me about calling my doctor and Joe and they had the bathroom door locked so I broke the glass and outside of that I haven't done anything that is uncooperative.

Also Sale of Marilyn Monroe Letter Barred

Marilyn and Paula Strasberg on the set of "The Misfits" 1960

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The heartbreak of Marilyn Monroe's "Don't Bother to Knock"

Nell hasn’t been in good spirits as of late. It’s been clear from the moment she strolled into that New York hotel lobby in her dazed, doe-eyed manner that she probably isn’t the best suited patron in the room to babysit a tenant’s child – but that doesn’t stop her from accepting the job. She’s down on her luck and could use some sort of opportunity, or second chance, or validation of her existence to pull her through her current rough stint.

See, when her Uncle Eddie who works the hotel elevator drops her off with little Bunny Jones and escorts her parents, Peter and Ruth Jones, downstairs to the big party in the ball room, and Nell is left alone with the child, she starts exhibiting some odd behavior – like trying on Mrs. Jones’ clothes and jewelry, referring to a man who isn’t there, and tying little Bunny up tight with thick rope and gagging her so she’ll finally be quiet.

Told through two overlapping tales of woe and mistrust, Don’t Bother to Knockfollows Jed Towers (Richard Widmark) as he stumbles upon the path to redemption, and Nell Forbes (Marilyn Monroe) as she tumbles down the rabbit hole into madness. Jed has just lost his girl, Lyn Lesley (Anne Bancroft), famous singer and performer at the big hotel bash, and nothing he can say will woo her back. After Lyn angrily dismisses Jed and accuses him of being heartless, he does his best to prove her right, and shacks up with the next girl he can find. Unfortunately for Jed, that girl happens to be Nell.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Week with Marilyn

The smile isn’t as wide, the bust not as large, the waist not as long, and the flesh doesn’t have the incredible palpability that drove everyone mad, but, yes, Michelle Williams can play Marilyn Monroe. In “My Week with Marilyn,” Williams makes the star come alive.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ranking Marilyn's movies

Every Marilyn Monroe Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best
Hollywood has been creating a mythology around blonde bombshells since its beginnings. But no blonde sex symbol has had a deeper and more long-lasting impact on film and American culture than Marilyn Monroe. You probably had an image of Monroe in your mind long before you ever saw her on film. The dumb blonde. The white-hot sex symbol. The foolish girl-woman. The picture of mid-century femininity — wasp-waisted, platinum blonde, and buxom. The tragic victim. These warring images have lasted long after Monroe’s death in 1962 at 36 years old, and they’re easy to twist into caricature. She’s been flattened onto dorm-room posters, mugs, T-shirts, artist renderings. She’s been linked to falsely attributed quotes, conspiracy theories, and lurid rumors. But Monroe was more complex than her legacy suggests, as both an actress and a woman. This ranking of Monroe’s 29 films — based on her performance in each — gives a sense of what a supremely talented comedian and dramatic actress she was, with a keen understanding of the camera that few actors can replicate.
The Canon podcast: 
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes vs. Some Like it Hot
Will it be Howard Hawks' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a boat-bound romp that gave us Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend? Or will it be Billy Wilder's cross-dressing classic Some Like It Hot, which gave us the amazing final line "Nobody's perfect"? 
Teen Vogue:
A Ranking of Marilyn Monroe's 10 Best Film Roles:
Marilyn Monroe only appeared in a handful of movies in her career, most of them in small supporting roles as a pretty blonde to add a little sex appeal to an otherwise mediocre movie. Once her star began to rise in the early 1950s, however, she was a massive box-office draw and one of Twentieth Century Fox’s MVPs.
Every Marilyn Monroe Movie Ranked From Best to Worst
Marilyn Monroe is a legend and while she is best known for being a blonde bombshell, she was actually quite a talented actress and singer with a hefty film resume. Vulture took the time to rank all of her almost 30 movies from worst to best along with their reasons for their rankings. Keep in mind that the rankings are based mostly on Marilyn's performance, which is why Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is ranked higher than Some Like It Hot. Whether you're a dedicated Marilyn fan or are just interested in seeing more of her work, the list is certainly worth checking out. 

Ranker (reader participation):
The Very Best Marilyn Monroe Movies

Marilyn Monroe was not only one of the most beautiful women of all time; she was also a talented and beloved actress. This is a list of the best Marilyn Monroe movies, ranked best to worst, with movie trailers when available. Though she played a "dumb blonde" in her most famous roles, the bombshell icon was anything but, and she laughed her earnings right to the bank. Marilyn Monroe's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Marilyn Monroe movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Marilyn Monroe movies will be at the top of the list. Marilyn Monroe has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Marilyn Monroe movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Marilyn Monroe films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Marilyn Monroe role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Marilyn Monroe performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different films, including Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Marilyn Monroe movies?" and "What are the greatest Marilyn Monroe roles of all time?"

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Marilyn in Rebecca Miller's film

Miller and Monroe at the Queensboro Bridge
I was somewhat surprised you devoted a part of the film to your father’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe [they were married from 1956-1961]—surprised in the sense that the ongoing obsession with Marilyn sometimes overwhelms assessment of anything associated with her.
It would have been disingenuous or untrue of me to skip over that or gloss over that relationship. It was a very pivotal relationship for him. I tried to humanize it as much as I could…his inability to save her and his wish, his delusion, that he could transform a troubled person and give her new life was something that—it was his great comeuppance, I guess. To me, some of the most poignant moments in the film are his moments of silence that came about [that subject] and what happened in the end, her death… I think those [silences] are worth a thousand words right there.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Jane Russell on Marilyn

"When we made Gentlemen Prefer Blondes together and I discovered that she was nervous about going on set, I finally went to her dressing room and said: 'All right, baby, come on set with me now, we've only got a few minutes.' And she said: 'Ooh'." She copies Marilyn's blonde breathlessness to perfection, but there is no malice in her mimicry.

"I remember there was this actor, Tommy Noonan, who had to do a kissing scene with her, and afterwards some guy asked: 'You've just kissed Marilyn Monroe. What was it like?' And Tommy replied: 'It was like being swallowed alive.' Marilyn overheard that and ran crying to her dressing room. I grew up with boys, so boys didn't bother me. I knew all about them. I don't think Marilyn did.

"But she wasn't a dumb blonde.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Marlon Brando on Marilyn Monroe

Do you remember when Marilyn Monroe died? Everybody stopped work, and you could see all that day the same expressions on their faces, the same thought: ‘How can a girl with success, fame, youth, money, beauty . . . how could she kill herself?’ Nobody could understand it because those are the things that everybody wants, and they can’t believe that life wasn’t important to Marilyn Monroe, or that her life was elsewhere


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Shelly Winters on Marilyn

“She’d come out of our apartment in a shleppy old coat, looking like my maid, and all the people would push her aside to get my autograph. She loved it.”


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gloria Steinem on Marilyn Monroe

Steinem met Monroe once, at the Actor's Studio in New York. Steinem had been invited by one of her Smith College professors to sit in on a teaching session. It seemed to her that the sophisticates of the New York theater were condescending to the Hollywood actress.
"Monroe was a huge star, but far from being embarrassed or alienated, I felt drawn to her, protective. I remember feeling angry at the way she was treated," Steinem recalled. "Growing up, Marilyn's image had always made me uncomfortable. For a teen-age girl who feels vulnerable enough, it was like an ethnic person seeing an ethnic stereotype -- a silly blond woman who allowed herself to be used. She was a victim. It was painful to see. She's up there on the screen -- in the comedies at least -- giggling and being dumb. People are making jokes about how dumb she is, about her body. She had a vulnerability and an innocence. Your first response is to blame the person instead of blaming the role the person is forced to play. It's the same as it would have been to blame Stepin Fetchit in pre-civil-rights days. When you think about it, that was the only role he was allowed to play.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ayn Rand on Marilyn

"Marilyn Monroe on the screen was an image of pure, innocent, childlike joy in living. She projected the sense of a person born and reared in some radiant utopia untouched by suffering, unable to conceive of ugliness or evil, facing life with the confidence, the benevolence, and the joyous self-flaunting of a child or a kitten who is happy to display its own attractiveness as the best gift it can offer the world, and who expects to be admired for it, not hurt."

More here

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Colin Farrell on Marilyn

“She was my first experience of romantic love. When I saw her for the first time in Some Like It Hot, as beautiful as she was and as exuberant as she was and as flirtatious as she may have been, there was a sadness that she could never, never hide as a performer. At eight or nine, I felt it,” the 41-year-old shared.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Check out the blog Marilyn: A Day in the Life

I have pondered how to go about this article for a very long time. It’s a tricky subject to navigate, especially being a survivor of two extremely abusive relationships myself. Yet it has to be talked about. So often we see “Oh if Marilyn had ended up with Joe again she would have been happier/saved/gotten away from Hollywood/etc.” 
Look, I love Joe and Marilyn as much as the next guy and there is no denying that the friendship Marilyn posessed with Joe in the last year and a half of her life meant a lot to her. Joe was her rock at this point and he helped her immensely (he was not able to get her released into his custody at Payne Whitney but he did get Dr. Kris to pull her out). There are posthumous rumors of a remarriage between the two but there is nothing to support that from her time period, albeit rumors were swirling around the possibility. Personally, I find it unlikely being she was dating Frank Sinatra for a portion of 1961, supposedly when she was with Joe.

Marilyn in Long Island City

Under the 7 train.