Marilyn Monroe - Overrated, or Underrated?

What's her level?

  • Elite

  • Title challenger

  • Ranked contender

  • Gatekeeper

  • Journeyman


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Duo

Bosomus Maximus
Jun 14, 2012
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I've never seen that outtake before or the interviews with the children. I believe she would've been a great mother as that is what she wanted more than anything but was never able to have any children of her own. Having a child would've more than likely changed the course of her life.
View attachment 3837View attachment 3838
View attachment 3839View attachment 3840Last photo while alive
This sequence of photographs were taken while "Some Like It Hot" was in the middle of filming (August 4 to November 6, 1958). Good look at tragic baby bump can be seen at 0:34. ( @ellie666, is it any wonder you thought she looked "beefy?"):





Yeah @Honeybee , I agree that losing this baby was the final trigger for the downward spiral she never recovered from. Billy Wilder was looking at Mitzi Gaynor for the role, which I've no doubt she could have pulled off. (Mitzi's now 87, and has looked good and done well, with a 52 year marriage a few years underway at the time which lasted until talent agent husband Jack Bean's 2006 death from pneumonia at age 84.) They didn't expect Marilyn might want the part, but went with the megastar Wilder had already worked with for "The Seven Year Itch." I get the impression her second pregnancy of 1958 turned her against wanting to do it after committing to the project, which yielded top billing and a huge payoff. (Her contract stipulated filming in color, but Lemmon and Curtis looked ghoulish in the makeup they were wearing, so black and white it was.)
 

Deebo

"Messkin" Deebo
Jun 5, 2013
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Show dem balls bro
She supposedly had a sex tape...would love to watch that
I did. Didn't really look like her all that much though, the person in the video looked a lot skinnier than Marilyn. And the guy she was porking was a ringer for that Rhett Butler motherfucker from Gone With The Wind.
 

Duo

Bosomus Maximus
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Personally, I think that if you consider Scarlett Johansson elite, then you gotta consider Marilyn elite.
I do NOT consider Scarlett Johansson elite, never have, and never could. Props to her for doing this, but it's honestly not a face that rates.:




Again, Marilyn posed for the camera without makeup either, as I previously posted in this thread (along with family members who share her features).:

 
Jun 17, 2013
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I did. Didn't really look like her all that much though, the person in the video looked a lot skinnier than Marilyn. And the guy she was porking was a ringer for that Rhett Butler motherfucker from Gone With The Wind.
Ahhh...so it's not real then. Sounds about right
 

Duo

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50 year reunion and chat between three who knew her back in 1943, first husband Jim Dougherty (who eventually made his career in law enforcement), his work partner at Lockheed, Bob Mitchum, and former high school classmate Jane Russell (who acted alongside Dougherty in high school stage productions, and remembered Dougherty introducing "Outlaw" to his then wife, Norma Jeane while wearing his USN uniform).

Dougherty was not a suitable match for Marilyn (for one, they really had nothing to say to one another, being so far apart in years at an age when such things matter), but didn't pine for her either, went on to live a good productive life, and by marrying a girl five years younger than himself and Russell, ended her foster home merry-go-round.

Not that revealing, but an interesting curio between three who knew Marilyn as Norma Jeane. These were key people from her mid teens. Mitchum and Russell worked together of course, starring in 1951's "His Kind of Woman," and 1952's "Macao," as each famously worked with Marilyn.

While I'm not sure how revealing this 18 minute clip is, it's an interesting curio from the early 1990's:

 
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Duo

Bosomus Maximus
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After not voting (although thinking Elite all along), then deciding to hold out, I've voted a definitive Elite. 72 years after her film debut bit part as Evie the waitress in "Dangerous Years," I can't imagine any A-list actress today being discussed like Marilyn is 72 years from now.
 
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Honeybee

Valid like salad
Oct 27, 2013
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50 year reunion and chat between three who knew her back in 1943, first husband Jim Dougherty (who eventually made his career in law enforcement), his work partner at Lockheed, Bob Mitchum, and former high school classmate Jane Russell (who acted alongside Dougherty in high school stage productions, and remembered Dougherty introducing "Outlaw" to his then wife, Norma Jeane while wearing his USN uniform).

Dougherty was not a suitable match for Marilyn (for one, they really had nothing to say to one another, being so far apart in years at an age when such things matter), but didn't pine for her either, went on to live a good productive life, and by marrying a girl five years younger than himself and Russell, ended her foster home merry-go-round.

Not that revealing, but an interesting curio between three who knew Marilyn as Norma Jeane. These were key people from her mid teens. Mitchum and Russell worked together of course, starring in 1951's "His Kind of Woman," and 1952's "Macao," as each famously worked with Marilyn.

While I'm not sure how revealing this 18 minute clip is, it's an interesting curio from the early 1990's:

It's a great clip if you want to know about young Norma Jeane. Robert and Jane come off really charming in that old school Hollywood sort of way and definitely NOT FAKE. In her last interview she mentions Jane Russell and thanked her. She needed more people like these 3 in her life, especially after she had *made it*. The interview shows how hard it was to get to know her as their recollection is fragmented and only had to do with early portion of her life. Just about everyone else either took advantage or used her in some capacity. There is a bit with the house keeper, either Eunice Murray or this Italian woman who wrote a book if I recall, that due to her distrust of people, she was mostly alone and only visited at her home by people that were on the payroll. It certainly appears that way when you look at her will; outside of her sister, the other people listed were those she paid for some kind of service.



After not voting (although thinking Elite all along), then deciding to hold out, I've voted a definitive Elite. 72 years after her film debut bit part as Evie the waitress in "Dangerous Years," I can't imagine any A-list actress today being discussed like Marilyn is 72 years from now.
I think so too. I'm going to be 30 this year so I was born long after she passed but I know she had to have been a big deal. My parents knew about her and were not even living in the United States, a testament to her popularity. My dad would say when you thought of the United States you thought of her and Coca Cola (lol). Interest in her life has certainly not abated with time.
 

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Duo

Bosomus Maximus
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It's a great clip if you want to know about young Norma Jeane. Robert and Jane come off really charming in that old school Hollywood sort of way and definitely NOT FAKE. In her last interview she mentions Jane Russell and thanked her. She needed more people like these 3 in her life, especially after she had *made it*. The interview shows how hard it was to get to know her as their recollection is fragmented and only had to do with early portion of her life. Just about everyone else either took advantage or used her in some capacity. There is a bit with the house keeper, either Eunice Murray or this Italian woman who wrote a book if I recall, that due to her distrust of people, she was mostly alone and only visited at her home by people that were on the payroll. It certainly appears that way when you look at her will; outside of her sister, the other people listed were those she paid for some kind of service.





I think so too. I'm going to be 30 this year so I was born long after she passed but I know she had to have been a big deal. My parents knew about her and were not even living in the United States, a testament to her popularity. My dad would say when you thought of the United States you thought of her and Coca Cola (lol). Interest in her life has certainly not abated with time.
Thought you might find this interesting, although it does deviate from her iconic image as a big box office sex symbol. Is she acting here, or is she acting in her seductive portrayals and public image as a Technicolor star? She's 25 playing a 20 year old. She's still taking acting lessons at this stage, but also working with Barbara Stanwyck in a well regarded performance by Stanwyck. She's hardly portraying physical weakness, vulnerability and naivete here. (She actually behaves more like the weight training girl she had been for several years at this stage.) A case might be made that this establishes her breakthrough to stardom (with billing before the film title), although sex symbol superstardom comes in 1953. (The staged scuffle at 1:46 and playful punch to the shoulder she unloads at 2:57 along with the look of anger and retaliatory clip to the jaw at 7:45 for having a towel wrapped around her neck isn't exactly her helpless deer in the headlights right before her death scene in Niagara, is it? But unlike The Asphalt Jungle, Don't Bother to Knock and Bus Stop, she doesn't seem known to have cited Clash By Night as a preferred performance of her's, maybe because she is sharing the screen with Stanwyck.)

 
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Honeybee

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Oct 27, 2013
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Thought you might find this interesting, although it does deviate from her iconic image as a big box office sex symbol. Is she acting here, or is she acting in her seductive portrayals and public image as a Technicolor star? She's 25 playing a 20 year old. She's still taking acting lessons at this stage, but also working with Barbara Stanwyck in a well regarded performance by Stanwyck. She's hardly portraying physical weakness, vulnerability and naivete here. (She actually behaves more like the weight training girl she had been for several years at this stage.) A case might be made that this establishes her breakthrough to stardom (with billing before the film title), although sex symbol superstardom comes in 1953. (The staged scuffle at 1:46 and playful punch to the shoulder she unloads at 2:57 along with the look of anger and retaliatory clip to the jaw at 7:45 for having a towel wrapped around her neck isn't exactly her helpless deer in the headlights right before her death scene in Niagara, is it? But unlike The Asphalt Jungle, Don't Bother to Knock and Bus Stop, she doesn't seem known to have cited Clash By Night as a preferred performance of her's, maybe because she is sharing the screen with Stanwyck.)

Good one. She definitely shows her range a bit here in this film. Clash by Night was sort of a cross roads film for her - I do believe it was around this time that nude photograph of her circulated. Could've been a career-ender but she responded to the controversy by being a good sport, even poking fun at the situation, and the opposite happened with her catapulting into super stardom. She started getting regular top billing soon thereafter and adopted the persona we are familiar with. The trade off being producers only wanted to cast her as the naive, breathless voiced ditzy blonde bombshell and that that is pretty much the only one she played for the rest of her career. So definitely a crossroads film for her- she proved capable of playing something different in a drama but her career instead went in a different direction.

I do also think she deserved an Oscar for "Bus Stop". Her performance was really good in that film.



- I hadn't seen this before - she really shows off her charm in the sketch. I always thought she was great as a comedienne. Apparently the same sketch was done with Jayne Mansfield.



- her final words are so sad
 
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Duo

Bosomus Maximus
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After a fantastic and legendary 78 year career, the inimitable and most beloved original performer of Marilyn Monroe's most famous musical number has left us. Introducing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in the 1949 Broadway musical "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," the great Carol Channing, five and a half years Marilyn's elder, and just two weeks short of her 98th birthday, has given her final performance. (She was also the first to publicly sing "Hello, Dolly!" with the original 1964 Broadway cast.)

Marilyn had seen Channing on stage in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," and was scared shitless after beating out the girl who the book's author Anita Loos had personally picked to play Lorelei Lee on Broadway, but Jane Russell repeatedly coaxed a terrified Monroe out of her dressing room to shoot scenes (making Jane Russell the true heroine of that movie production according to everybody involved). Channing was originally disappointed, of course, but then was very happy with Monroe's film performance take on the song and character Channing had already made legendary.

Later, Miss Channing actually made fans forget "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" with "Hello, Dolly!," on Broadway in part by beating out a young Barbra Steisand in "Funny Girl" for the 1964 Lead Actress Tony Award. Infuriated when Hollywood rejected her in favor of Streisand for the 1969 version of "Hello, Dolly!," she was happy when that movie tanked at the box office. "Hello, Dolly!" is forever Carol Channing's role alone, while she was happy to share "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" with Marilyn Monroe in such different presentations of that role. (Anita Loos was not involved in the making of the film, but happy with it, calling Marilyn's 1953 film version the most "authentic" of the Loreleis, and Carol Channing's original 1949 stage depiction the funniest.)

Recasting from a successful Broadway play to cinema can be tricky business. With "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?," 20th Century Fox simply went with the actress who starred as Rita Marlowe , Jayne Mansfield, and it worked. (Mansfield considered Mamie Van Doren. NOT Marilyn Monroe, as her professional nemesis, purportedly because the play was written for Van Doren by George Axelrod, but Van Doren turned it down after being offered the role first, not wanting to be typecast as a Monroe type, while Mansfield wanted to split Broadway for film stardom. Some caution needs to be allowed for here, as Mamie remains extremely active, turning 88 in a few weeks, and has lived to tell a story the other two Ms passed away from having a chance to contribute their say to over 50 years ago. History is not only written by the victors, but by the survivors. Like Louise Brooks did, Van Doren has lived long enough, and is smart enough and articulate enough to be able to control her role in that narrative. Brooksie was able to pen an obituary of her final costar John Wayne, then even outlived her own New Yorker article biographer Ken Tynan.)

Researching for this post, here's an interesting tale of the tape breakdown comparing Marilyn with Mamie. (I'm guessing Monroe's bust and hips were padded or otherwise embellished here by a couple inches, and she was known to wear padding, while the thighs and calves seem more authentically measured. If she ever LOOKED fat to Hurley, then I can only guess that Hurley's basing that on Marilyn's appearance while pregnant in "Some Like It Hot." What the hell do today's female celebrities thighs and calves measure anyways?):

 
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Honeybee

Valid like salad
Oct 27, 2013
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After a fantastic and legendary 78 year career, the inimitable and most beloved original performer of Marilyn Monroe's most famous musical number has left us. Introducing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in the 1949 Broadway musical "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," the great Carol Channing, five and a half years Marilyn's elder, and just two weeks short of her 98th birthday, has given her final performance. (She was also the first to publicly sing "Hello, Dolly!" with the original 1964 Broadway cast.)

Marilyn had seen Channing on stage in "Gentleman Prefer Blondes," and was scared shitless after beating out the girl who the book's author Anita Loos had personally picked to play Lorelei Lee on Broadway, but Jane Russell repeatedly coaxed a terrified Monroe out of her dressing room to shoot scenes (making Jane Russell the true heroine of that movie production according to everybody involved). Channing was originally disappointed, of course, but then was very happy with Monroe's film performance take on the song and character Channing had already made legendary.

Later, Miss Channing actually made fans forget "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" with "Hello, Dolly!," on Broadway in part by beating out a young Barbra Steisand in "Funny Girl" for the 1964 Lead Actress Tony Award. Infuriated when Hollywood rejected her in favor of Streisand for the 1969 version of "Hello, Dolly!," she was happy when that movie tanked at the box office. "Hello, Dolly!" is forever Carol Channing's role alone, while she was happy to share "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" with Marilyn Monroe in such different presentations of that role. (Anita Loos was not involved in the making of the film, but happy with it, calling Marilyn's 1953 film version the most "authentic" of the Loreleis, and Carol Channing's original 1949 stage depiction the funniest.)

Recasting from a successful Broadway play to cinema can be tricky business. With "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?," 20th Century Fox simply went with the actress who starred as Rita Marlowe , Jayne Mansfield, and it worked. (Mansfield considered Mamie Van Doren. NOT Marilyn Monroe, as her professional nemesis, purportedly because the play was written for Van Doren by George Axelrod, but Van Doren turned it down after being offered the role first, not wanting to be typecast as a Monroe type, while Mansfield wanted to split Broadway for film stardom. Some caution needs to be allowed for here, as Mamie remains extremely active, turning 88 in a few weeks, and has lived to tell a story the other two Ms passed away from having a chance to contribute their say to over 50 years ago. History is not only written by the victors, but by the survivors. Like Louise Brooks did, Van Doren has lived long enough, and is smart enough and articulate enough to be able to control her role in that narrative. Brooksie was able to pen an obituary of her final costar John Wayne, then even outlived her own New Yorker article biographer Ken Tynan.)

Researching for this post, here's an interesting tale of the tape breakdown comparing Marilyn with Mamie. (I'm guessing Monroe's bust and hips were padded or otherwise embellished here by a couple inches, and she was known to wear padding, while the thighs and calves seem more authentically measured. If she ever LOOKED fat to Hurley, then I can only guess that Hurley's basing that on Marilyn's appearance while pregnant in "Some Like It Hot." What the hell do today's female celebrities thighs and calves measure anyways?):





- Still the best
 
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Jun 28, 2013
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Would love to have been a fly on the wall during those A-list celebrity parties in Hollywood during the MGM golden era.
 

Duo

Bosomus Maximus
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Would love to have been a fly on the wall during those A-list celebrity parties in Hollywood during the MGM golden era.
Classic WW II era sharp image portrait:




For good measure, this lower quality reproduction of the photograph above does identify who they are:


 

Honeybee

Valid like salad
Oct 27, 2013
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Would love to have been a fly on the wall during those A-list celebrity parties in Hollywood during the MGM golden era.
Not sure how familiar you are with the "British Marilyn Monroe" Diana Dors, but she was known to throw some pretty interesting parties...lol
 
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Clarified and embellished (or not embellished)...
Interesting. So many of the A-list actresses looked great back then. There was a similar look to them also. Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn, Sophia Loren etc.