The Enduring Allure of Marilyn Monroe

Slightly more than 200 books have been published about her since the death of Marilyn Monroe on August 5th, 1962. Complex, mysterious and often misunderstood, she was nonetheless a blonde bombshell, sex goddess and incomparable femme fatale who has continued to mesmerize us since her untimely passing 55 years ago at age 36.

This week’s MovieZoot Watchlist offers a mosaic, a puzzle comprised of quotes from the actors, directors and colleagues who worked with Marilyn Monroe on four of her most famous films in MovieZoot.com’s classics catalogue, which we have the pleasure of featuring in this week’s MovieZoot Watchlist.. But it is what we don’t know about Marilyn Monroe that deepens the unprecedented hold this woman still commands over popular culture.

Joshua Logan, Director of “Bus Stop”
“I’ve encountered two actors who I consider to be geniuses on screen.
One is Marlon Brando and the other is Marilyn Monroe.”

Jack Cole, Choreographer of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”
“The motivation of her tardiness is a terrible fear of failure. Here is a great star without the proper background. She is always looking for more time — a hem out of line, a mussed hair, a scene to discuss. Anything to avoid doing something for which she feels inadequate.”

Lauren Bacall, Co-Star in “How To Marry A Millionaire”
”She had no meanness in her. No bitchery. She just had to concentrate on herself and people who were there to help her.”

Dame Sybil Thorndike, Co-Star in “The Prince and The Showgirl”
“While working with her on the set, I thought, ‘Oh, she’ll never come through, she’s so small scale.’ Then I went to see the rushes and it was ALL there. She was a revelation, the perfect screen actress. And it’s always there, in all her movies. That perfect quality.”

Yours Truly,

MovieZoot.com
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Bus Stop

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.00.47 PMThis film adaptation of William Inge’s romantic comedy-drama was considered pretty hot stuff in its day, which was 1956. Directed by Joshua Logan, the film stars Marilyn Monroe as the kind of woman who can’t understand why she always brings out the worst in men. A singer who has attracted the attention of a young rodeo rider (Don Murray) whom she meets on a bus, she finds herself trapped at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard. The young cowboy, whose intentions are honorable, can’t control his temper and can’t understand why this experienced woman won’t take him seriously – and why she rejects him when he begins acting jealous and possessive. Love takes its lumps but comes out slugging in the end, with Marilyn at her vulnerable, jaded best.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.02.48 PMMarilyn Monroe is the blonde in question: Miss Lorelei Lee, whose philosophy is “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Together with her best friend Dorothy (Jane Russell), showgirl Lorelei embarks upon a boat trip to Paris, where she intends to marry millionaire Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan). En route, the girls are bedeviled by private detective Malone (Elliot Reid), hired by Esmond’s father (Taylor Holmes) to make certain that Lorelei isn’t just another gold-digger. When Dorothy falls in love with the poverty-stricken Malone, Lorelei decides to find her pal a wealthier potential husband.

How To Marry A Millionaire

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.05.56 PMAlong with Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe plays one of three New York City models of modest means who rent an expensive Manhattan penthouse apartment and pose as women of wealth. Tired of cheap men in cheap suits, it’s all part of a scheme hatched by Bacall to snare rich husbands for herself and her roommates. They intend to use all their talents to trap and marry three millionaires. The trouble is that it’s not so easy to tell the rich men from the hucksters – and even when they can, is the money really worth it?

The Prince and The Showgirl

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 12.07.10 PMMarilyn Monroe and Sir Lawrence Olivier mix it up when Grandduke Charles, (Olivier) the prince-regent of Carpathia, a fictitious Balkan country which could start a European war by switching alliances, visits London for the coronation of the new British King in 1911, spends his one evening off at the Coconut Girl Club. The reputed stickler for protocol is so charmed by Elsie, the clumsy American understudy charming and cleverly played by Monroe, that he orders his British attaché to invite her to the embassy for a private supper. Unbeknownst to the Grandduke and his aids, Elsie understands German and learns of the repressive attitude of the regent and the plans of his reformist, pro-German minor son, King Nicholas, to take over power by surprise, but doesn’t dodge and tries to reconcile father and son. Surprise of surprises, the queen-dowager takes a liking to Elsie and decides to make her lady-in-waiting for the coronation day, so she stays in the picture.