Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Marilyn

Marilyn in Niagara (1952) . . .
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     It seems improbable that fifty years have passed since Marilyn Monroe's death, but it really has been. It doesn't matter though because her popularity hasn't faded in the slightest since her untimely death as many star's have. Instead, it has done the exact opposite, and with each passing year Marilyn becomes more and more of a legend that we as the movie going public, classic film fans or not, have decided as her fate.
. . . and in River of No Return (1954)
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     If that's a good thing or not, I'm not sure. It seems to me that Marilyn is remembered more for her personal demons than for her acting, or lack thereof, abilities. I think that's the biggest insult one can do to her because in all reality, Marilyn Monroe was a fine actress, and I think--no, I know that's what Marilyn wanted us to remember her as.
     Perhaps limited in the roles that she could pull off, I think she really was a good actress who, if she had been treated as a human and not a sex symbol, would have been able to show off her talent; and then maybe we would remember her not just as Marilyn Monroe, but simply Marilyn Monroe.
     I have seen a very limited number of her pictures, but in everyone of them that I have seen, I've found her very enjoyable to watch. Whether she was playing a girl in the search of a millionaire, a girl who can thank the milk foundation for knowing how to kiss, or an actress who knows how to make lazy look real good, she just had this charisma with the video camera. She loved it, and in return, it loved her.
Clark and Marilyn in The Misfits (1961)
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     My intention was to do a double feature of Niagara and River of No Return, but the first few parts of Nia-gara were blocked on youtube (my classic film oasis), and I haven't been able to find it on the other websites that I frequent. And so now I've just decided to do just a post on Marilyn; I hope that Sittin' on a Backyard Fence , who along with another blogger, is doing a month long tribute to all the stars in TCM's line-up for Summer Under the Stars, doesn't mind.
Yes, she was beautiful.
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     Marilyn was a beautiful woman, no doubt about it. Yet, it seems to me that her breathtaking beauty was her biggest adversary because next to her personal issues, that's all anyone seems to remember about her as well. This past year in my U.S. History class, when we had finally reached John F. Kennedy's presidency, a classmate asked, "Didn't he bag that chick Marilyn Monroe?" When my teacher affirmed that, yes, he had an affair with Marilyn, this classmate of mine continued on and said, "Boy, that woman was FINE." Those are his exact words. I'm not making them up. It disgusted me then, and it still disgusts me now about what he said. He knows that she's beautiful, but I know without a doubt that he wouldn't be able to tell me, or anyone, one single film that she did. A total shame.
Norma Jean.
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     I wonder, had there never been a Marilyn Monroe, had she walked this Earth her whole life as Norma Jean Baker, would she have made such a big commotion? I doubt it. Had she walked down the street, on the way to the super market, and had any man seen her, I think that they would have definitely noted her beauty, but that wouldn't be it. I bet that she would have been a friend to him, and he would have stopped and talked to her about every day things. She would have smiled, laughed, and then they both would have gone their own ways, and nothing more would have been done. I think that she would have liked that; to live as Norma Jean Baker and have people like her for being her; not having people fawn all over because she was Marilyn Monroe, and never know who was her friend and who was just being a leach.
     It's sad that no one will ever know, especially Marilyn. And so since that's impossible to find out, I suggest that instead of just everybody remembering Marilyn for her beauty, remember her as a woman that struggled her whole to become someone, to make a name for herself, and then when she finally did, she was never able to be her true self again; remember her not as Marilyn Monroe, but just Marilyn. Do it for yourself, and do it for her.
Just Marilyn.
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❀Young Vintage Girl❀ said...

Beautiful passage, there are so many things I agree with wholeheartedly! And you know, I just wish everybody would have seen her for her talent and beauty in an equal manner, because I know I do and her talent is immense as well as her beauty!

FlickChick said...

We just can't get her out of out minds and hearts. No matter how she is dissected and analyzed, her mystique remains elusive and undefinable. A Lovely tribute.

The Gal Herself said...

This was so heartfelt and touching! A great way to remember her today.

Jill said...

This is fantastic! And of course we don't mind at all!

Niagara is a great film! And I love that fuchsia dress!

Thanks for a great post for the blogathon!

VP81955 said...

Saw "River Of No Return" the other day, and loved it. Monroe had fine chemistry with Robert Mitchum (it's unfortunate they were never teamed again), and she showed a toughness in her character that most Marilyn films didn't want to touch. And in this film, she proves what a wonderful way she had with a song, even with just guitar accompaniment.