Wednesday, June 2, 2010

H. B. Norma Jean

Just yesterday, Marilyn Monroe would have been 84 years old.  I wonder what she would look like if she had lived longer.  84 is not really that old anymore.  My mother is 89 years young, and she recently left her part time job taking care of another woman.  Jack Benny had a gig booked for his 100th birthday, and he almost made it.

Of Monroe's 33 roles, I think I like Niagara and Bus Stop the best.  They weren't big star movies, such as Some Like it Hot or How to Marry a Millionaire, so they let Marilyn do her own thing and make her own way.  You really can't miss with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, or Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable in your cast (or rather, with you in theirs!).

In Niagara you will find players who were in hundreds of other movies.  Minerva Urecal was in Man on the Flying Trapeze and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break with W. C. Fields, and also in Destry Rides Again with Jimmy Stewart.  See how things come around!  I just talked about those movies!  Minerva was in movies and on TV for 33 years.

Other names that you may actually know in Niagara...Harry Carey Jr. and Don Wilson.  But, how about Will Wright?  Click the link to IMDB and I think you will recognize his face as soon as you see it.
Bus Stop was a little later and Monroe was a star by then.  I bet she was a handful.  Hope Lange apparently had to dye her hair because Marilyn didn't want it to detract from hers.  BTW, Hope Lange married Don Murray after completing this film. 

You can also see Hans Conried in this film; and Edward G. Robinson, Jr. had a small part and appeared with Marilyn again three years later in Some Like it Hot.  Robinson only had 20 roles in movies and TV, compared to his father's 110.

It would have been very interesting to be in the bus stop that night with those people.  At least they worked everything out!  Can you imagine Marilyn living on that ranch with Bo?

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