29 October 2005 | ptb-8
Astounding! Genuinely fascinating!
Yes, folks, I am astounded this excellent doco has been so neglected and forgotten as to not be available on video or DVD ...and incredibly not commented upon or reviewed on the IMDb. I can't be the only person in 2005 who knows this exists. Anyway, here's the info: made in 1963 as a Marilyn Monroe - Fox release to take the place of SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE which, as we all know was scrapped adding to her demise. Fox filled in the schedule blank (and mopped up as much MM sympathy cash as possible) by creating this 90 minute documentary with intros and links shot in cinema-scope on a blank stage with Rock Hudson narrating the clips from all her Fox films. It looks a lot like the format used later in THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT PART 2 with ladders and spotlights and studio bits for the narrator to wander through before various scenes or musical numbers are presented. Those films with sequences originally shot in 1.33 are presented as such in center frame and the cinema-scope clips fill the whole screen. I have also just discovered thanks to Box office Bill on the Roxy page on the Cinema Treasures site that in 1952, the "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" song number was shot in two formats: the 1.33 look as released in the feature GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES and an experimental cinema-scope version which sat in the vault until it was (now) possibly used as the finale for this c/s doco. I remember showing MARILYN at my cinema in the 70s and 80s and remarking how good this sequence looked in cinema-scope, thinking it was a cropped version of the 1.33. Well, not the case and there is the truth of it. Very good. Thankyou Box office Bill. So it was used eventually, but in a sad celebration. Apart from all this, MARILYN is an excellent doco and today more so as it compiles all the best Fox bits as a stand alone feature. Fox should rediscover their own excellent compilation feature here and get it out into stores on DVD tomorrow! Now if we can get FOX to do the same style of doco with "a celebration of Cinemascope" and a "Fabulous Foxes" and a "Technicolour Two hours" compilation we would sing their praises, instead of moaning the vault is locked. Start with MARILYN. This documentary is a major discovery for anyone in any century.