20 August 2004 | petershelleyau
silk on one side, sandpiper on the other
This Gene Feldman documentary features funny anecdotes and insights from Sheree North and Celeste Holm especially, describing the drive and will behind Monroe's sadomasochistic help-me pose. Holm tells that Monroe studied Betty Grable, in particular, to imitate her, though Monroe only occasionally paralleled Grable's brassy quality.
Feldman edits the song Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend to footage of Monroe's ascending success at the time of the film it came from, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but the narration incorrectly names her last film as Something HAS to Give.
What emerges from this study is the irony of Monroe's celebrity and how her need for publicity and attention to further her career did not come with the respect she so wanted as an actress. The end does not comment on the way Monroe died, with no mention of the Kennedy- associated murder conspiracy theory, and the highlight of Monroe's acting is said to be in Bus Stop. Otherwise, the label 'sex goddess' is repeated to an extent that you would guess that Marilyn herself would feel is reductive.
Actors Clark Gordon and Susan Strasberg all offer impersonations of Monroe, with Strasberg's own natural elegance in counterpoint to Monroe's perceived tackiness.