Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe


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My Week With Marilyn


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St. George Openair Cinema Celebrates Its Opening Night With The Sydney Premiere Of My Week With Marilyn

Sydney will get a bit of the Hollywood glam treatment when the premiere screening of 'My Week With Marilyn' opens the 2012 season of St. George OpenAir Cinema on 11 January.

The Oscar® buzz has continued on Michelle Williams' due to her impressive portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.

The flick covers matters such as her charm, sexiness, daring, challenges and Monroe's trip to England for 'The Prince and the Showgirl' with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh).

Movie Summary...

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.

St George Openair Cinema...

Also announced as features of the 2012 season are preview screenings of THE ARTIST, a gorgeous homage to silent films that proved a sensation at Cannes earlier this year where it was awarded best actor, J. EDGAR directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the FBI’s infamous boss, and GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE a poignant French film which explores our lasting attachment to first love.

The 2012 OpenAir program will also include blockbusters such as MONEYBALL, which stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, and the hilarious comedy THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE, which follows on from the edgy UK TV series about the over-imagined sexual ambitions of a group of young males.

The 2012 St.George OpenAir Cinema program will feature fourteen premiere or preview screenings, all the major summer releases, and a selection of the year's best indie films.

The full program will be announced on Friday 9 December with tickets on sale from 9am on 15 December. Last year more than 30,000 tickets and over a dozen screenings were sold out in the first half hour alone, so be quick.

The full 2012 program will be available on online from Saturday 10 December, visit

Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney - adjacent to Royal Botanic Gardens

January 11 to February 18 2012
Gates, bar and restaurant open from 6.15pm
Films commence shortly after nightfall (approx. 8.30-8.45pm)

Tickets on sale from Thursday 15 December via the event website
Advance Bookings*: General $30 / concession $28 + booking fee Door Sales*: General $35 / concession $32 *additional costs may apply for special presentations.

My Week With Marilyn: The Cast...

Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe
Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier
Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark
Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike
Emma Watson as Lucy
Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller
Dominic Cooper as Milton H. Greene
Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh
Derek Jacobi as Sir Owen Morshead
Zoë Wanamaker as Paula Strasberg
Richard Clifford as Richard Wattis
Philip Jackson as Roger Smith
Simon Russell Beale as Admiral Cotes-Preedy

Studios: The Weinstein Company, BBC Films, Lipsync Productions

Directed by Simon Curtis
Produced by David Parfitt and Harvey Weinstein

Box Office to date: $11,106,287

Her premature death was classified as a probable suicide. Conspiracy theorists speculate that she was murdered. She is #9 on the Forbes top earning dead celebrities list.

Early years

While her husband was in the Merchant Marine during World War II, Norma Jeane Dougherty moved in with her mother-in-law where she started working in the Radioplane Company factory owned by Hollywood actor Reginald Denny. Her job required spraying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspecting parachutes. Army photographer David Conover was scouting local factories, taking photos for a YANK magazine article about women contributing to the war effort. He saw her potential as a model, and she was soon signed by The Blue Book modeling agency. Shortly after signing with the agency, Monroe had her hair cut, straightened, and lightened to golden blonde. She soon began researching actresses, enrolling in drama classes, and singing classes.

She became one of Blue Book's most successful models, appearing on dozens of magazine covers. In 1946, she came to the attention of talent scout Ben Lyon. He arranged a screen test for her with 20th Century Fox. She was offered a standard six-month contract with a starting salary of $125 per week.

Lyon suggested she adopt Marilyn (after the famous actress Marilyn Miller) as her stage name, since Norma Jeane was not considered commercial enough. For her last name, she took her mother's maiden name. Thus, the 20-year-old Norma Jeane Baker became Marilyn Monroe. During her first six months at Fox, Monroe was given no work, but Fox renewed her contract and she was given minor appearances in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and Dangerous Years, both released in 1947. [20]In Scudda Hoo!, her part was edited out of the film except for a quick glimpse of her face when she speaks two words. Fox decided not to renew her contract again. Monroe returned to modelling and began to network and make contacts in Hollywood. During this time is when she posed for nude photographs which would later be featured in the first issue of Playboy.

In 1948, during a six-month stint at Columbia Pictures, she starred in Ladies of the Chorus. However the low-budget musical was not a success and Monroe was dropped yet again. She then met one of Hollywood's top agents, Johnny Hyde, who had Fox re-sign her after MGM turned her down. Darryl F. Zanuck, the vice-president of Fox, was not convinced of Monroe's potential, but because of Hyde's persistence, she gained supporting parts in the Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1949), and in Fox's All About Eve and MGM's The Asphalt Jungle (both 1950). Even though the roles were small, moviegoers as well as critics took notice. Hyde also arranged for her to have minor plastic surgery on her nose and chin, adding that to earlier dental surgery.

The next two years were filled with inconsequential roles in standard fare such as We're Not Married! and Love Nest. However, RKO executives used her to boost box office potential of the Fritz Lang production Clash by Night. After the film performed well, Fox employed a similar tactic, and she was cast as the ditzy receptionist with Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in Howard Hawks's slapstick comedy Monkey Business. Critics no longer ignored her, and both films' success at the box office was partly attributed to Monroe's growing popularity.

Fox finally gave her a starring role in 1952 with Don't Bother to Knock, in which she portrayed a deranged babysitter who attacks the little girl in her care. It was a cheaply made B-movie, and although the reviews were mixed, they claimed that it demonstrated Monroe's ability and confirmed that she was ready for more leading roles. Her performance in the film has since been noted as one of the finest of her career.


Monroe proved she could carry a big-budget film when she starred in Niagara in 1953. Movie critics focused on Monroe's connection with the camera as much as on the sinister plot. She played an unbalanced woman planning to murder her husband.

Around this time, the nude photos of Monroe began to surface, taken by photographer Tom Kelley during her unemployment. Prints were bought by Hugh Hefner and, in December 1953, appeared in the first edition of Playboy. To the dismay of Fox, Monroe decided to publicly admit it was indeed her in the pictures. When a journalist asked her what she wore in bed she replied, "Chanel no.5".[29] When asked what she had on during the photo shoot, she replied, "The radio".

Over the following months, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire cemented Monroe's status as an A-list actress, and she became one of the world's biggest movie stars. The lavish Technicolor comedy films established Monroe's "dumb blonde" on-screen persona.

In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Monroe's turn as gold-digging showgirl Lorelei Lee won her rave reviews,[31] and the scene where she sang "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" has inspired the likes of Madonna,[32] Kylie Minogue[33] and Geri Halliwell. In the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Monroe and co-star Jane Russell pressed their foot- and handprints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

In How to Marry a Millionaire, Monroe was teamed up with Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable. She played a short-sighted dumb blonde, and even though the role was stereotypical, critics took note of her comedic timing.

Her next two films, the western River of No Return and the musical There's No Business Like Show Business, were not successful. Monroe tired of the roles that Zanuck assigned her. After completing work on The Seven Year Itch in early 1955, she broke her contract and fled Hollywood to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York. Fox would not accede to her contract demands and insisted she return to work on productions she considered inappropriate, such as The Girl in Pink Tights (which was never filmed), The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, and How to Be Very, Very Popular.

Once in New York Monroe set up her own production company Maryiln Monroe Productions with fashion photographer Milton H. Greene. She told a press conference she had set up the production company 'so I can play the better kind of roles I want to play.

As The Seven Year Itch raced to the top of the box office in the summer of 1955, and with Fox starlets Jayne Mansfield and Sheree North failing to click with audiences, Zanuck admitted defeat and Monroe returned to Hollywood. A new contract was drawn up, giving Monroe approval of the director as well as the option to act in other studios' projects.

The first film to be made under the contract and production company was Bus Stop, directed by Joshua Logan. She played Chérie, a saloon bar singer who falls in love with a cowboy. Monroe deliberately appeared badly made-up and unglamorous. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for the performance and was praised by critics. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times proclaimed: "Hold on to your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress." In his autobiography, Movie Stars, Real People and Me, director Joshua Logan wrote: "I found Marilyn to be one of the great talents of all time... She struck me as being a much brighter person than I had ever imagined, and I think that was the first time I learned that intelligence and, yes brilliance have nothing to do with education."

The second movie filmed under her production company was The Prince and the Showgirl starring Laurence Olivier. Olivier praised Monroe's performance by saying she was, "a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she is also an extremely skilled actress" However Olivier became furious at her habit of being late to the set, as well as her dependency on her drama coach, Paula Strasberg. Monroe's performance was hailed by critics, especially in Europe, where she was handed the David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award, as well as the French Crystal Star Award. She was also nominated for the British BAFTA award.

Later years

In 1959, she scored the biggest hit of her career starring alongside Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. After shooting finished, Wilder publicly blasted Monroe for her difficult on-set behavior. Soon, however, Wilder's attitude softened, and he hailed her as a great comedienne. Some Like It Hot is consistently rated as one of the best films ever made. Monroe's performance earned her a Golden Globe for best actress in musical or comedy.

After Some Like It Hot, Monroe shot Let's Make Love directed by George Cukor and co-starring Yves Montand. Monroe was forced to shoot the picture because of her obligations to Twentieth Century-Fox. While the film was not a commercial or critical success, it included one of Monroe's legendary musical numbers, Cole Porter's "My Heart Belongs to Daddy".

Arthur Miller wrote what became her and her co-star Clark Gable's last completed film, The Misfits. The exhausting shoot took place in the hot Nevada desert. Monroe, Gable and Montgomery Clift delivered performances that are considered excellent by contemporary movie critics. Tabloid magazines blamed Gable's death of a heart attack on Monroe, claiming she had given him a hard time on the set. Gable, however, insisted on doing his own stunts and was a heavy smoker. After Gable's death, Monroe attended the baptism of his son.

In 1961 some of the most famous photographs of Monroe were taken by Douglas Kirkland as a feature for the 25th anniversary issue of LOOK magazine.

Monroe returned to Hollywood to resume filming on the George Cukor comedy Something's Got to Give, a never-finished film that has become legendary for problems on the set and proved a costly debacle for Fox. In May 1962, she made her last significant public appearance, singing Happy Birthday, Mr. President at a televised birthday party for President John F. Kennedy.

After shooting what was claimed to have been the first ever nude scene by a major motion picture actress, Monroe's attendance on the set became even more erratic. On June 1, her thirty-sixth birthday, she attended a charity event at Dodger Stadium.

Financially strained by the production costs of Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Fox dropped Monroe from the film and replaced her with Lee Remick. However, co-star Dean Martin, who had a clause in his contract giving him an approval over his co-star, was unwilling to work with anyone but Monroe. She was rehired.

Monroe conducted a lengthy interview with Life, in which she expressed how bitter she was about Hollywood labeling her as a dumb blonde and how much she loved her audience. She also did a photo shoot for Vogue and began discussing a future film project with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, according to the Donald Spoto biography.

She was planning to star in a biopic of Jean Harlow as well as starring alongside Jack Lemmon in Irma La Douce, a Billy Wilder comedy that eventually starred Shirley MacLaine. Other projects under consideration were What a Way to Go! (in which Shirley MacLaine replaced her), Kiss Me, Stupid, a comedy starring Dean Martin and Kim Novak, and a musical version of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.

Before the shooting of Something's Got to Give resumed, Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home on the morning of August 5, 1962. She remains one of the 20th century's legendary public figures and archetypal Hollywood movie stars. (Credit: Wikipedia).