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Marilyn Monroe Revisited

One hundred years ago on August 5, the International Herald Tribuneran the following article:

Marilyn and Shrek on Hollywood Boulevard. Photo by: Susan Marg

“A Call for Modest Dressing”

NEW YORK — An appeal is addressed by Miss G. Trenholm, the settlement worker, to fashionable women to inaugurate an era of modest dressing. Miss Trenholm declares that the greatest problem confronting the United States is the extravagance, inefficiency, lack of modesty, and selfishness of its women and young girls. Working girls, she says, slavishly imitate the styles of dress set by their fashionable sisters. She said there is quite a “subtle poisoning of all our femininity, and it is not working upward from poverty into prosperity, but downward from prosperity into poverty.”

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Values change.  Styles change.  And life in these United States changes.

Fifty years later, also on August 5, The International Herald Tribune ran the following article:

Marilyn Monroe Dies”

HOLLYWOOD — Actress Marilyn Monroe, sex symbol of her generation, was found dead early today [Aug. 5], her nude body lying face down on her bed and her hand clutching a telephone. Police said Miss Monroe, 36, took an overdose of barbiturates. A bottle which contained 40 to 50 sleeping pills was found empty by her bed when police arrived.

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This past August on the same date, 20th Century Fox, which had employed Monroe for most of her career, released a seven-disc Blu-Ray boxed set with five remastered Fox titles in which she starred, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There’s No Business Like Show Business, as well as Some Like It Hot and The Misfits from United Artists.  The New York Times described the image and sound quality as “simply superb.”

Now recognized as much as being a fashion icon for her form-fitting, curve-enhancing attire, platinum blonde hair, and bright red lipstick as for her star turns on the big screen, Marilyn Monroe lives on.

Some things never change.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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50 Years Ago in Pop Culture: Shaken, Not Stirred

Photo by: beautyredefined

1962 was a very good year at the movies with something for everyone.

There was drama, horror, westerns, and political thrillers, not to mention the musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.   To name more names, John Frankenheimer directed Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate.  Sam Peckinpah made Ride the High Country.  James Stewart and John Wayne shared top billing in John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

And let’s not forget the foreign films that were released that year. Jules and Jim, Knife in the Water, Lolita, and The Exterminating Angel by François Truffaut, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, and Luis Buñuel, respectively, are all classics.

While the remake of Mutiny on the Bounty took place on the high seas, it was Lawrence of Arabia with its sweeping desert landscapes that won for   Best Picture at the 35th Academy Awards, as well as in six other categories.

But it was Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, which created a franchise that is still with us today.

Sean Connery was cast as 007 because the producers liked how he was a big, tough-looking man who nonetheless moved gracefully like a cat.

Ursula Andress was cast as Honey Rider because the producers liked how she looked, particularly in a bikini.

The New York Times movie critic, Bosley Crowther, described Dr. No as “pure, escapist bunk,” but he recommended that everyone make “the acquaintance of Ian Fleming’s suave detective.”

“It’s not the mystery that entertains you,” he explained. “It’s the things that happen along the way — the attempted kidnapping at the Jamaica airport, the tarantula dropped onto Bond’s bed, the seduction of the Oriental beauty, the encounter with the beautiful blond on the beach of Crab Key.”

Daniel Craig currently plays the man with the golden gun and a license to use it.  He’s the Bond for this generation, prickly, but not finicky.   After losing big in a high stakes poker game, he orders a vodka martini.  “Shaken or stirred?’ the bartender asks.  “Do I look like I give a damn?” he retorts.

This November Skyfall, the twenty-third 007 flick, will be released.  I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Craig playing the secret agent man for the third time has a new set of clothes.   And he’s looking good!

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Watching the introduction to Dr. No. brings back so many memories.  Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5jjYLsh1V4