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Monroe-esque

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ClassyCo, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Let's kick-start a thread discussing those women placed in the Marilyn Monroe mold either in Monroe's lifetime, or some time thereafter.

    There were, apparently, a multitude of women that could be grouped in the category, so let's see what we got here. Is there any of them that stand out particularly to you?

    upload_2019-3-29_21-44-10.png

    Did any of them offer any real competition, or were they all just would-be hopefuls that failed to live up to their hype?
     
  2. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Marilyn Monroe is one of Hollywood's most iconic actresses. Her appeal was certainly intriguing during her heyday, and her home studio, Twentieth Century-Fox, was eager to capitalize on their success with her. They saw her as their successor to Betty Grable, who had been the studio's biggest commodity in the forties, but had dried up by the early fifties. Monroe eventually became a bigger overall star than Grable ever dreamed of being, and rival studios wanted their own version of the blonde beauty that dominated the cuddly and often dingy starring roles in their properties.

    Universal-International Pictures was probably the first studio to want their own Monroe, even before Monroe was a major film star herself. Evidently, Universal saw what was blossoming on the Fox lot, and they snatched up a beauty of their own. Newcomer Joan Olander was rechristened Mamie Van Doren, and she was given the star treatment at Universal. Columbia Pictures initially had Cleo Moore in the mold, but her eventual niche for headlining B-film noirs triggered the studio to bring in Kim Novak to fill the Monroe-inspired bill. Paramount Pictures imported the Swedish Anita Ekberg as their breezy and foreign-accented blonde beauty, while Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the Tiffany studio of the Golden Age, seemed to be the studio with the least amount of interest in the trend, although they briefly contracted Barbara Lang to fulfill their minor interest in entering the blonde bombshell frenzy.

    Twentieth Century-Fox, Monroe's home studio, itself hired actresses to stand-in for her once she began demanding scripts more rewarding of her talents. Sheree North was the first, who was brought in once Monroe started turning down the stereotypical roles that had famed her. North tried to fill the bill, and she appeared in a handful of decently received minor classics, before being sidelined when Jayne Mansfield was picked up by Fox. Mansfield was Monroe's only true threat, but her over-publicity and the studio's refusal to broaden her range theatrically rendered her a has-been by the early sixties, and her career never recovered.

    I wanted to post a mini-summary about some of the ladies I wished to discuss in this thread, and I will get back to going through with detailing them further in the future. I hope the rest of you get on board with me on this one because I think we could enter into some interesting discussion.
     
  3. Sarah

    Sarah Super Moderator EXP: 21 Years Staff Member

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-47804616

    The last six months of Marilyn Monroe's life are to be retold in a new drama from the writer of BBC One's Trust Me.

    The series will explore the actress's relationship with Hollywood studio bosses and US President John F Kennedy.

    BBC Studios is developing the series with writer Dan Sefton and producer Simon Lupton, of Seven Seas Films.

    Sefton, whose medical drama Trust Me returns this year, said he was "thrilled... to bring this incredible true story to the screen."

    Monroe, star of such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch and Some Like It Hot, died in August 1962 at the age of 36.

    Her death, attributed to an overdose of sleeping pills, has been the subject of much controversy and speculation ever since.

    The series, with the working title The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, will be based on parts of Keith Badman's 2010 book The Final Years of Marilyn Monroe.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Jean Harlow and Jayne Mansfield springs to mind. :)
    Jean Harlow was obviously before Marilyn Monroe though. But they were all similar blonde types and sadly they all died early too. :(
     
  5. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    I see the angle you're going at there, but as you said, Harlow was before Monroe. In fact, when Harlow died 1937, the pre-fame Monroe was only eleven years old and living in foster homes. Monroe was a huge fan of Harlow, and she frequently vocalized her desire to play her favorite actress in a biopic, although the opportunity never bore fruition.

    Mansfield, on the other hand, was most definitely Monroe-esque. She was Monroe on steroids, hence the "Marilyn Monroe king-sized" nickname she had tagged on her even before she was signed to Fox.
     
  6. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Diana Dors, of cors.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator EXP: 15 Years Staff Member

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    Too bad that movie never happened. I think Marilyn Monroe would have been fab in it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Naturally, the British alternative to Monroe. I've heard her nicknamed "The English Marilyn Monroe" and "The English Jayne Mansfield". Evidently, she fits both bills.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  9. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    I agree. Monroe's infatuation with Harlow would have heightened the believability of her performance.

    Apparently, many different blonde actresses were slated, or publicized as being considered, to star in a biopic on Harlow's life. Fellow Fox actress Jayne Mansfield and Columbia contract player Cleo Moore were among those touted, before the story was later unsuccessfully produced with both Carroll Baker and Carole Lynley.
     
  10. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Been revisiting the A&E Biography on Jayne Mansfield that's on YouTube. I have an old worn out VHS copy, and when I found this online, I had to watch it. It brings back such memories of when I first got into Mansfield and her career in general.

    In all reality, Monroe's only true competition was Mansfield, especially when the latter was at her peak. There was a time around 1956-57 that Twentieth Century-Fox seriously saw Mansfield as Monroe's successor. Her star-turn in The Girl Can't Help It was a resounding success, as was her performance as film star Rita Marlowe, a send-up of Monroe's image, in the play and film versions of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? Both films were directed by Frank Tashlin, whose career started in the animation department of Warner Brothers. Tashlin took that experience and molded Jayne Mansfield into an over-the-top human cartoon. Mansfield's two Tashlin films showcase her at the peak of her fame, and are really the only two movies that put to use that comedic talent that was entirely her own invention.

    She received good notices for her role as a hard-bitten ex-stripteaser in The Wayward Bus, and the film itself enjoyed reasonable box office success. She won a Golden Globe award for New Star of the Year in 1957 for her performance. It all hit the fan with the disaster that became Kiss Them for Me, a Cary Grant comedy in which Mansfield paraded as the comic relief, and looses Grant to fashion model Suzy Parker in her film debut. That year, she orchestrated when the most famous PR stunts in cinema history when she posed in multiple photos with Italian actress Sophia Loren.

    This marked a turning point for Mansfield.

    In 1958, she was shipped overseas for The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, a mildly amusing western spoof that cast her as a tough-as-nails saloon owner. From here on out, almost all of Mansfield's movies consisted of low-budget European melodramas and comedies, few of which found any significant traction in America. It Happened in Athens, which was shot in Greece in 1960 and intended as a star vehicle for newcomer Trax Colton, was Mansfield's last film for Fox before her contract expired. Following Monroe's death in 1962, her career spiraled downward. She bared it all for Promises! Promises! (1963), which cheapened her and solidified her status as "the poor man's Monroe". She became a victim of over-publicity, and when real tragedies hit her life, few believed her.

    She divorced muscleman hubby Mickey Hargitay in 1964, and sparked a fling with theatre director Matt Cimber. It was Mansfield's idea that Cimber would give her an edge of theatrical sophistication she felt she lacked, and in some ways, be an Arthur Miller to her Monroe. The strategy didn't work. Cimber was a talentless never-was who exploited Mansfield for her name value, and in many ways fueled her further decline into drug and alcohol abuse. She toured the nightclubs, headlined in Vegas, but her film career had long been in the toilet by 1966. She costarred with Mamie Van Doren, whom she refused to share any on-camera time with, in the forgettable Las Vegas Hillbillys, and briefly returned to the mainstream for a cameo in the bedroom farce A Guide for the Married Man.

    Her final film was Single Room Furnished, an independent melodrama casting Jayne in three vignettes. The film itself is an interesting glimpse into what could-have-been for Mansfield had she been better utilized as an actress, a role she was never given the chance to master.

    Jayne Mansfield met her tragic end while en route to New Orleans in June 1967. She was thirty-four years old.

    Any Mansfield fans lurking?

    [​IMG]
     

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