60th Anniversary: ​​The Legend of Monroe’s ‘Shattered’

Monroe set two records that year, six decades after her yet to be fully explained death, likely from an overdose of sleeping pills, on the night of August 4, 1962: In May, Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” picture sold at auction in New York for $195 million (about 185 million euros), making it the most expensive work of art of the 20th century ever sold at auction.

Also in May, Kim Kardashian presented the highlights of this year’s MET gala in an original Monroe costume. The bright beige dress Kardashian wore was what Monroe wore when she sang a birthday song for then-President of the United States John F. Kennedy in 1962. The star paid nearly five million dollars (about 4.8 million euros) for it, making it probably the most expensive dress in present time.

Torn between an icon and an ordinary person

Besides projecting the star and sex symbols that Monroe remains today, the fascination with the downside to her success continues. The young woman, who has made her way out of difficult circumstances and can be modeled as the embodiment of the American dream in order to be marketed as a blonde and naive girl, contrasts with the image of Private Monroe.

A woman who desperately wanted to have a baby but had suffered a number of miscarriages, is an intellectual the studio advised her not to see reading books that would have been labeled “radical” in the McCarthy era.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Mailer regular writer has worked to resolve the tension between “private” and “public” Monroe. About her he wrote: “Like an animal, in the picture she is not only herself, but herself plus the sum of all that surrounds her.” The “New Press” actor was supposed to write a picture book script for Monroe in the early 1970s, and the result was a just-reprinted “autobiographical novel.”

‘Blonde’ fuels discussions

However, the image of Monroe’s “double” had a lasting effect on a similar project: the novel “The Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates, which in 2001 completed and condensed Monroe’s biography with more than 1,000 pages of novels. A new autobiography from Australian director Andrew Dominic, set to debut at the Venice Film Festival and available to stream on Netflix in September, is based on the novel. Cuban actress Ana de Armas takes the title role.


Anna de Armans as Marilyn Monroe in The Blonde

The waves have been surging because of the movie for a long time. The first trailer was released last week. The nearly two-minute video from Thursday shows many aspects of the acclaimed Hollywood legend plagued by self-doubt.

a matter of concentration

“Marilyn Monroe is only on screen,” says de Armas as Monroe in one scene. She can’t get used to fame, she always feels like Norma Jeane. The trailer shows famous scenes from the movie and the iconic moment when the star is standing on a subway ventilation shaft and her white dress mounts.

Scene from the movie


De Armas as Monroe reenacts the famous scene above the subway shaft

After the trailer was released, de Armas’ actors were criticized: her tone did not match Monroe’s breathtaking tone. According to CNN, Mark Rosen, head of entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), who owns the Monroe property, disagreed: “Any actor who takes on this role knows they have big shoes to fill. From the trailer alone, it looks like Anna was A great choice for an actress because she embodies Marilyn’s charm, humanity and vulnerability. We can’t wait to see the whole movie!”

An entirely different critique of Oates’ novel and indirectly to Dominic’s film came from Monroe biographer Anthony Summers in The Guardian. In her account, Oates recounts how Monroe was murdered and suggests that Robert Kennedy is related to her—a thesis that is repeated over and over again. “Reliable information indicates that Kennedy was allied with Monroe. Research says that his brother Robert also had some kind of hidden connection with her. However, there is no evidence that they or anyone else killed them.”

Fact vs Fiction

Netflix also carried out his autobiography and basic research. The documentary “The Marilyn Monroe Mystery: The Unheard Tapes” has reached an audience of millions. In the end, repeated attempts to explain the “Monroe legend” show one thing. The icon’s media style created a mixture of fact and fiction during Monroe’s life, which was such a strong influence that even 60 years later it is still too early to fully dissolve this amalgam.

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