Well it’s been a totally bizarre month on the book front... a total of thirty copies of my Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow biographies Something Had To Give and The Carpenters’ Daughter (respectively) have been acquired by readers in places as far away as Australia, America, Germany, Belgium... and North Tyneside... I’m thrilled!
I know that two published Marilyn authors (Michelle Morgan and Tara Hanks) have a copy of the former... one of them has already posted some comments which have now been added to the reviews elsewhere on the website. Two things surprised me... one the book wasn’t panned (phew...) and two; I was called “Kirby”! The last time that happened, it was probably followed by “... why are you late” as I dawdled homework-less into a German lesson...
“Entschuldigen Sie mich daß ich zu spät komme...”
Kirby sits down... head bowed... as the teacher picks up a book about Marilyn Monroe...
As last year marked the centenary of Jean Harlow’s birth, so this August will see the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death... the bandwagon is rolling and I’m running as fast as my ageing legs will carry me to try and jump aboard!!!
A few things are pretty certain... a few of her films will be shown on telly (if one happens to be called Bus Stop, give it a wide berth..). My personal favourite is Don’t Bother to Knock and I must admit I’ve watched Marilyn’s lengthy wiggle in Niagara once or twice (or more) too. Interestingly... well reasonably... the latter is the only film in which her character dies... which is sad... and in which her lifeless body manages to change position between long and close-up shots... which is either shoddy continuity or quite a clever trick depending on your point of view...
I digress... I would wager that the “anniversary” will also prove an opportune moment to reopen (if it was ever closed) the debate into the circumstances of her death. I’ve read many different theories... a lot of which were (to me at least) pretty compelling, but for what it’s worth I believe her death was accidental... two doctors (Hyman Engelberg and Ralph Greenson) unwittingly... at best... allowing the situation to arise where a fatal overdose could have been taken by or more likely administered to the actress.
Engelberg was, I believe, in the midst of a marriage break-up... Greenson’s relationship with Marilyn went way beyond the bounds of professional doctor/patient and with supplies of Nembutal and Chloral Hydrate coming from two sources... was it simply an accident waiting to happen?
Anyway... must dash... the bandwagon’s gathering speed...
All my own work... almost.