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Who did Marilyn Monroe Emulate and Imitate?

I'm sitting watching the campy crapshoot "Duel in the Sun" and Jennifer Jones keeps parading and sashaying and making her voice deeper. She poses and tips her head a lot like Marilyn later did.

Jones (forgive me, but ugh) was seven years or so older than Marilyn was.

Was there someone else she copied?

by Anonymousreply 53February 8, 2023 2:56 PM

Baby. She’s the original. She came about in the late 1940s.

by Anonymousreply 1July 27, 2022 10:48 PM

She certainly took inspiration from Jean Harlow, and Mae West to some degree. But she made it her own.

by Anonymousreply 2July 27, 2022 10:58 PM

Marilyn created her own character, who lives on forever.

Women emulate her. She didn’t have to emulate anyone.

Mariska’s haggard mother emulated (and literally copied) Marilyn.

by Anonymousreply 3July 27, 2022 11:00 PM

Well, her sleepy eye makeup was done similarly to Garbo's, so that was one inspiration.

The part about the fake shadow blew my mind the first time I saw this video. Genius!

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by Anonymousreply 4July 27, 2022 11:23 PM

As Celeste Holm said, she copied Betty Grable.

by Anonymousreply 5July 27, 2022 11:25 PM

I doubt her makeup was her creation, but more the creation of her makeup people and the studio. She didn’t do her own makeup for films and shoots.

by Anonymousreply 6July 27, 2022 11:25 PM

I'm not saying it was totally her creation, but certainly she could have said to Whitey, "I want my eyes to look like Garbo's."

by Anonymousreply 7July 27, 2022 11:31 PM

There was a story on another thread recounting her and a friend walking unnoticed in New York, when she said to the friend something like did she want to see her become Marilyn Monroe, at which point something seemed to emanate from her such that cars slowed down and people turned to look…

by Anonymousreply 8July 27, 2022 11:35 PM

There was a massive difference between Norma Jean and Marilyn. Both beautiful, but one deathly shy, insecure, damaged, almost like someone who wishes they could be invisible, and then there was Marilyn, a bombshell who walked with confidence and swagger, who could command a room, who was charming… and damaged.

Both stars.

by Anonymousreply 9July 27, 2022 11:44 PM

The camera loved Norma Jean Baker. She was a beauty before Marilyn was created. The platinum blonde hair only elevated the image, but she was a natural beauty with a huge presence. The minute the camera was on her, it couldn’t look away.

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by Anonymousreply 10July 27, 2022 11:50 PM

Monroe was so feminine. She had total gayface. She was probably a bottom.

by Anonymousreply 11July 27, 2022 11:54 PM

Jennifer Jones was quite something. She was one of the few, along with Gene Tierney and Rita Hayworth, who could rival Marilyn in beauty and sex appeal.

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by Anonymousreply 12November 11, 2022 10:40 PM

Jean Harlow, Betty Grable, Lana Turner (a lot), Even Betty Boop. Monroe was dumber than a box of rocks and didn't know what to do in front of a camera apart from the tits and ass display. her reputation was that "she couldn't make two sentences meet". She was a whore and the laughing stock of the fox lot. But she had that magic. she worked hard and could play saloon chanteuse well, if you didn't mind filming 98 takes of each segment of every scene.

by Anonymousreply 13November 11, 2022 10:48 PM

Jennifer Jones was very good in TENDER IN THE NIGHT, and you can't help loving her in TOWERING INFERNO. She was also a great beauty. Kind of forgetten now, isn't she ?

by Anonymousreply 14November 11, 2022 10:56 PM

Maybe a little bit of Betty Boop?

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by Anonymousreply 15November 11, 2022 11:31 PM

She had more charisma than anyone. I've posted this before, but an elderly friend of mine (long deceased) was at a party in the late 50's where it was rumored Monroe would appear. Two hours later she came in the door and the place erupted in near pandemonium. He said it was like an invisible wave hit the place. She lit up the room, her smile, her laugh. He said she glowed as if there were a spotlight on her, even though there was none. He worked in Hollywood and had met many, many stars over the years but no one came close to the sheer power of her presence.

by Anonymousreply 16November 12, 2022 12:01 AM

That's actually a brilliant question, OP.

Personally, I don't think MM emulated anybody. Certainly not Jean Harlow or Mae West or Lana Turner or Betty Grable or, god knows, Jennifer Jones! Which is kind of shocking to think just how original she was. Everyone in Hollywood, at least initially, emulated somebody.

by Anonymousreply 17November 12, 2022 12:08 AM

That doesn't mean she was an actress. She was a terrific model and a star of the color screen. Her talent was very thin

by Anonymousreply 18November 12, 2022 12:08 AM

R17 she says in many interviews that jean harlow was her Idol, and she was trying to emulate her since she was a little girl

by Anonymousreply 19November 12, 2022 12:09 AM

The camera loved her, and not just for her obvious beauty. She had her act, her "Marilyn" persona, that was almost cartoonish. But there was an underlying sadness and vulnerability that contrasted and elevated her stylized performance to another level. The ones who imitated her could never come close. The ones who've played her have all been good but still fall short. And there are many more actresses who were beautiful and far more talented than Monroe but didn't have that quality that make a star and in Marilyn's case, an icon.

by Anonymousreply 20November 12, 2022 12:31 AM

Fraus thread. i'm off

by Anonymousreply 21November 12, 2022 12:33 AM

Who else could covey so much with such simplicity. What a face.

That's a star.

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by Anonymousreply 22November 12, 2022 12:41 AM

^totally empty, dead, frozen eyes. zero inner life

by Anonymousreply 23November 12, 2022 12:46 AM

Uh, that's you when you're cumming.

by Anonymousreply 24November 12, 2022 12:51 AM

I became good friends with Monroe's first hairdresser, Sylvia Barnhart through another friend. We'd go to Sylvia's Van Nuys condo, or out to eat and just gab. She took Norma Jeane from brunette to blonde over the course of seven months. She did her hair from 1946 till around 1950-51. Her ashes were scattered at Westwood where Monroe's crypt is.

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by Anonymousreply 25November 12, 2022 12:53 AM

R21 if you can't handle us at our worst than you certainly don't deserve us at our best!

by Anonymousreply 26November 12, 2022 1:39 AM

Pre-WWII blondes were smart cookies. Afterwards, they became ditsy in such vehicles as Born Yesterday and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Marilyn played a variety of roles early in her career, but when she scored with the breathy ditzes in Monkey Business, How To Marry A Millionaire and the movie version of GPB- she got typecast.

Her best role was in the underrated The Misfits, where she integrated all her experience and training to create a sensitive, 3-dimensional 'interpretive dancer' character.

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by Anonymousreply 27November 12, 2022 2:21 AM

Not every blonde was a smart cookie.

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by Anonymousreply 28November 12, 2022 2:30 AM

r19, I don't care if MM said in interviews that she adored Jean Harlow as a child (I'm sure she did), she was nothing like Jean Harlow onscreen or off except for her blonde hair (which until MM's last year was never platinum like Jean's).

by Anonymousreply 29November 12, 2022 3:34 AM

"When she lived on Lexington Avenue, she couldn't memorize Lexington Avenue."

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by Anonymousreply 30November 12, 2022 3:55 PM

R30 What a misogynist turd. Most people cannot memorize two pages of shit. He is probably impugning Marilyn's good poon by saying she can't remember her own name. Cunt.

by Anonymousreply 31November 12, 2022 7:22 PM

Did you watch the video? Axelrod was complimentary and affectionate in the way he spoke about Monroe, mostly.

by Anonymousreply 32November 13, 2022 6:39 AM

MM should have been the first million dollar supermodel. She wasn't an actress but a magnificent face and body. Movies must have offered more money at that time. Marilyn was miscast as a movie star....she was a beautiful, beautiful woman. Still pictures / modeling would have still made her the celebrity she is today.

by Anonymousreply 33November 13, 2022 8:48 AM

Here's the description about Monroe's personal Itch script when it was sold by Heritage auction house. Sold for $83,000 and price increased to $120,000.

Marilyn Monroe Personal Heavily Hand-Annotated Shooting Script for The Seven Year Itch (TCF, 1955). Vintage original working shooting script, bearing some 550+ penciled words in her hand, plus hundreds of minor autograph additions, deletions, corrections, and encapsulations. 113-pages (missing page 25 and neatly ripped portions of the flyleaf and page 82), marked "FINAL," August 10, 1954. Cover worn and tattered, interior pages well thumbed and heavily annotated but otherwise surprisingly good. Of immense rarity and importance. In full morocco, gilt-embossed custom slipcase.

The single most famous scene in motion picture history is thirty-five seconds long. Although it took five hours to film and some fifteen hundred people gathered on a sweltering New York street to watch it being shot, it is very simple.

A young woman in a white halter dress stands on a subway grating, enjoying the breeze that fans the skirt up around her waist. She speaks three lines; most of them are about the weather. That's it. But as every film and cultural critic in the world will attest, those thirty-five seconds changed modern life forever.

Sex, hitherto seedy and menacing, difficult and dangerous, repressed and unspoken - was now, thanks to Marilyn Monroe, free, guiltless and natural. By projecting, simultaneously, voluptuous womanhood and childish innocence, she made overt sexuality unthreatening and fun. And Monroe, the quintessential Dumb Blonde, knew exactly, but exactly, what she was doing as she did it, thirty-five seconds over and over, all night long.

Here, in her heavily annotated shooting script, we see her genius - sharper, surer, more vital even, than on the screen.

by Anonymousreply 34November 13, 2022 4:54 PM

9continued) Nothing less than the sexual revolution began with these notes, as when for instance, she refers to the "subway grate" scene in the script: "Child w/a woman. Direct & fem[inine]. Open... This is everything there is in the world. Light & easy. Everything flies out of her. Newborn - the baby looking at the moon for the first time."

But if Marilyn Monroe made sex natural, that doesn't mean making it came easily. Nothing is harder to create than nature; no emotion is more complicated and difficult to portray than simple joy; and being Marilyn Monroe - so natural, simple and joyous - was, for Marilyn Monroe, a painstaking, calculated and serious business.

She who seemed so blithely unaware was, in fact, the most self-conscious of actresses. "I had no problems with Monroe," Billy Wilder said about directing her in The Seven Year Itch: "It was Monroe who had problems with Monroe." Here we see, sometimes line-by-line, how she thought about playing her scenes - even including a note to show herself thinking. Not a muscle moved, in fact, unpremeditated. "Let go of - drop - then let everything come from there - stomach"; "Look first indecisive - pause - hesitation - little smile"; "My body into his - sliding into him as if I want to sleep with him right then & there. Swing hips again"; "All together one thought." Perhaps the most remarkable note, however, is the last.

On the verso of the final page of the script, Monroe sums up how she will play the part of "THE GIRL" and in doing so, change both modern life and her own personal history. In a staccato tattoo, she writes: "Make only little effort... giving it away - yourself - not keeping anything in myself ... What is the quality of the electricity... only thru him... there is nothing else any where ... open to him, my destiny to him (help carry the burden)... play the girl open and free, and it shall help me, Marilyn to be free, direct, open, honest, frank, charming - fresh, a twinkle, only morality, nature, a moral child."

Montgomery Clift, considered to be one of the finest film actors ever, said in an interview shortly before his death that Marilyn Monroe was, hands down, the single best actor with whom he ever worked. "Marilyn was an incredible person to act with.... the most marvelous I ever worked with, and I have been working for 29 years," he declared. "She went over the fringe. Playing a scene with her, it was like an escalator. You'd do something and she'd catch it and it would go like that, just right up." But getting to the top, making the metamorphosis from Norma Jean to Marilyn; from Marilyn to superstar; from superstar to icon - it did not happen effortlessly, or accidentally, or luckily. She made it happen, all of it, line by line and scene by scene: this extraordinary script shows us how, and why.

COA from Heritage Auctions.

by Anonymousreply 35November 13, 2022 4:55 PM

I never cared for MM's movies nor have I bothered to watch them but I love her love of huge cock. She must have had a huge gash to have taken such huge cocks, gleefully. It is well known quite a few men with huge cocks filled her huge gash. We're talking 12+ inches and beer can dicks.

by Anonymousreply 36November 14, 2022 9:55 AM

[quote]"When she lived on Lexington Avenue, she couldn't memorize Lexington Avenue."

Marilyn never lived on Lexington Avenue. However, the subway grate scene was filmed on Lexington Avenue, which I've stood on.

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by Anonymousreply 37January 21, 2023 11:41 AM

^I meant to say I've stood on the grate, although I've also stood on Lexington Avenue.

by Anonymousreply 38January 21, 2023 11:44 AM
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by Anonymousreply 39January 21, 2023 11:47 AM

Ophelia wasn't fat enough but the go to...

modernity would say Betty Boop, though as the anti-Ophelia,

the streetwise and voluptuous ingenue.

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by Anonymousreply 40January 21, 2023 11:53 AM

r21 when given a choice between being the madonna or a whore, most women would prefer the whore... that is until he puts a ring on it or lesbian bed death sets in.

by Anonymousreply 41January 21, 2023 11:57 AM
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by Anonymousreply 42January 21, 2023 11:58 AM
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by Anonymousreply 43January 21, 2023 11:59 AM
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by Anonymousreply 44January 21, 2023 12:01 PM
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by Anonymousreply 45January 21, 2023 12:02 PM

Lana Turner was huge in the 1940s. Of course young Marilyn would have been influenced by her sassy, sexy movie persona.

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by Anonymousreply 46January 21, 2023 3:32 PM

Marilyn's sultry, come-hither stares were probably inspired by her future co-stars Jane Russell and Lauren Bacall.

The ditzy blonde act could've been influenced by Carole Lombard in "My Man Godrey," Gracie Allen, Judy Holliday, who was doing Born Yesterday on Broadway in 1946, and Marie Wilson in "My Friend Irma."

by Anonymousreply 47January 22, 2023 5:55 AM

[quote]Judy Holliday, who was doing Born Yesterday on Broadway

Marilyn was across the country in Los Angeles. How would she have seen Holliday onstage in NYC?

by Anonymousreply 48January 23, 2023 4:56 PM

No one- she was catnip to the camera of any kind. Olivier after knocking himself out directing her said in the dailies she blew everyone including himself off the screen. You can’t not watch her.

by Anonymousreply 49January 23, 2023 5:02 PM

"Jennifer Jones was quite something. She was one of the few, along with Gene Tierney and Rita Hayworth, who could rival Marilyn in beauty and sex appeal."

I never thought that Jennifer Jones was beautiful, there was something odd about the proportions of her face. And apparently the cinematographers of Hollywood agreed with me, because that gal was never photographed without heavy vaseline on the lens, and extremely careful lighting and camera angles. Which didn't exactly help her variable acting come across as open and natural, you know? All the care to make her look good made her stiff in most roles, with the marvelous exception of "Duel in the Sun".

And BTW, Marilyn worked with Betty Grable on "How to Marry a Millionaire", when she was a bit past her prime. By all accounts she wasn't at all jealous of Marilyn, who was on her way up as THE blonde of the decade. Grable said "I had my turn, let her have hers", and was friendly to her younger co-star.

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by Anonymousreply 50January 23, 2023 9:28 PM

I don't think Marilyn built her persona by imitating other actresses, there are echoes of other actresses in her look and some of her style, but none of them had a persona quite like hers. My theory is that while Mariilyn may have built her look on the shoulders of other blondes, her persona sprang from a straight woman trying to be everything that straight men want a woman to be. I'm serious about this, her persona was sexy in a way that straight men wish women were sexy, vulnerable in a way that's appealing but unthreatening to straight men, and totally lacking in the defenses that straight women put up when dealing with straight men.

None of the previous screen goddesses that are said to have inspired Monroe had that complete openness, one and all they played smart cookies who would protect themselves when they needed to, I think Marilyn's combination of complete openness and sheer charisma made her absolutely unique.

Also, unrealistic. Adult humans with normal IQs aren't completely open and lacking in defenses. Maybe we wish things were different.

by Anonymousreply 51January 23, 2023 9:38 PM

Joshua Logan loved Marilyn.

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by Anonymousreply 52February 8, 2023 2:44 PM

She had a je ne sais quoi. It's hard to describe. Everyone copied someone before them but the hardest part is making it your own. MM made her own persona. Just like Cary Grant did.

by Anonymousreply 53February 8, 2023 2:56 PM
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