tv Reframed Marilyn Monroe CNN January 16, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
that is true. >> she got everything she wanted. >> it's very interesting. >> people think "some like it hot" is the greatest comedy of all time. >> she was at the height of her success and all of a sudden the curtain came down. it's like, wait a minute. the movie's not over. >> it's hard to know where to start if you don't start with the truth. i was in debt. i got so far behind in rent, four weeks. tom kelly asked me to pose. >> it was an offer for artistic shots, which was a euphemism for nude photographs. >> modeling in the nude will pay double what regular modeling will. our world is a business of women's bodies. and she realized this is a
>> this is hollywood. it is a symbol for magic and entertainment and make believe. >> after love happy, marilyn thought she was on the brink of stardom. she's done it. she's there. but it doesn't happen. it's like marilyn is just another blonde girl. but one thing that all the great movie stars shared was determination. so of course she went back and tried again. >> a savvy 23-year-old marilyn is preparing for a photo shoot. >> marilyn was out of contract,
and so she decided that she needed strategy to get her noticed. >> this picture of her in this two piece bathing suit and this little funky dog. she's looking down and going, okay. but she looks fantastic. she was just free wheeling, you know, in every sense. just letting rip and having fun. this shoot is taking place at the home of marilyn's first major movie agent, johnny hyde. >> johnny hyde was one of the most powerful agents in hollywood. marilyn wanted respect. she wanted somebody to say, you can be a star. and johnny hyde gave her that affirmation. >> she loves to be in front of the camera. it's all coming from up here. she's staging it. and the photographer is clicking
it. and can't imagine him saying, oh, hang on to that tree. put your legs up. it's just like, follow the yellow brick road. follow marilyn and you'll get the shot. she seemed to really have an intimate understanding of what the camera needed from her. she used whatever she could to try to get herself in the best position possible to be hired by the studios. >> not only is johnny her agent, he fell for marilyn, hook, line, and sinker. >> moving into his mansion while she was in her 20s and he was in his 50s was convenient for her and shrewed but she did seem to also genuinely care for him. >> they were both taking things from it professionally as well as personally.
>> johnny had a heart condition. he wanted to marry her. he wanted to give her his money. but she would not take it. >> he doesn't want to be seen as this gold digger. she is determined to become a star. >> johnny secures marilyn an audition at 20th century fox for director joseph mankowitz's new film "all about eve. >> there's about a dozen other aspiring starlets for this tiny, walk-on role and mankowitz later claims that marilyn just blows everyone out of the water. >> here is marilyn monroe in a magnificent lineup of big name stars, and she's given a very small but key role. >> mankowitz shoots her coming up the stairs.
betty davis is in the shot >> i distinctly remember addison crossing you off my guest list. what are you doing here? >> betty davis. that's why we're in the movie house. that's why we have the popcorn but he has the camera directed right at marilyn. >> you remember miss caswell. >> miss caswell is an actress. >> who the hell is she? he shoots her coming into our lives. >> do you see that man? that's max fabian. >> she is given a show case moment. >> why do they always look like unhappy rabbits? >> because that's what they are. >> the question is when you get in there, can you do it? and right in that star-studded cast, she delivers it. >> oh, waiter -- >> that isn't the waiter, my dear. that's a butler. >> well i can't yell oh, butler, can i? maybe somebody's name is butler >> i think her role in "all about eve" is the beginning really of her. she looks and talks like the monroe we would come to know. >> now, there's something a girl could make sacrifices for. >> there's something about marilyn that makes you feel as
if you can reach out to the screen and actually touch flesh. >> i don't want to make trouble. all i want is a drink. >> it's the blonde hair. it's the beautiful mouth, the yield in her body. >> well done. i can see your career rising in the east like the sun. >> i am happy to announce that the winner is, "all about eve." >> despite "all about eve's" best picture win at the oscars, the head of 20th century fox, darryl zanuck, still doesn't see marilyn's potential. >> zanuck never likes her. he never thinks she is much of an actress. >> sometimes the way that women look overpowers our ability to see they are very gifted with a lot to offer beyond that. >> he simply couldn't see that marilyn could be anything other than a pretty face. but johnny hyde persuades zanuck
to give her another shot. it's the final thing johnny hyde does for marilyn. days later, he died from his heart problems. >> marilyn was extremely upset. he was the only person who had believed in her for her whole career. all of a sudden, she was on her own again, and wondering what's going to happen next. we're a different kind of dentistry. one who believes in doing anything it takes to make dentistry work for your life. so we offer a complete exam and x-rays free to new patients without insurance - everyday. plus, patients get 20% off their treatment plan. we're on your corner and in your corner every step of the way. because your anything is our everything.
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oh, good morning, mr. mckinley. >> good morning, harriet. bring in your book. >> yes, mr. mckinley. >> "as young as you feel" is not a very good movie by any standard and marilyn has very little to do in it except stand around and look pretty. >> i'd like some coffee, dear. >> yes, mr. mckinley. >> this could be marilyn's last chance to impress darryl zanuck and prove her worth to the studio. >> well, any howe, mr. cleveland, i want you to know i think your speech was grand. >> she is memorable. she is given notice in the "new york times" calling her superb. >> it's really the patriarchy praising the patriarchy, you know? yes. this is how we like our women. we like them objectified and she was excellent at being
objectified. >> darryl zanuck said, when i look at her i don't see star. but he was a shrewd businessman and he saw the potential to make money. >> at the start of the 1950s around 80% of movie goers are women and zanuck wants to draw in the men. >> you'll sneak a thousand wolf whistles at harriet. >> you know it's a rule. i never mix business and pleasure. >> the new obsession in the 1950s is the hour glass shaped woman. marilyn speaks to the fantasy. her bust size, her waist size, her as they called it often in magazines at the time her chassis. >> zanuck signs marilyn up to a seven-year contract with fox. >> everybody in the business at that time wanted a studio
contract. it meant you were in the door. you had a chance. but the bad thing about the contract was you really were owned in a sense by the studio. you had to play the roles they wanted. so, you know, you were in a box. >> in the first year of her new contract, marilyn appears in seven films. >> what do you say we have dinner together? >> wonderful. where? >> oh, someplace where we don't have to dress, like your apartment. >> she was doing a lot of bikini shots and small roles as gold diggers. >> marilyn's swim suits are changing, but the roles are not. >> honey, you're not even human. you're just a living doll. nice to have met you. >> hollywood is packaging her as tna. accessible, nonthreatening. >> the sexism of hollywood is so
appalling and disgusting. it's a very scary thing to think about because we still see it to this day. >> one time a very wonderful director i had no ambition but i would like very much to be a fine actress. >> she wanted to get ahead. she was determined. and she had to have strategy to do that. she hangs out with the publicist to learn how to do publicity and then becomes better than they are. >> marilyn develops her sexy, on screen persona to become an even larger than life celebrity. >> she would arrive at a party late to make people notice her. and some impossibly tight dress that she could barely walk in and she would cause a stir. >> she realized people want to come snap pictures of me.
people want to know about me. she was sort of an original kardashian in that way. she created a narrative that was visual. she would have been huge on instagram. like the biggest influencer of all time. >> she could look even beautiful in a potato sack. she had a wonderful sense of humor. she held up a mirror to the viewer saying, this is what you consider sexy, huh? okay. here it is. how am i doing? >> even though she was playing these small roles on screen, there was a lot of interest in her. so it was a stepping stone toward stardom. >> marilyn's fame explodes after the press is tipped off that she's dating a major league star. joe dimaggio. >> joe hits safely in 56
consecutive ball games. the yankee clipper was a magician with a 40-ounce bat. >> a lot of people said it was a publicity stunt. it very possibly was a publicity stunt. you leverage somebody else's stardom to add to your own. dating joe dimaggio was a very smart thing to do. he was one of the most famous heroes in the united states. >> marilyn is flooded with thousands of fan letters every week. but as her fame grows, the past comes back to haunt her. early on in 1952 the nude photographs marilyn took as a then anonymous model gained popularity and started popping up in gas stations and all over the place. soon people began to make the
connection, is this that actress marilyn monroe? >> everyone said to marilyn, you've got an up-and-coming career. if this is true, it will absolutely ruin you. your work. get $1,500 lease cash toward a 2022 es 350. ♪ ♪ [upbeat music] ♪ [sound of tape application] i just need you to sign option three. [cheering] ♪ [upbeat music] ♪ for everything we need. for everything we want. for everything we do. [cheering] we're all better off with an ally. ♪ ♪
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i remember in 1952 i was just out of high school. marilyn monroe was famous. everybody was like, uh-oh. her career is over. >> reports of marilyn's nude photos reached fox studio head darryl zanuck. >> marilyn was hauled into zanuck's office to account for herself. and she was put in front of, you know, all of the powerful male studio heads. >> did you pose for a calendar? and i said, yes. anything wrong? >> for 20th century fox, it wasn't about we really think sin is bad. it was like, wait a minute. sin might be bad for business. >> posing nude was such an explosive thing. >> there was great anxiety and
just say you didn't. i said, but i did. they were very unhappy. >> the studios thought her career would be over. >> but marilyn devises a high stakes plan. to let the public decide her fate. >> a very big journalist at that point in time, a lot of people read her. it is my understanding she was already somewhat sympathetic to marilyn. >> marilyn seeks out mosby in the powder room and confides in her. >> i was in debt. i always supported myself. no one else ever supported me in my life. i had no family. and i had no place to go. >> crucially, what she also says is, i have nothing to be ashamed
of. i've done nothing wrong. >> mosby publishes their private conversation, and the news is picked up by every wire service in the country. >> everybody was waiting to hear what she was going to say when it was exposed. >> marilyn's decision to own her nude photo shoot calendar is brave. it's bold. it's very modern. it was her taking ownership of her own body back, right? and it was her saying, this actually doesn't belong to you. it belongs to me. >> it was a genuinely risky move, and marilyn didn't know how it would play out. she was rolling the dice with her career in very real terms. >> she gave an honest, forth right response. and it was embraced by the
public. once people learned more about her life, anything that might have been considered questionable was almost wiped clean. >> what are you going to do if she's not showing any shame? can't go, how dare you? >> marilyn's honesty pays off, and "life" magazine features her on the cover. >> "life" magazine. it's a true publishing empire. i mean, we're talking seriously preeminent magazine. >> so to put her on the cover, it is giving the stamp of approval. a nude calendar scandal really put marilyn in the vanguard of the sexual revolution. >> marilyn is now a household name. and darryl zanuck casts her in her biggest role yet. "niagara" was a breakthrough role for marilyn. it was her first bona fide lead
in an a-list film. in "niagara" they stressed her sexuality. i mean, that's what people went to the cinema to see. they wanted to see the low cut dresses, the parted lips and smoldering eyes. >> get out the fire hose. >> when she comes out of that shocking pink deal, it's like, this is a creature that is quite spectacular. when we see her today, that's marilyn monroe as we imagine her. the full sexuality. >> what about it, lady? >> better not. >> she walked away, swinging back and forth in that suggestive way. it was like, wow.
what's going on? there was a shift in the consciousness. i remember feeling that. >> she goes to the miss america pageant in atlantic city and wears this very, very low cut dress down to her naval. it's j-lo before there was j-lo. >> we are all born special creatures, thank god. >> to see a woman that is so in charge of her sexuality as extremely empowering. >> marilyn is owning her sexuality. but soon, others will exploit it. >> my name is hugh hefner and i am a good publisher of playboy magazine. >> in december of 1953 marilyn inadvertently makes history. >> she ended up being the first
cover and centerfold of "playboy." marilyn had been paid 50 bucks for the photo shoot four years earlier. and on the back of those nude photographs hugh hefner launched an empire. >> technically hugh hefner did nothing wrong. since she had signed away her rights to that image. ethically, not consulting her, it's really problematic. i mean, it is exploitation in my mind. >> putting those pictures in the centerfold put a layer of shame back on to the photos that marilyn had insisted she was not going to be ashamed of. >> every copy of "playboy" sells out. marilyn has become a sensation. on the 2022 gx 460. g
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li lee. >> it's a really important mile stone. >> how do you put it around your neck? >> you don't, lovey. it goes on your head. >> it was crucial in the evolution of marilyn's career and her star persona because she is the dumb blonde who is not as dumb as you think she is. >> say they told me you were stupid. you don't sound stupid to me >> i can be smart when it's important but most men don't like it. >> that line was marilyn's line. she insisted on using it. >> she's like, here's what this stereotypical dumb blonde is really able to do and doing. so she's riffing on it. >> i'm too old for this sort of thing. >> you are able to not only be in on the joke of it but to control it, that to me is the mark of a genius. ♪ a kiss on the hand may be quite continental ♪ ♪ but diamonds are a girl's best
friend ♪ >> "diamonds are a girl's best friend" is lorali's defense against the accusation of gold digging. it is simply laying out sexual economics. ♪ diamonds ♪ >> if men can look at me and want me for my looks, why can't i want men for their money? it's the same thing, really. ♪ i don't need ♪ >> this is marilyn monroe at her peak. ♪ diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ >> it's still one of the most imitated moments in film history. ♪ living in a material world ♪ ♪ a kiss on the hand may be quite continental ♪ ♪ but diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ ♪ diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ ♪ best friend ♪
>> gentlemen prefer blondes tops the box office. >> with the success of "gentlemen prefer blondes" there is definitely a connection between lorali lee on screen and marilyn as a star. >> if you happen to have blonde hair, you are considered dumb. i don't know why that is. it is very -- i think it's a very limited view. >> people thought marilyn was in acting because she was a great actor. but also she's playing a stupid, dumb blonde woman. so it can't be an act. because that's how women are, aren't they? >> well, there isn't much difference, marilyn. you're 25, and i'm 39. [ laughter ] >> yes, but what about 25 years from now when i'm 50 and you're 39? >> it suited men to believe that she was dumb because it's unchallenging. >> because i can't trust myself with you.
>> and the supremacy of male intelligence and male capability at that time was huge. >> you're so strong and i'm so weak. >> she is subverting our expectations and showing you, i know what you think about me. and i'm going to use that against you to get what i want. >> men's assumptions about women are challenged in 1953. when dr. alfred kinzy publishes results from the largest ever sex survey. >> the kinzy report revolutionized how people understood women's sexuality and made more and more people realize that women were sexual beings in a way they had not realized before. that women were having extra marital affairs, that about 40% of women had sex before marriage. and people were shocked about this. >> women had orgasms. really? oh, my god.
we didn't know they enjoyed it. >> kinsey came along and made scientific what marilyn was kind of demonstrating on the movie screen every week. >> so marilyn is a rebel. she is a forerunner to the very sexual decades of the '60s and into the '70s. whatever anybody else thought, marilyn monroe knew she was more than just a pretty face. she knew that she had all of these other gifts that she could offer. she knew that she was funny. and so she took every opportunity that she could get to show that. >> you've got the most peculiar vision i ever saw. >> why do you say that? >> because you're reading that book upside down. >> but i'm no such thing. >> not you, the book. >> you see that she really was a brilliant, all-around actress. >> oh. >> her eyes would just do
something and she was just so comedically gifted. >> this way, please. >> she began to understand that comedy could be one of her powers. >> this way, my dear. >> i'm so sorry. >> and that the way she could fuse it with sex would be her unique brand. >> there are not many hollywood actresses of that era that combined clear, physical attractiveness and physical comedy of a slap stick style like she does in "how to mary a millionaire" where she is a bit blind and keeps running into walls. >> the movie is marilyn's third hit of 1953, earning fox a total of $15 million. the equivalent of $150 million today. >> she was a star then. she got first billing in that movie. so she made it.
>> a few weeks later, production is due to start on marilyn's next film for fox. "the girl in pink tights." darryl zanuck wanted to continue to place her in light hearted, musical comedies. pink tights was pretty one note and she didn't want to be stereotyped. she literally labeled it trash. >> she also discovered that her costar frank sinatra was being paid more than three times as much as she was. and she was furious. >> the consciousness has been for centuries that men are worth more than women. >> she was the main attraction. i mean, she was the reason that people flocked to the theater. so it was insane that she wasn't given a much more power position in terms of salary.
>> it was time to put her foot in the ground and say, no more. and she decided just to not show up to work. >> this was an early instance of time's up. >> for anyone who thinks monroe was a perpetual victim, she walked off the set of "pink tights." enough said. >> one of the great tributes we can pay in memory of president kennedy is try to enact some of the great things he sought to initiate. welcome to the next level. this is the all-new lexus nx. with intuitive tech... (car sfx: beep beep) (car sfx: watch for traffic) ...and our most advanced safety system—ever. ♪
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in-store and online. romance that thrills the world. the marriage of marilyn monroe and joe dimaggio. >> after two years of dating marilyn and joe's marriage captivities the nation. >> just because it began as a publicity stunt doesn't mean they couldn't have fallen in love and had a real relationship after that. it does seem to have been what happened. >> he has a very sensitive nature in many respects. when he was young, he had a very difficult time. so he understood some things about me and i understood some things about him. >> there is no surprise in the fact it attracted a record crowd to the san francisco court where the ceremony was performed.
>> there were hundreds of reporters. i think we can assume that joe didn't tip them off because he hated all that stuff. >> the story was that actually it was marilyn who called up the journalists. she recognized this was an opportunity. >> she was very savvy about the media. she knew she needed the media and the media knew that she needed them. >> now after congratulations they were off on their honeymoon. >> marilyn refuses to work until 20th century fox improves her pay and conditions. and now she has more leverage. >> marilyn was now mrs. joe dimaggio. she was suddenly on the front pages. so it did her a lot of favors because the studios could not brush her under the carpet. >> joe was in japan for the start of the baseball season. >> mrs. joe dimaggio, marilyn monroe that is, arrives with joe in tokyo. >> he was really supposed to be
the star of this trip. >> it's clear the japanese people want to see her much more than dimaggio. >> joe, he's the forgotten man, which is something in japan where baseball is so popular. >> joe dimaggio was quite old fashioned in his beliefs. he wanted a nice, old fashioned wife. and, you know, he didn't get one. >> i was married when i was 18, stupidly, and i said, well, i'm not going to do any cooking or cleaning. i'm working. i got berated that i was not a real woman. it seems clear that joe dimaggio expected marilyn to stop working. it is less clear that marilyn ever had any intention of fulfilling that expectation. >> on their second day in tokyo, marilyn gets an unexpected
offer. >> in 1954, the united states still has 330,000 troops in korea. because they're concerned about containing the spread of the soviet sphere of influence. she was asked to entertain the troops. and she jumped at the opportunity. servicemen were a big part of making her a star, and she wanted to pay it back. >> she goes to korea and dimaggio gets angry. >> the only thing that i have to complain about is i haven't seen very much of marilyn. she is going through the camps and so maybe after that, why we'll be able to spend a little time. >> he felt that once they were married, her sexual appeal belonged to him. but it doesn't seem to have occurred to him that it might have been marilyn's.
>> she goes to something like ten locations with 10,000 men at each location. and the troops go crazy. watching the footage of marilyn in korea really puts in the spotlight how much more politically involved and aware and cognizant she was and, also, an immense sense of care for other human beings. it just radiates out of her. it was snowing. it was freezing cold. she had this teenie, tiny spaghetti strap dress on. but she was determined that she was going to entertain these gis. ♪ >> she said, hey guys. you've made me who and what i am and here i am doing this for
you. it's her taking charge of her persona and using it in a deliberate and generous way. ♪ diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ [cheers and applause] >> the highlight of my life was singing for the soldiers there. i stood out on an open stage and was cold but i swear i didn't feel a thing except good. >> going on stage in front of a hundred thousand screaming fans is a different kind of affirmation of your popularity. she gets incredible publicity over the korean tour. >> the blonde movie star wows them and the candid cameras go into action. >> and at that point, i think zanuck just gives up. he can't stop her. >> 20th century fox relents and gives marilyn a significant pay raise. but as famous and wealthy and beautiful as she was, respect
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a huge reaction. you could see how loved she was by people because of the size of the crowds that followed her wherever she went. >> i filmed in fabulous location shots. walking over the subway grating and a gust of wind catches you and so fort. i imagine you'll stop traffic on saturday night. >> i'm looking forward to working very much. >> this wasn't about filming a movie. this was about publicizing an event. >> i was there. all of us went. it was late at night. and there were photographers all around. >> 300, 400. they're on the roofs, upper windows of the building. ♪ >> she and her costar tom walk out of the movie theater and she
approaches a subway grating. >> oh, dufrl the breeze from the subway? isn't it delicious? >> marilyn's friend the photographer sam shaw is in the crowd. his photos create history. ♪ >> it's almost like she's saying this one's for you, sam. she is playing to the photographer and she is really turning it on. >> that is the image that most people remember. it's just an exhilarating moment because you feel it's something that's happening accidentally and yet it isn't. >> it's a woman having fun with her own body and having a laugh to the camera and i think that's why it's lasted the test of time. >> oh! here comes another one. >> we thought it would be over in a minute and a half.
it was two hours of craziness. billy wilder shot the scene 80 times. to get one shot. >> there's more and more cheering and reporters, gawkers and marilyn at the center of this spectacle. >> it's hard to separate the image of self possession and beauty from feeling like she was getting eaten alive by the prez and that is the pain of our business. you become a commodity to the world. >> i was standing next to joe. after about the tenth the skirt going up he began to tremble. and i put my hand on his arm and said, joe, it is just a movie. it's not real. and he said, i realize that but
it's my wife showing off her panties. joe turned around and left. we don't know what happened. no one was in her hotel room. it was just joe and marilyn that night. >> there are stories about dimaggio beat her. those charges have never been proven one way or the other but the stories that were told are certainly plausible. >> three weeks later their marriage is over. >> let me know when you get the speed up. >> miss monroe will have nothing to say this morning. all i can say as her attorney is that this is what we would say of a conflict of careers. >> the tears are just streaming down her face. now somebody says, oh, she is a good actress.
no, no, no those are real tears. >> if domestic violence played a part in the ending of her marriage that was not something that marilyn monroe had the option of saying. >> this is during an era in which it was still seen as a husband's prerogative to hit his wife. >> women are always considered responsible. >> so marilyn is very brave to go through with the divorce. >> our marriage wasn't a happy one. it ended in nine months, unfortunately. i don't know what else to say. ♪ >> marilyn returns to work at fox studios but she just felt under the leadership her career was going to flounder because the films weren't going to be good. >> she could not get away from the typecasting. >> she could see that the act
was starting to exploit her. she needed to deconstruct what she was doing so that it wouldn't eat her alive. >> at the pinnacle of her success, marilyn monroe walks away from hollywood. >> it's astonishing that she would do that. she was flying without a net. >> she was feeling her power. and i think she wanted to see how far she could push herself. >> she had created marilyn monroe. she had made marilyn monroe a star. it was time to take marilyn monroe on the next step of the journey. next -- >> she wanted control of her own destiny. >> people said she's david against goliath. >> she was entering a new rick. bus stop. it was very brave. >> marilyn had a fear of being called a home wrecker.
>> arthur miller is a risky proposition. he is a married man who was subpoenaed by the u.s. government. >> are you a member of the communist party? >> she doesn't realize she's heading into a storm. tv is changing dramatically with 150 channels that might be channel in the near future. >> there's a lot of things that we do that you couldn't have on network television. >> people are really trying to do something adventurous. >> shame on you! >> tv has a detrimental, damaging, developmental affect on our young people. >> boo! >> now who was that? >> excellence is hard. it's very rare and why there are very few good shows and those that are good stand out. >> hold on. >> that was cool. ♪ ♪