tv Reframed Marilyn Monroe CNN January 22, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
nude photographs. >> modeling in the nud will pay double what regular modeling will. our world is a business of women's bodies. and she realized this is a transaction. >> magnificent. >> the female hower she's harnessed is phenomenal. she'saryching her back and her arm is up to create beautiful leans, beautiful angles. they look like 19th century nudes. >> she wasn't afraid of showing off her body, which was a great body. >> but it's easy to forget what a conservative country america was. >> nude modeling was not considered respectable. it could have ended her career.
>> i think i was sure they won't recognize me. he said, is i promise. >> this is hollywood. it is a symbol for magic, entertainment and make-believe a. r . >> reporter: after love happy, maryland thought she's on the brink of stardom. she's done it. she's there. >> but it doesn't happen. it's like marlin is just another blond 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 mar olympian is preparing for a photo shoot. >> marlin was out of contract and so she decided that she needed strategy to get her not noticed. >> i always pictured her in a go-piece bathing suit n and this funky uphill 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 mar len's first major movie act. johnny hyde. >>ion my hyde was one of the most powerful agents in hollywood. marlin wanted respect. she wanted somebody to say, you can be a star.
johnny hyde gave her that affirmation. >> she loves to be in front of a camera. >> it's all coming from up here. she's staging it. and the photographer is clicking it. >> i can't imagine him saying, hang onto the tree, put your legs up. it's just like follow the yellow brick road. follow marlin and you will get the shot. >> she seemed to really have an intimate understanding of what the camera needed from her. from she used whatever she could to try to get herself in the best position possible to be hired by these studios. >> not only is johnny courageous, he fell for marlin. her pride and sinker. >> moving into his mansion when she was in her 20s and he was in
his 50s was convenient for her and shrewd. she also seemed to genuinely really 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 dshe doesn't want to be s as this gold digger. she is determined to become a star. >> johnny secures mar len an audition at 20th century fox. for direct ore joseph manciewics new film "all about eve." >> there is about a dozen other tiny starlets for this role and mancowitz claims marlin blows everyone out of the water. >> marlin monroe in a
magnificent lineup of big-name stars and she's given a very small but key role. >> he shoots her coming up the stairs. >> i need to speak to the member crossing you off myfest list. what are you doing here? >> bet didavis, that's why we're in the movie house, we bought the camera. but he's got the camera directed right at mar len from you remember her. >> i do not. >> she is an actress. >> now, who the hell is he? he shoots her coming into our life. >> you see that man, that's max fabian. >> she's given a showcase moment. >> why do they always look like 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 a waiter, my dear, that's a butler. >> well, i can't yell at a butler, can i?
give me somebody whose name is but mr. er. >> i think her roam is the beginning of her. she looks and talks like the monroe we would come to know. >> now, there is something a girl can make sacrifices for. >> there is something about marlin that makes you seal 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 blond hair that beautiful mouth, that yield in her body. >> well done, can i see your career rising in the east like the sun. >> i am happy to announce the winner is -- "all about eve." >> despite "all about eve requests best picture when at the oscars, the head of 20th century fax darryl sandic still doesn't see mar len's potential. >> he never likes her. he never thinks she is much of an actress. >> sometime 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 marlin could be anything other than a pretty face. >> but johnny hyde persuades him to give her another shot p.. >> it's the final thing johnny hyde does for marlin. days later, he died from his heart problems. >> marlin was extremely upset. he was the only person who had believed in her for her whole career. all of a sudden she was unheard again and wondering what's going to happen next. ♪
krant watt . >> as one as you feel is not a very good movie by any standard and marlin has very uphill to do in it except stand around and be pretty. >> i'd like some coffee, dear. >> yes, mr. simmons. >> this could be marlin's last chance to impress darryl sandic and improve her worth to the studio. >> i want you to know i can give you peach with grand. i can realize just to hear it. >> she's memorable.
she's given notice in i believe the "new york times" calling her superb. it's really just kind of the pate pateriotarcy. she was dreaded. >> she said, when i look at her, i don't see star. he was a shrewd businessman and saw the potential to make money. >> at the start of the '50s around 80% of movie-goers are women andizhanic wants to draw in the men. >> as a rule i never mix business and pleasure. >> the new obsession in the '50s is very much with the hour-glass shaped woman. marlin fits the fantasy, and a big part is the her bust size,
her wait size, her as they called it often in magazines at the time, her chassis. >> they seen her up with 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 is 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, marlin appears in seven films. >> what do you say we have dinner together? >> when, where? >> some place we don't have to dress, like your you a apartment. >> she was doing a lot of bikini shots and small roles as gold
diggers. marlin's swimsuits are changing, but the roles are not. >> honey, you're not even you when you are a living doll. nice to have met you. >> hollywood is packaging her as t&a, accessible, non-threatening. >> 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 the boy, a wonderful director, said i have 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 a pub liss it to learn how to do publicity and becomes better than they are. >> marin 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 she could barely walk in and she would cause a stir. >> she realized people want to come snap picture 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 the 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 towards stardom. >> marlin's fame explodes after the press is tipped off that she's dating a major league star. joe dimaggio. >> the yankee clipper was a rendition 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' 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. >> marlin 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 marlin took then an 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 an actress marlin monroe? >> everyone was into mar levenlt you've got and up and coming career. if this is true, it will absolutely ruin you. a nose in need deserves puffs indeed. america's #1 lotion tissue. ♪ ♪ at lowe's, you never have to be finished with your finishing touches. with aisles of ways to refresh and restyle. for whatever style you're feeling. at prices you're really feelin. shop the lowe's bath style & save event now in-store and online.
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with magnilife® leg and back pain relief. and get living. available at your local retailer. >> i remember in 1952, i was just out of high school and marlin monroe was famous. everybody was like, uh-oh, her career's over. >> reports of marlin's nude photos reach fox studio head darryl sandic. >> marlin was hauled into vanik's office to account for herself. an she was put in front of all of the powerful male studio heads. >> they said, did you call for a calendar? 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 were great anxieties. if you say you didn't, i did what i did. you know, i should say that i did and they were very unhappy. >> the studios thought her career would be over. but marlin devises a high stakes plan to let the public decide her fate. >> a very big journalist and a people breeder, it is my understanding she was already somewhat sympathetic to marlin. >> marlin seeks out moseby in the powder room and confiedz in
her. >> i was if debt. i barely supported myself, no one ever supported me in my life. i had no family. and i had no place to go. >> crucially what she also said is, i had nothing to be ashamed of. i've done nothing wrong. >> moseby publishes their 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. >> marlin's decision to own her nude photo shoot calendar is brave. it's bold, it's very modern. it was hers taking ownership of her own body back saying this actually doesn't belong to you. it belongs to me. >> it was a genuinely risky move and marlin didn't know how it would play out.
she was rolling the dice with her career in very real terms. >> she gave an honest, forthright response. and it was embraced by the pub public. >> once people learned more about her life, anything considered questionable was almost wiped clean. >> what are you going to do if she is not showing any shame? they didn't go, how dare you? >> marlin's honesty pays off and "life" magazine features her on the cover. >> "life" magazine, it's a true publishing empire. we are talking premier magazine. >> so to put her on the cover, it is giving the stamp of approval. >> a nude ka calendar scandal p
her in the vanguard of the revolution. >> marlin is now a household name and darryl sandic casts her in her biggest role yet. >> nation ra was a break-through role for marlin. it was her first bonified lead in an a-list film. >> in "viagra," they stressed her sexuality. i mean it's what men went to the cinema to see, they went to the see the low-cut dresses and parting 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 marlin monroe we imagine her, the full sexuality? what about it? >> not enough. >> she walked away swinging back and forth in that suggestive way. it was like, whoa, what is going on? it was a shift in the consciousness. i remember feeling that. >> she goes to the miss america panel ent in atlantic city and wear this is very, very low cut dress down to her navel. it was jlo before there was jlo. >> we are all sexual creatures, thank god. >> to see a woman so in charge of her sexuality is extremely
empowering. >> marlin is owning her sexuality. but soon, others will exploit it. >> my name is hugh hef fer. i'm publisher of playboy magazine. >> in 1953, marlin inadvertently makes history. >> she ended up being the first coffee and centerfold of "playboy." marlin had been paid $50 bucks for the no so shoot four years earlier. on the back, hugh hefner launched an empire. technically hugh hefner did nothing wrong, shins she signed aid what i her rights for that image. ethically not consulting her, it's problematic. it is, it's exploitation in my mind. >> putting those pictures in the centerfold put a layer of shame back onto the photos that marlin had insisted she was not going to be ashamed of.
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her biggest budget movie to date. the musical comedy "gentleman prefer blonds." >> could you ever, anywhere like? >> she plays gold digger. >> the performs is a really important milestone. >> how do you put it around your neck? >> you don't, lovey, it goes on your head. >> it was crucial in the evolution of marlin's star persona. she's the dumb monday who is not as dumg as they think he is. >> they told me you were stupid. you don't smart to me. >> i can be smart when i want it, most men don't like it. >> that was her line. she insisted on using it. here's what this disasterio typical dumb blond is able to do and doing. so she's playing with it.
>> i'm too old for this sort of thing. >> you are able to to not only be in the joke of it but to control it. that to me is the mark of a genius ♪ a kiss of the hand ♪ ♪ may be quite continental ♪ ♪ but diamonds are a girl's best diamonds are a girl's best friend is her 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 marlin monroe at her peak. ♪ diamonds ♪ ♪ are a girl's best friend ♪ >> still most imitated moments in film history. ♪ it is 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. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> gentleman prefer blonds tops the box office. >> with the success of gentleman prefer blonds, there is definitely a connection between lora lie lee on screen and marlin as a star. >> if you happen to have monday hair, you are considered dumb. i don't know why that is. i think it's a very limited vi view. >> people thought marlin wasn't acting because she was a great actor, to play a stupid dumbing blond woman. so it can't be an act. because that's how women are, aren't they? >> women are much different.
you are 25 and i'm 39? >> yes. what about 25 years from now when i'm 50 and you are 39? >> it suited help 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 camability at that time was huge. >> you're so strong, i'm so weak. >> she is subverting our expectations and showing you i know what you think about me. i will use that against to you get what what i want. >> men's assumptions about women are challenged in 1953 when dr. alfred kinsey publishes results from the largest ever sex survey. the kinsy report revolutionized veteran understood women's sexuality and made more and more people realize that women are sexual beings in a way they had
not realized before. that women were having extra marital affairs, that about 40% of women had 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 69ively what marlin was kind of demonstrating on the movie screen every week. >> so marlin is a rebel. she is a poor runner to the very sexual decades of the '60s and into the '70s. >> whatever anybody else thought, marlin monroe knew she was more than 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 got the most peculiar vision i ever saw. >> how do you say that? >> because are you reading that book upsidedown. >> there is no such thing. >> not you, the book. >> you see that she really was a brilliant all around actress. >> oh. >> you know, 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 news 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 slapstick style like she does in "how to marry a millionaire," she is a bit blind and keeps running into walls.
>> the movie is marlin's third hit of 1953 earning fox a total of $15 million. the equivalent of $150 million today. >> she was a star then. she had that first billing in that movie. so she made it. >> a few weeks later, production is due to start on marlin's next film for fox. the girl in pink tights. >> doug sandic wanted to continue to place here in light-hearted musical comedies the, pink tights was pretty one-note. she didn't want to be stereotyped. she literally labeled it trash. >> she also discovered that her co-star frank sinatra was being paid more than three times as much as she was. she was furious. >> the consciousness has been
for centuries that men are worth more than women. is there she was the main attraction. i mean, shelves the reason that people flocked to the theater. so it was unseen 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 is a perpetual victim, she walked off the society of "pink tights." enough said. >> >
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the marriage of marlin monroe and joe dimaggio. >> after two years of dating, marlin and joe's marriage captivates 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. >> she has very too many respects. >> when he was young. he had a very difficult time. so he understand some things are him and some things are him. >> there is the fact it
attracted a record san francisco court where the ceremony was performed. >> i can assure joe didn't tip them off. he hated all that stuff. >> the story was actually it was mar len who called up the journalist. she recognized this was an opportunity. >> she was very savvy about the media. she knew she needed the media and the media knew she needed them. >> now vaulgss, they're off on their honeymoon. >> mar len refuses to work until 20th century fox improves her pay and conditions. and now, she has more leverage. marlin was now mrs. dimaggio. she was certainly on the front pages. so it did her a lot of phases because the studios could not brush her under the carpet. >> joe was in japan for the start of the baseball season. >> mrs. joe dimaggio, marlin
monroe, that is. >> 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 is the forgotten man, which is something in japan where baseball is so popular. >> joe dimaggio was quite old fashioned in his beliefs. he wanted an old fashioned wife and you know he didn't get one. >> i wmarried when i was 18, stupidly, 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 joe dimaggio expected marlin to stop working. it's less clear marlin had any intention of fulfilling that expec
expectation. >> the second day in tokyo, mar len gets an unexpected offer. >> in 1954, the united states still has 230,000 troops in korea. because they're concerned about containing the spread of the soviet sphere of influence. >> she was asked to entertain the troops. sand she ton in the. >>. >> service men were a gig part of making her a starm. she wanted to pay it back. >> she goes to korea, dimaggio gets angry. >> the only thing i have to complain about is i i haven't seen very much of marlin. she has been touring camps, maybe after that we will be able to spend a uphill time. >> he felt once they were
married, her sexual appeal belonged to him. it doesn't occur to him that it might have been marlin. >> she guess to something like ten locations with 10,000 men at each location. and the troops go crazy. >> watching the footage of marlin 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 teeny teeny spaghetti strap dress on. but she was having that she was going to entertain these gis. >> she said, hey, guys, you made me who i am. here i am doing this for you.
[ music [ music playing ] >> it's her taking charge of her persona and using it in a deliberate and generous way ♪ diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ >> so many soldiers there. i stood out on an open stage. it was cold. i was thrilled. i didn't feel a thing. >> going on stage in front >> 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
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"the seven year itch" there was 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 going to be made next saturday night. walking over the subway grating and a gust of wind catches you and so fort. and so forth. 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 buildings. ♪
>> she and her costar tom walk out of the movie theater and she approaches a subway grating. >> oh, do you feel 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 press. 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 it is important to say that, 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 zanac's leadership, the films were going to flounder
because her career -- 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 -- on reframed: marilyn monroe. >> she wanted control of her own destiny. >> people said she's david against goliath. >> she was entering a new ring. bus stop. it was very brave. >> marilyn had a fear of being called a home wrecker.
>> arthur miller is a risky proposition. romantically and professionally for marilyn. 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. okay. really? she was one of the biggest movie stars of all time. >> she had looks, and sexuality. she was iconic. >> she became the goddess of the silver screen. people think she was the most beautiful woman in the world. >> when the camera starts, until it stops, i want to be perfect.