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The Marilyn Monroe Mystique in the Latest Books
There are simply some things, some icons of the world, that never get old, never seem to fade into oblivion, whether you like them or not. A few come to mind: Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Beethoven and Marilyn Monroe. What could be possibly be new about any of the mentioned icons? Yet, as soon as you say it, new books, records, new discoveries occur.
MM is the first sex symbol that resonated with all male species from ages of 10 to 100. She was the eternal beauty that men dreamed of having and women wished they looked like, then and even now. I must admit, I, too, fell under her spell at age 10. It was not the sex thing but the beauty, angelic-like thing. As a kid, I loved most of the movies she was in, but the ones I watched over and over on reruns were Niagara Falls and The Seven Year Itch. Both drama, not musical films. MM did make a few records in 1950's, mostly songs from many of her musical films, like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (which still is valid).
She died August 5th, 1962, during the filming of the unreleased, Something's Got to Give, little did we know it would Ms. Monroe! The cause was an overdose, yet some conspiracy theories state it was a Mob job to silence her and her affair with both Kennedy brothers. Might be true, who knows. Even today, the FBI files on her starting in 1955 have not been released when requested under the Freedom Information Act.
New books on MM include:
Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner, which states that MM was blazing the path for Women's Lib by overcoming a difficult childhood, starting her own production company, overcoming the sex image and her bisexuality.
Marilyn Monroe: The Final years by Keith Badman. Basically, a detailed chronicles of her last 1.5 years of life with some interesting angles.
Marilyn: Intimate Exposures by Susan Bernard. Many rare outtakes and more common photos detailing her rise from the 1940s to 50s, along with MM's own memories from previously published sources.
Marilyn & Me by Lawrence Schiller. He was the photographer on the set during her last movie and MM wanted the nude scene in the pool to draw attention away from Elizabeth Taylor (another icon) who was filming Cleopatra. His photos appeared on the cover of Life magazine.