Web Dreamtime
SiteSearch Google

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Marilyn Monroe - Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

"I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful." ~ Marilyn Monroe

I think I'm taking that as the new Dreamtime motto. Of course being obstinate, we'd prefer money too. Marilyn at her best, with "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" from 19 and 53's Gentleman Prefer Blondes. Our Host played T-Bone Burnett's very nice cover of the song on the "Friends and Neighbors" episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, and you can hear Marilyn's original as background during Mr. D.'s commentary.

Marilyn's birthday was this past Monday, June 1st. She would have been 83, which should give us all pause for a moment. She was 27 when she did Gentleman, earning $18,000 for the role, which Fox considered a bargain. Betty Grable, who was originally cast for Gentleman, was commanding $150,000 at the time. Fox decided to bet on a younger (and cheaper) sex bomb... and the rest, as they say, is history.

The studio wanted to dub Monroe's singing voice, thinking it too high-pitched and childish. Sanity eventually prevailed, and only the opening operatic "No, no, no" segment was dubbed with another singer's voice. Rumor has it though that the fabulous M's posterior was replaced by a body double in a least one shot when it was felt that her tail end was wagging too much. Dancing coach Gwen Verdon was brought in to instruct Monroe and co-star Jane Russell in the art of dance and sexy walk and reportedly stood in for both in several scenes when they couldn't get their bottoms to sway to director Howard Hawks' satisfaction.

Verdon would later go on to become the star of Broadway's Can-Can.

And yes, that's a "way homer."

No comments: