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Marilyn Monroe Smokes Pot on Film? + Christmas Cheer & Horror Mix at Packard

Marilyn Monroe smokes pot: Home movie around the time of Some Like It HotMarilyn Monroe smokes pot? As everyone's pot-smoking grandmother used to say, “Some like pot, some like it not.” Marilyn Monroe may have been among the “some” who did like it, as seen in a home movie shot around the time she was involved (or was seen) in Billy Wilder's 1959 classic comedy Some Like It Hot. Monroe, who die at age 36 in August 1962, would complete only two other movies: George Cukor's Let's Make Love (1960) and John Huston's The Misfits (1961). In June 1962, she was fired from Cukor's Something's Got to Give; she was later rehired, but died before production on the film could be resumed. The old footage was scrapped, and the love quadrangle comedy was reshot with Doris Day in the Marilyn Monroe part. Under the direction of Michael Gordon, it came out in 1963 as Move Over Darling, also with James Garner, Polly Bergen, and Chuck Connors.

Home movie of Marilyn Monroe smoking pot?

According to reports, a home movie showing Marilyn Monroe supposedly smoking pot at a friend's house in New Jersey in the late 1950s will shortly be up for sale on eBay.

The 8mm film, which has no sound, was shot by a friend – who has chosen to remain anonymous – and is supposed to have been gathering dust in an attic for years.

New York-based collector Keya Morgan has told the media that he bought the film for $275,000 and will now resell it to the highest bidder.

In the pot-smoking Marilyn Monroe movie, the actress, accompanied by a couple of friends, takes several puffs from a (marijuana?) cigarette, inhales a little, giggles a lot, and seems to blow a couple of kisses at the camera. All in glorious Homemoviecolor. See below.

Marilyn Monroe smoking pot (?) in home movie from the late 1950s.

'Some Like It Hot'

Marilyn Monroe, who died from a barbiturates overdose in August 1962, was already a major Hollywood name at the time the pot-smoking home movie was shot.

By then, she had already starred in classics and near-classics such as Niagara, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, The Seven Year Itch, and Bus Stop.

At the time of her on-camera pot-smoking fun (assumed to be 1958/1959), Monroe was married to playwright Arthur Miller. The couple, together since 1956, would divorce in 1961. Her movie (project?) then was Billy Wilder's comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), co-starring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, and one of her biggest hits.

Marilyn Monroe would complete only two more movies before her death: George Cukor's Let's Make Love (1960), opposite Yves Montand, and John Huston's troubled The Misfits (1961), with Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The Prisoner of Zenda 1937: At his best as villainous Rupert of HentzauDouglas Fairbanks Jr. in The Prisoner of Zenda 1937. The son of silent screen superstar Douglas Fairbanks and a middle-league – and generally lackluster – leading man in the first half of the 1930s, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was at his very best as the villainous Rupert of Hentzau in John Cromwell's 1937 classic The Prisoner of Zenda, based on Anthony Hope's 1894 Ruritania-set novel. Unfortunately, Fairbanks Jr. went back to playing heroes in his later movies, emulating his father in swashbucklers/actioners such as Gunga Din, The Sun Never Sets, The Corsican Brothers, Sinbad the Sailor, and The Exile.

Ronald Colman & Ann Sheridan: Packard Campus movies

Below are some of the offerings at the U.S. Library of Congress's Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, in December 2009 (see detailed schedule further below). There's no Marilyn Monroe, but Madeleine Carroll was another great-looking blonde.

Centenarian Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

A David O. Selznick production, The Prisoner of Zenda is surely one of the best – and best-looking – mythical kingdom movies ever made.

For starters, it's superior to Rex Ingram's lavish 1922 version, which, though enjoyable, is too stately for its own good. As a plus, the leads in the 1937 version are all first-rate: Ronald Colman in a dual role, Madeleine Carroll, Mary Astor (whose sexually “explicit” diary caused a stir during filming), and, surprisingly, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., perfectly cast as the villainous Rupert of Hentzau (Ramon Novarro in the original).

Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who would have turned 100 next Dec. 9, is the – much less effective – leading man in the so-so comedy Joy of Living, one of the weakest exemplars of the screwball genre. But since Irene Dunne is the film's leading lady, that in itself makes the Tay Garnett-directed romp a must-see.

John Gilbert & Woody Allen at their best

The biggest domestic box office hit of the silent era, The Big Parade remains an impressive anti-war romantic drama, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer superstar John Gilbert in top form as a doughboy who loses a limb but finds love during World War I. Renée Adorée's farewell moment is as heartrending today as it was more than eight decades ago.

Along with Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Bullets Over Broadway, the funny, witty, touching, disturbing Manhattan is one of Woody Allen's greatest films. And courtesy of this year's Honorary Oscar recipient Gordon Willis, Manhattan itself never looked better, whether in black in white or in color. Screenplay by Allen and Marshall Brickman.

'The Man Who Came to Dinner'

On stage, George S. Kaufman (mentioned in Mary Astor's aforementioned scandalous diary) and Moss Hart's The Man Who Came to Dinner can be hilarious. The great lines and situations are all there; the issue is whether the cast will be up to them.

Unfortunately, the 1941 film version – adapted by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein – stars the effete, mannered Monty Woolley as the New York radio celebrity who comes to dinner (in Ohio) and stays on, while Bette Davis is a disappointingly colorless “straight woman.” That said, Ann Sheridan, Reginald Gardiner, Mary Wickes, and a group of penguins are all excellent in supporting roles of varying degrees of importance.

George Cukor would surely have handled The Man Who Came to Dinner much more deftly than William Keighley. It's too bad that Warner Bros. didn't get to borrow him from MGM.

Christmas horror

Featuring a seemingly never-ending Christmas celebration, Fanny and Alexander is one of Ingmar Bergman's most gripping psychological dramas – one that should be screened in a double bill with the even more disturbing It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Featuring small-town “common folk,” an avaricious banker, a well-intentioned but misguided angel, a flood of sentiment and moralistic platitudes, fake snow, and a little girl playing the piano off-key, It's a Wonderful Life is the stuff that nightmares – before, during, and after Christmas – are made of.

'We're No Angels'

I've yet to check out We're No Angels (1955), but with a cast featuring Humphrey Bogart, who did become a more than capable performer in his later years; future two-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Peter Ustinov (Spartacus, 1960; Topkapi, 1964); and, especially, veteran Joan Bennett (Little Women, The Reckless Moment), the crime comedy sounds like a must-see.

Michael Curtiz, who helped to solidify Bogart's star persona in Casablanca, directed from a screenplay by Ranald MacDougall (Mildred Pierce), itself an adaptation of Albert Husson's play.

Neil Jordan's 1989 flop remake starred Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, and Demi Moore.

Packard Campus

According to the Packard Campus press release, short subjects will be presented before select programs. All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but bear in mind that titles are subject to change without notice.

For more information, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.

The Man Who Came to Dinner with Monty Woolley Bette Davis Reginald Gardiner: Would-be classicThe Man Who Came to Dinner with Monty Woolley, Bette Davis, and Reginald Gardiner. Directed by William Keighley, Warner Bros.' 1941 film version of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's The Man Who Came to Dinner is a perfectly watchable comedy – one that should have been a brilliantly hilarious classic. Besides Keighley's no-more-than-competent direction, the other problem with the film is the casting of the two leads: top box office draw Bette Davis, delivering a colorless performance in the “straight woman” role, and Monty Woolley, reprising his hit Broadway star turn as the acerbic titular character, Sheridan Whiteside (based on The New Yorker critic/commentator Alexander Woollcott). It's really too bad that Whiteside wasn't played by Charles Coburn, whose acting style was modulated for the big screen; it's also too bad that The Man Who Came to Dinner wasn't remade a few years later at 20th Century Fox, where Whiteside could have been played by the effete – but highly capable – Clifton Webb. On the positive side, Reginald Gardiner is excellent as playwright Beverly Carlton (based on Noël Coward).

Packard Campus movie schedule

Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Manhattan (United Artist, 1979*)
A television comedy writer in New York falls for his best friend's girl. Directed by Woody Allen, who stars with Diane Keaton, the film was named to the National Film Registry in 2001.
*No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or an adult guardian.

Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.
The Prisoner of Zenda (Selznick International Pictures, 1937)
An Englishman on holiday in Ruritania must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped. Starring Ronald Colman and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the film was directed John Cromwell. It was named to the National Film Registry in 1991.

Saturday, Dec. 5, 2:00 p.m.
A Walt Disney Shorts Festival (Walt Disney Pictures)
Showcased are classic Disney cartoons and live-action short subjects, including some holiday favorites with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Goofy and many more.

Thursday, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Joy of Living (RKO, 1938)
A Broadway musical star burdened with a houseful of leeching relatives falls for an eccentric charmer who teaches her to have fun. Directed by Tay Garnett, the film stars Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Irene Dunne.

Friday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Fanny and Alexander (Embassy Pictures Corporation, 1982)
A widowed actress and her children suffer hardships when she marries a conservative church leader. Produced in Swedish with English subtitles, the film was directed by Ingmar Bergman and stars Pernilla Allwin and Bertil Guve.

Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.
The Big Parade (MGM, 1925)
The son of a rich businessman joins the army when America enters World War I. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with working-class soldiers and falls in love with a Frenchwoman, but has to leave her to move to the frontline. Named to the National Film Registry in 1992, this silent film was directed by King Vidor and stars John Gilbert and Renée Adorée. Live musical accompaniment will be performed by Andrew Simpson.

Thursday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.
We're No Angels (Paramount, 1955)
After escaping Devil's Island, three offbeat prisoners help a good-hearted family outwit a scheming relative. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Peter Ustinov, the film was directed by Michael Curtiz.

Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.
The Man Who Came to Dinner (Warner Bros., 1941)
When acerbic theater critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home at Christmastime and ends up in a wheelchair, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely. Starring Bette Davis and Monty Woolley, the film was directed by William Keighley.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.
It's a Wonderful Life (RKO, 1946)
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Preserved by the Library of Congress, the film was named to the National Film Registry in 1990. It was directed by Frank Capra and stars James Stewart and Donna Reed.

 

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The Prisoner of Zenda image: Selznick International Pictures / United Artists.

Bette Davis, Reginald Gardiner, and Monty Woolley The Man Who Came to Dinner image: Warner Bros.


         
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1 Comment to Marilyn Monroe Smokes Pot on Film? + Christmas Cheer & Horror Mix at Packard

  1. Augustus

    I love “The Prisoner of Zenda”. I also like the other version with James Mason and Deborah Kerr. It was made in 50s and in color.