Old Hollywood Actresses I Relate To.

As you probably know by now, Old Hollywood is a huge passion of mine and I have spent a lot of time learning about the stars and watching movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  I was tagged on Instagram to post six Old Hollywood Actresses I relate to and I must say, I found it a lot harder than I expected! After  narrowing my list down to about nine stars, I finally picked my beautiful six.

Marilyn Monroe

(1926 – 1962)

I think it’s safe to say that I relate to Marilyn the most out of all of the Stars I’ve picked. Marilyn suffered with depression and anxiety, she was her biggest critic and a very sensitive soul. She also loved to read, learn, adored animals and looking after others. Marilyn was also very misunderstood and people often judged her on their perceptions, without knowing who she really was.


Gene Tierney

(1920 – 1991)

Gene suffered a mental breakdown and experienced depression and anxiety throughout her life. During her lifetime she was very candid about her mental health and contributed to lowering the stigma considerably in today’s society. I absolutely adore Gene, she was a beautiful soul and I relate to her suffering, but her recovery gives me hope.

Brigitte Bardot

(1934)

Brigitte is strong willed, passionate and determined, never following societies expectations and always being her own person. She fights for what she belives in and loves to love and be loved. She adores animals and fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. Brigitte is also misunderstood and has been judged by certain perceptions which are not accurate.

Audrey Hepburn 

(1929) – (1993)

I like to think I have Audrey’s caring heart and sensitive soul. She had so much joy for life and was very humble. She thought other people were more important than herself and gave so much to those in need. I can relate to her passion about what she believed in and her determination to help in whatever way she could.

Katharine Hepburn

(1907) – (2003)

Katharine was always a bit of an outsider and rarely followed societies expectations. She was quirky, an individual and a bit different. She was very ahead of her time and could be quite sassy and I like to think I have some of her spirit. She was reliable, loyal and devoted a lot of her time to those who needed her.

Carole Lombard

(1908) – (1942)

I like to think that I have Carole’s sense of humour, she was witty, loved to laugh and could be a bit cheeky! She didn’t always act like the lady people expected her to be in a time when women were meant to behave in a certain way and I love that about her. 

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Brunette Beauties.

As most of you know, my favourite Actress with all of my heart is Marilyn and it just so happens that a lot of my other favourite stars happen to be blondes; Veronica Lake and Brigitte Bardot for example. I think this is because so many Old Hollywood Blondes were only appreciated for their appearance and never given enough credit for their talent and I’ve always rooted for the underdog.

However, I happen to adore a lot of Old Hollywood Stars and I thought I’d make a post on my other loves that I may not talk as much about.


Hedy Lamarr.

November 9th 1914 – January 19th 2000

“Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”


Hedy Lamarr was known as, “The Most Beautiful Girl In Films” and seventy years on, it’s not hard to see why. Her dark shoulder length hair and porcelain face were admired by millions of fans, so much so that movie goers did not expect to see her act, they just looked forward to seeing her on the screen. However, behind the beauty was a brain, a brain that sadly went under appreciated but, nevertheless created one of the most important technologies which is to this day still used in the basis of Mobile Phones and Wifi.  When learning about Hedy it’s quite easy to see how much she worked tirelessly to learn her craft and perfect her acting. At least today she is not only known for being one of the most beautiful women of the Silver Screen, but also, as an Actress and more importantly, an Inventor.

Book Recommendations:

Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer

Film Recommendations:

Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
The Strange Woman (1946)
Samson and Delilah (1949)


Vivien Leigh.

November 5th 1913 – July 7th/8th 1967.

“I’m not a film star, I am an actress. Being a film star is such a false life, lived for fake values and for publicity.”


Recognized by millions as Gone With The Wind‘s Scarlett O’Hara and Sir Laurence Olivier’s Wife, Vivien was not just a Southern Belle, she was an incredible actress. Like Hedy, though more critically appreciated, Vivien often found her beauty a blessing and a curse. Although she won two Academy Awards throughout her career, she often felt people preferred to see the beautiful Scarlet O’Hara, instead of the actress. Also, being married to Olivier, considered one of the finest actors of the generation was not always an easy task. She was a prolific stage actress and often put the importance of roles ahead of her mental well being. She suffered from Manic Depression, which lead to the separation with the love of her life and  bouts of Tuberculosis, which ultimately lead to her death. Although only having 20 Film Credits, today she’s considered to be one of England’s finest Actresses and her talents are forever being re evaluated and recognized.

Book Recommendations:

Vivien Leigh by Kendra Bean
Vivien Leigh: A Biography by Anne Edwards

Film Recommendations:

Gone With The Wind (1939)
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Anna Karenina (1948)


Elizabeth Taylor.

February 27th 1932 – March 23rd 2011.

“I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I’m me. God knows, I’m me.”


Elizabeth became known to the world as just a small child, when she appeared in National Velvet in 1944. After that she stayed on the motion picture screens for many years and her beauty and violet eyes was highly applauded, however, it wasn’t until George Stevens’s Giant (1956) that she started to be respected as a, “Real Actress.” After achieving high acclaim for her performances in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly Last Summer (1959) she was awarded her first Academy Award for BUtterfield 8 (1960) in 1961. After falling in love with Richard Burton during the filming of Cleopatra (1963) her name would fill the gossip magazines for, at the time, scandalous affair. However, this did nothing to damage Elizabeth’s career and she would earn her second Academy Award for, Who’s Afraid Of Virgina Woolf? (1966) in 1967. I don’t think until the 1980s Elizabeth was finally respected for the amazing woman she was, she helped raise awareness for the victims of Aids and contributed to removing a lot of the ignorance about the disease. She even created The Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation in 1991 to help millions saying, “It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance.”

Book Recommendations:

Elizabeth Taylor: A Life In Pictures by Yann-Brice Dherbier and YB Editions
Elizabeth Taylor by Donald Spoto.

Film Recommendations:

A Place In The Sun (1951)
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
Cleopatra (1963)

 

Sophia Loren.

September 20th 1934.

“I said before I am not a sexy pot. Now I can prove it.”


Born an illegitimate child in Rome Italy, Sophia did not have an easy upbringing, in her Autobiography she recalls living through the frequent bombings in Pozzuoli and the lack of support from her father during her childhood. After competing in a Beauty Pagent in 1950, in the early 1950s she became a well known face in Italian Cinema. However, it wasn’t until she joined Paramount in 1958 that she became an International Star. Nevertheless, Sophia never lost site of her roots and frequently went back to Italy to make films. becoming the first Actress to win an Academy Award for a Non-English Performance in Two Women (1960) in 1961. After this critical acclaim, Sophia continued to shine in Motion Pictures, had a wonderful marriage to Carlo Ponti  and her talent was finally recognized and appreciated. She still acts to this day and is loved and admired by millions, not only for her beauty but her incredible story.

Book Recommendations:

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My  Life by Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren: A Life In Pictures by Yann-Brice Dherbier

Film Recommendations:

Houseboat (1958)
Arabesque (1966)
A Special Day (1977)


Gene Tierney.

November 19th 1920 – November 6th 1991

“Wealth, beauty, and fame are transient. When those are gone, little is left except the need to be useful.”


Gene will forever be remembered as the hauntingly beautiful woman and painting in Laura (1944) however, although she was blessed with beauty, she was not given the Fairytale life of  a Movie Star. After five years or so being seen as a glamorous screen presence, she finally achieved critical acclaim for her performance as femme fatale Ellen in Leave Her To Heaven (1944which garnered her an Acadamy Award Nomination for Best Actress. During World War Two, whilst helping out in The Hollywood Canteen while in the early stages of pregnancy, Gene tragically contracted German Measles and her beloved daughter Daria was born severely disabled. After she was three years old, Gene could no longer take care of her at home and she had to move to an institution. Although her career continued to flourish, her emotional pain eventually caught up with her and she suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide due to depression in the mid 1950s. After staying in multiple clinics for treatment, some of which included Electric Shock Therapy which resulted in memory loss, she recovered and returned to the screen fora few brief appearances in the 1960s. She remarried in 1960, ironically to one of Hedy Lamarr’s ex husbands,  W. Howard Lee and wrote her wonderful Autobiography in 1979. Gene was not only a wonderful actress, but she is an incredible inspiration for her candid honesty with her mental health.

Book Recommendations:

Self Portrait by Gene Tierney
Gene Tierney: A Biography by Michelle Vogel

Film Recommendations:

Laura (1944)
Leave Her To Heaven (1945)
Never Let Me Go (1953)


Ava Gardner.

December 24th 1922 – January 25th 1990.

“I have only one rule in acting, trust the director and give him heart and soul.”


Ava Gardner was considered one of the most beautiful women of her time, she was signed by MGM in 1941 and was continually used for publicity pictures, but sadly not films. It wasn’t until The Killers (1946) that MGM finally realized that they had something special. Ava continued to be in successful films and was the ultimate beauty, finally in 1953’s Mogambo, her talent was recognized and her performance garnered her an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress.  Her intelligent wit and honesty were some of her best qualities and are captured wonderfully in her Autobiography in 1990. Although she married some of Hollywood’s most famous men including, Frank Sinatra, she continued to give fine performances in movies such as, On The Beach (1959) and The Night Of The Iguana (1964) Directed by John Houston.

Book Recommendations:

Ava: My Story by Ava Gardner (1990)

Film Recommendations:

Mogambo (1953)
The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
On The Beach (1959)

Hopefully whoever sees this finds these incredible women as inspirational as I do and reads their books and films and I also hope this reminds us all to remember to not judge a book by it’s cover.

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My Top Ten Favourite Classic Films.

Firstly, I’d just like to apologize for my lack of posts as of lately! The past week I was staying at my boyfriends for just under a week for his birthday and then the day I got back home I found out I had Chicken Pox – yay! I’m one of the few people that hasn’t had it as a child for some reason, so there will not be any Fashion or Beauty Posts until I’m fully recovered, I hope you all understand.

I was tagged in a post on Tumblr to list my ten favourite classic films, so I thought I’d share them with you here! It was really hard to pick just ten, so to make it easier I went through my favourite stars and chose a particular film of theirs that I love.  I hope you approve of my choices!


1. Gone With The Wind (1939)

Yes, an obvious choice but this is without doubt, not only my favourite classic movie, but, my favourite movie of all time. I can laugh now, but the first time I watched this – I actually watched it the wrong way around! As a lot of Old Hollywood fans will know, this film is extremely long, almost four hours, so naturally a lot of the DVDS are in two parts. However, the disc was clear on both sides and had only a tiny note saying which was A and which was B. Watching it on my own and having no one to tell me I’d put the wrong side on first meant I watched it back to front. However, that didn’t put me off and I’ve now seen it the right way many times! Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel especially are absolutely incredible. I will never get bored of this film and I highly recommend  reading the book too, there would be no movie without it after all!


2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

The first Marilyn film I saw and it’s just absolutely wonderful, the costumes, the musical numbers, the acting and most importantly Marilyn, are all faultless. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie, as a huge fan of Marilyn’s I’ve seen all of her films many times and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is no exception. It’s so lovely to see Marilyn paired with Jane Russell, they make such a great team! At this time in Marilyn’s career, she won the role of Lorelei on her 26th birthday, June 1st 1952, over Betty Grable, because she was younger and they wouldn’t have to pay her $100,000 as they would for Betty. Marilyn was still on her average salary and didn’t even have her own dressing room! When asked why this was she was told she was not the star to which she replied, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” Sadly, a lot of people assume that Marilyn is playing herself, when in actuality, Lorelei Lee couldn’t be anymore different from the real Marilyn and it just goes to show what an incredible talent she truly was.


3. Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Besides The Wizard of Oz (1939), I think this was the first classic movie I watched, long before my love for Old Hollywood began. This is probably my favourite musical of all time, although in 1952 it was only moderately successful compared to Gene Kelly’s previous film, An American In Paris (1951) – I have to say, I find this a million times better! The cast, the script, the musical scores, everything about it is truly flawless and over sixty years on it hasn’t aged. Plus, who can ever forget THAT dance with Cyd Charisse!?


4. This Gun For Hire (1942)

I’ve seen the majority of Veronica Lake’s films and this one is definitely one of my favourites. Veronica is flawless, sings two musical numbers and of course, it is her first pairing with Alan Ladd. The two of them have such great chemistry and create a perfect Film Noir – 1942 was THE year for Veronica as she released hit after hit and at the time was considered one of Paramount’s Top Box Office Draws. All of this being achieved at the mere age of 19 years old! When picking my favourite Veronica film it was a close choice, between I Married A Witch (1942) and The Blue Dahlia (1946) but This Gun For Hire just took the winning place!


5. The Lady From Shanghai (1947)

Out of all of the Rita films I have seen and that’s quite a few, The Lady From Shanghai is truly like no other. Not only is she paired with then husband Orson Welles and the wonderful actor Everett Sloane, her appearance and personality are completely different. This shocked fans at the time, who could not associate the Fiery Red Head as a Blonde Bombshell and the complicated plot, now considered a classic, was too much for audiences of the time. Needless to say that the Blonde Rita didn’t last, the marriage to Orson Welles didn’t last and at the time, neither did The Lady From Shanghai. However, the film today is now seen as it truly should be – a thrilling classic. Originally, the film ran over two hours, but the studio stupidly made Orson cut away a chunk of footage and now it is just under 90 minutes. One can only guess what the film would be like if the footage was ever found!


6. Rear Window (1954)

As a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, choosing only one of his films wasn’t easy! It was a very close call between North By Northwest (1959) and Vertigo (1958) alas, Rear Window took the spot. This film was a huge hit upon it’s first release, cemented Grace Kelly as The Ultimate Hitchcock Blonde and made the 1950s the decade for Hitchcock. It has it all – suspense, thrills, romance and even a bit of comedy thrown in there too. The first time I watched this, although I appreciate it as a whole, I didn’t warm to it as much as I have now. I don’t know why that is as there really is no other film like this and especially for the time. If you end up feeling the same way on first watch, don’t be disheartened, it’s now my favourite Hitchcock movie! You can’t really go wrong with Grace Kelly and James Stewart after all now can you?


7. On The Waterfront (1954)

This film is just incredible, the cast is superb, the direction is wonderful and it really was groundbreaking for 1954. Originally intended to be a play by Arthur Miller entitled, “The Hook” that never came to fruition and with all of the Anti-Communist Testimony’s, which Elia Kazan was apart of – On The Waterfront came to life. Although many didn’t agree with Elia telling names, Arthur Miller included, when you watch On The Waterfront you really can’t root for anyone but Terry Malloy. The chemistry between Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint is just wonderful and both actors deserved their Oscars.


8. And God Created Woman (1956)

Already a big star in France at the time, And God Created Woman was the film that cemented Brigitte Bardot’s status as The Ultimate Sex Kitten and The Most Desired European Actress In The World. Directed by then husband, Roger Vadim, the film caused controversy throughout America and divided the nation. This film propelled Brigitte into the worldwide spotlight and she continued a very successful acting career until retiring at age 38 to become and Animal Rights Activist. Brigitte has often said that in this film, Juliette, is simply being herself and Saint Tropez, the location of the film has been her home for over 60 years and is now a huge Tourist Attraction.


9. Sabrina (1954)

After winning an Oscar for her debut American Performance in Roman Holiday (1953) just a year before, Audrey Hepburn began a hugely successful acting career. This film also stars the incredible Humphrey Bogart and William Holden and is directed by my favourite, Billy Wilder. This was also the first pairing of Givenchy and Audrey, a fashion love affair that would last her entire lifetime. This is a must see for all Classic Cinema Lovers and will warm your heart with happiness. They really don’t make the movies like they used to and I guess this is why the classics are even more special! A lot of people have said that Humphrey Bogart is too old for Audrey, however, all of her leading her men are almost twice her age – it was very common to do that in the 1950s.


10. Houseboat (1958)

After reading Sophia Loren’s Autobiography earlier this year, I absolutely adore her and naturally have started to watch her movies. I’ve been wanting to see Houseboat (1958) for quite a while and was thrilled when I found it on Netflix. It’s a classic Romantic Comedy and Cary Grant  and Sophia make a great pairing. This was the second and sadly last film they made together, the first being one of Sophia’s first American films, The Pride and The Passion (1958) with Frank Sinatra. It is now known that Cary actually fell in love with Sophia during the making of their first film and signed on to make Houseboat just because Sophia was going to be in it. Obviously Sophia married Carlo Ponti so their brief romance didn’t work out, but it’s lovely to see what could have been on film.

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Happy 89th Birthday Marilyn!

If Marilyn Monroe was alive today, she would be turning eighty nine years old, which a lot of fans, including myself find very hard to comprehend. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I really can’t picture Marilyn as an old lady, she had so much youth and vibrancy inside of her, such a special childlike quality that  was the opposite of being an elderly woman. To many people Marilyn is simply a beautiful, tragic young woman, who graced the Earth for a small amount of time but made a large impact. Sadly, a lot of people remember Marilyn for her untimely death, she became immortalized as forever young and not long after she left the world the myths started rolling in. Conspiracy Theorists went wild and her name has been dragged through some awful ridiculous scenarios, mostly for profit and publicity. Many so called fans simply admire her image and follow fake quotes that over the past few years have taken over the internet. However, I don’t like to think about any of that, it breaks my heart to think of someone so lovely being sensationalized, under appreciated and degraded for selfish motivates. 

I first found Marilyn in November 2010, a few weeks after my seventeenth birthday. I was flicking through magazines and came across Vanity Fair, which had a beautiful Milton Greene 1955 photo on the front. I was struck by the beauty of this woman, who I’d heard of vaguely  but didn’t really know much about. It turned out I was pretty lucky having this magazine introduce me to Marilyn, as it was publicizing Fragments. Fragments is one of the best books on Marilyn, mainly because it is all of her own words and thoughts, you get to learn about the real woman behind the image. Therefore, because of this article I have always stayed far away from conspiracies and researched from legitimate sources and books.

Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1955.
The photo that started my love for her; Marilyn by Milton Greene in 1955.

After reading this, I naturally was falling in love with Marilyn,  yes I may be biased, but I really don’t understand how you can’t adore her. It makes me sad that so many people in society have ignorant and inaccurate views on Marilyn, they judge her by hearsay, by conspiracies and in doing this miss out on such an incredible person. I asked for some of her movies and books about her for Christmas and that was five years ago this December.

It just so happened that a few months later, I would have a mental breakdown and apart from my mum, my other Hero was Marilyn. I already knew about Marilyn’s anxiety and depression and when I was going through this myself I felt even more love and respect for her. Most days I would watch her films and feel so much emotion, I’ve always admired the underdog and since falling in love with  Marilyn I’ve never doubted her talent as an Actress. No one in Hollywood before or after worked harder than Marilyn for their craft, in many ways Marilyn worked too hard, she put her profession before herself. Many people assume because of her beauty and physical appearance, that she was simply portraying herself. People who have seen her dramatic performances such as, Don’t Bother To Knock and The Misfits are shocked by the diverse range she portrays. In reality, although her dramatic performances are superb, she was actually more close to playing herself in her them, then in her comedic roles.

Marilyn in her final completed film role; The Misfits. Photographed by Eve Arnold in 1960.
Marilyn in her final completed film role; The Misfits. Photographed by Eve Arnold in 1960.

Through Marilyn I have became apart of the wonderful fan club, Immortal Marilyn. I went to Hollywood in August 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death and celebrated my love for her by visiting her most important places. I have made so many lovely friends and have started my own blogs, alwaysmarilynmonroe, to continue spreading the love and legacy of this incredible lady. In my darkest days Marilyn has given me so much joy, I was on the verge of being agoraphobic and I would often go out with my parents in the car and try and walk around places. Due to my anxiety and depression this was incredibly hard and I remember the first time I made a big step of recovering was when thinking of Marilyn filming The Misfits. Marilyn suffered so much, she had a mental breakdown, a marriage collapse with Arthur Miller and was hospitalized for her addiction to barbiturates, (contrary to belief, Marilyn’s addiction to drugs were prescription only, for her anxiety, insomnia and depression) and I thought to myself, if Marilyn can get through making this film then I can get out of the car and I did.

America's Sweetheart, Marilyn during her time in Korea where she performed to many soldiers in February 1954.
America’s Sweetheart, Marilyn during her time in Korea where she performed to many soldiers in February 1954.

Marilyn was so humble and understated about herself, she seemed to be fascinated that so many people could love and admire her, I can imagine if she knew now that her fame is forever growing she would feel pretty overwhelmed with emotion. It’s so sad that someone so loved felt so alone, but I hope Marilyn knows that she never will be alone as it takes an incredibly special person to have such an impact on so many people. The amount of messages I’ve had from other fans who have suffered mental illness, abuse, miscarriages, endometriosis, or abandonment and felt comfort and inspiration from Marilyn is incredible. She’s helped so many people and the irony is she may not even know. When people ask how I would describe Marilyn I always say beautiful, but when I say beautiful I don’t mean it physically. Marilyn had such a beautiful soul, she was so caring and giving to others, there are anecdotes of her rescuing pigeons, helping co-workers, spending time with fans, it truly is heartwarming.

So many people assume because she was not only an Actress, but a huge Sex Symbol that she was promiscuous and say very cruel and inaccurate things about Marilyn. The irony is, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, you never got very far on the casting couch anyway, you’d often get small roles and never get higher than B Movie pictures, Marilyn started movies in 1947 and didn’t get her first leading role until 1952. I find it incredibly disrespectful to judge a person on their sex life anyway, but I’ve sadly found that it is often the beautiful women in Hollywood who oozed sex appeal that suffer this. I always stick with a legitimate source or Marilyn’s own words,

I think I had many problems as the next starlet keeping the Hollywood wolves from my door. These wolves just could not understand me. They would tell me, ‘But Marilyn, you’re not playing the game the way you should. Be smart. You’ll never get anywhere in this business acting the way you do.’ My answer to them would be, ‘The only acting I’ll do is for the camera.’ I was determined, no one was going to use me or my body—even if he could help my career. I’ve never gone out with a man I didn’t want to. No one, not even the studio, could force me to date someone. The one thing I hate more than anything else is being used. I’ve always worked hard for the sake of someday becoming a talented actress. I knew I would make it someday if I only kept at it and worked hard without lowering my principles and pride in myself.”

A lot more than just a pretty face, forever striving to learn Marilyn had a library of over 400 books ranging from Russian Literature to Psychology. Marilyn by John Florea in 1951.

So many people ask me about Marilyn’s death, some with ridiculous theories, some due to morbid curiosity and some because they genuinely care. To all people I say the same, I believe Marilyn’s death was an accident resulting in medical negligence. It has happened to so many people over the years, but with Marilyn, so many people are obsessed with murder conspiracies. People who know nothing about Marilyn often automatically assume she was murdered by the CIA or a Kennedy because she, “knew to much” and this gives me a lot of frustration. In reality, Marilyn met John F. Kennedy four times in her lifetime, that’s right, four times, which is documented in Donald Spoto’s highly acclaimed biography. Yet, because of notorious liars like Robert Slatzer and Norman Mailer, this myth has spiraled into a world of it’s own.  All someone has to do is pick up one of their books or other biographers influenced by their lies, cough, Anthony Summers and this suddenly becomes fact to that person and continues to spread. In reality, President Kennedy had many actual affairs and mistresses, so why would he have Marilyn, who at most he had a one night stand with, killed? Also, the whole, “Red Diary” claim is ridiculous, not only has it never been found, in Fragments we can see that Marilyn only used a couple of pages in each of her notebooks and wrote small passages about random things.

Robert Slatzer made a whole career on his claim of being Marilyn’s second husband, when in reality, the day he claimed to have married her she was out of the country with Natasha Lytess, her drama coach. You’d think someone who got to be in the presence of Marilyn and have their photograph taken would be special enough, but no, greed is often sadly stronger. It’s not only Marilyn who has suffered his lies, Grace Kelly has also been named as one of his conquests. Norman Mailer, an acclaimed author released the first photo biography on Marilyn and was the first to name any Kennedy. He later admitted on CBS in an interview that he, “needed the money very badly” conveniently after his book had made the best seller lists and his lies had been cemented.  Ironically when Marilyn was alive, Norman Mailer, like most people, wanted to meet Marilyn and as he knew her third husband, Arthur Miller, asked if he could. Needless to say Marilyn turned him down and I bet all of these years later she’s happy she did.

1953 was Marilyn's year, she had three blockbuster films released, among them being Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
1953 was Marilyn’s year, she had three blockbuster films released, among them being Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

I hope in reading this, people will be inspired to learn more about Marilyn the person, what she achieved and what she gave to the world. She had such a hard childhood and came from virtually nothing to becoming the most famous actress of all time, she worked damn hard and never gave up, no matter how much she suffered. Even 20th Century Fox Studio Executive, Darryl F. Zanuck, who never believed in Marilyn or even liked her said, “Nobody discovered her, she earned her own way to stardom.” and that is very true.  

Marilyn Filmography:

  • Dangerous Years (1947)
  • Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948)
  • Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
  • Love Happy (1949)
  • A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950)
  • The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
  • Right Cross (1950)
  • The Fireball (1950)
  • All About Eve (1950)
  • Hometown Story (1951)
  • As Young As You Feel (1951)
  • Love Nest (1951)
  • Let’s Make It Legal (1951)
  • Clash By Night (1952)
  • We’re Not Married! (1952)
  • Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)
  • O. Henry’s Full House (1952)
  • Monkey Business (1952)
  • Niagara (1953)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
  • River of No Return (1954)
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954)
  • The Seven Year Itch (1955)
  • Bus Stop (1956)
  • The Prince and The Showgirl (1957)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • Let’s Make Love (1960)
  • The Misfits (1961)
  • Something’s Got To Give (1962)

Books To Avoid:

  • Marilyn: by Norman Mailer
  • Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers
  • The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe by Donald H. Wolfe
  • The Murder of Marilyn Monroe: Cased Closed by Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin
  • Marilyn’s Red Diary by Ed Friedel
  • Victim: The Secret Tapes of Marilyn Monroe by Matthew Smith
  • The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe by Donald H. Wolfe
  • Marilyn At Rainbow’s End by Darwin Porter
  • Marilyn: The Last Take by Peter Harry Brown and Patte Barham
  • The Life and Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe by Robert F. Slatzer
  • Marilyn’s Last Sessions by Michael Schneider

Books To Read:

  • Fragments
  • Marilyn Metamorphosis
  • Marilyn Among Friends by Sam Shaw and Norman Rosten
  • The Marilyn Encyclopedia by Adam Victor
  • Marilyn Monroe The Biography by Donald Spoto
  • My Sister Marilyn by Bernice and Mona Rae Miracle
  • Conversations With Marilyn by W.J. Weatherby
  • Marilyn: An Untold Story by Norman Rosten
  • Marilyn: Her Life In Her Own Words by George Barris
  • Marilyn Monroe: Private and Confidential by Michelle Morgan

My Marilyn Social Networks:

Important Links:

Documentaries/Biopics To Avoid:

  • Norma Jean(e) and Marilyn
  • Marilyn and Me
  • Blonde
  • Marilyn: The Last Sessions

Documentaries To Watch:

  • The Legend of Marilyn Monroe
  • Marilyn Monroe The Immortal Goddess
  • Beyond The Legend
  • Remembering Marilyn
  • The Child Goddess
  • Love, Marilyn 
    Marilyn by Bert Stern in June 1962.
    Marilyn by Bert Stern in June 1962.

    “And I want to say to the people, if I am a star, the people made me a star. No studio, no person, but the people did. There was a reaction that came to the studio, the fan mail, or when I went to a premiere, or the exhibitors wanted to meet me. I didn’t know why.”

    — Marilyn in her last interview, to Richard Meryman for Life Magazine in August 1962.

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Favourite Films Of The Sixties.

Here is the third post in my, “Favourite Films” series and this will be on the last of my most loved decades, The Sixties! This era of film was the time for flower power, twisting the night away, big hair, winged eyeliner and the end of the Hays Code in motion pictures. The fashion and films from the Swingin’ Sixties could be considered the most iconic of the century; Bond, Go Go Boots, Mini Skirts, Clint Eastwood and Brigitte Bardot automatically spring to mind.

Like my previous posts, I will list my favourite films from this era in categories, choose my most loved stars and their movies and bold my favourites.

Alfred Hitchock's Psycho was something audience's had never seen before and the Box Office Receipts show it.
Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was something audience’s had never seen before and the Box Office Receipts show it.

Brigitte Bardot

  • The Truth (1960)
  • Love On A Pillow (1962)
  • Contempt (1963)
  • Shalako (1968)
Brigitte Bardot in Contempt (1963)
Brigitte Bardot in Contempt (1963)

Sharon Tate

  • Eye of the Devil (1966)
  • Don’t Make Waves (1967)
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
  • Valley of the Dolls (1967)
  • The Wrecking Crew (1968)
  • 12 + 1 (1969)
Sharon Tate in a publicity still for MGM in 1965.
Sharon Tate in a publicity still for MGM in 1966.

Audrey Hepburn

  • The Unforgiven (1960)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Children’s Hour (1961)
  • Charade (1963)
  • Paris When It Sizzles (1964)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • How to Steal a Million (1966)
  • Two for the Road (1967)
Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)
Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963)

Musicals/Comedies

  • Let’s Make Love (1960)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • Something’s Got to Give (1962)
  • The Notorious Landlady (1962)
  • Irma la Douce (1963)
  • Promises! Promises! (1963)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Barbarella (1968)
  • Olivier! (1968)

Drama

  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • Too Hot to Handle (1960)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Misfits (1961)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
  • Splendor in the Grass (1961)
  • Cape Fear (1962)
  • Dr. No (1962)
  • Lolita (1962)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • The Birds (1963)
  • Marnie (1964)
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964)
  • Repulsion (1965)
  • The Sandpiper (1965)
  • Arabesque (1966)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  • Belle de Jour (1967)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Misfits (1961)
The Misfits (1961)

I hope you enjoyed this post and watch some of the films I’ve recommended. If you’ve watched any good ones that I’ve not listed then please tell me, I’d love to watch more from this amazing decade!

Here’s the few 1960s movies I have on DVD that I’ve yet to watch;

  • The Loves of Hercules (1960)
  • Gyspy (1962)
  • It Happened at the World’s Fair (1962)
  • It Happened in Athens (1962)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • Viva Las Vegas (1963)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Morituri (1965)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • Speedway (1968)

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Favourite Fillms Of The Forties.

As promised, here is the next post in my, “Favourite Films” series and this time it is my second most loved decade of movies; the 1940s.

This was the decade of Bogey and Bacall, Lake and Ladd, Femme Fatales, Glamorous Technicolor Musicals and Film Noir. Movies such as, Cover Girl (1944) and The Dolly Sisters (1945) are forever linked to the Old Hollywood Allure, whilst films such as Double Indemnity (1944) and Gilda (1946) are classic Film Noir; filled with suspense, mystery and thrills. 

I will choose my best loved movies, place them into genres and pick some of my favourite stars and their films from the 1940s, I hope you enjoy my recommendations! Top favourites will be put in bold.

Vivien Leigh in Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Vivien Leigh in Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Veronica Lake

  • I Wanted Wings (1941)
  • Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
  • Star Spangled Rhythm (1942)
  • This Gun for Hire (1942)
  • The Glass Key (1942)
  • I Married a Witch (1942)
  • So Proudly We Hail! (1943)
  • The Hour Before the Dawn (1944)
  • Bring on the Girls (1945)
  • Out of This World (1945)
  • Hold That Blonde! (1945)
  • Miss Susie Slagle’s (1946)
  • The Blue Dahlia (1946)
  • Ramrod (1947)
  • Saigon (1948)
  • The Sainted Sisters (1948)
  • Isn’t It Romantic? (1948)
  • Slattery’s Hurricane (1949)
Veronica Lake in This Gun For Hire (1942)
Veronica Lake in This Gun For Hire (1942)


Rita Hayworth

  • The Lady in Question (1940)
  • You’ll Never Get Rich (1941)
  • You Were Never Lovelier (1942)
  • Cover Girl (1944)
  • Gilda (1946)
  • The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
  • The Loves of Carmen (1948)
Rita Hayworth in the 1940s.
Rita Hayworth in the 1940s.

Alfred Hitchcock

  • Rebecca (1940)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
  • Suspicion (1941)
  • Spellbound (1945)
  • Notorious (1946)
  • Rope (1948)
Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in Rebecca (1940)
Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in Rebecca (1940)

Musicals/Comedies

  • The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • Pin Up Girl (1944)
  • Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
  • The Dolly Sisters (1945)
  • Ladies of the Chorus (1948)

Drama

  • Waterloo Bridge (1940)
  • That Hamilton Woman! (1941)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • The Outlaw (1943)
  • To Have and Have Not (1944)
  • Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • Forever Amber (1947)
  • Anna Karenina (1948)

Film Noir

  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • Double Indemnity (1944)
  • Laura (1944)
  • Leave Her To Heaven (1945)
  • The Killers (1946)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Dead Reckoning (1947) 

    Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Dark Passage (1947)
    Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in Dark Passage (1947)

So, there you have it, these are all of the best films I’ve seen from the 1940s. Still, there are so many that I’ve yet to view, so there’s a lot that I look forward to watching. My next post will be on 1960s films, so stay tuned for that!

Here’s a few 1940s films I have on DVD, but have yet to watch;

  • Sundown (1941)
  • A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941)
  • Heaven Can Wait (1943)
  • Salome, Where She Danced (1945)
  • The Razor’s Edge (1946)
  • Mother Wore Tights (1947)
  • Dark Passage (1947)
  • Key Largo (1948)
  • Outpost In Morocco (1949)

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Happy Birthday Audrey!

On this day, 4th May 1929, Audrey Kathleen Ruston blessed us with her presence on Earth.

As a lot of you Old Hollywood lovers will know, not only is the day May the 4th (be with you), but it is also Audrey Hepburn’s 86th birthday! Sadly, Audrey left us in January 1993 at just 63 but she is ever present in the 21st Century as she was in the 20th! When the average person thinks of Hollywood, two people usually pop into their minds; Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Sometimes Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly will be included, but it’s usually these two faces that are the most recognized.

When I started learning about Marilyn, I naturally was intrigued into finding out about Old Hollywood and all the other stars and of course, I came to Audrey pretty quickly. It’s an obvious cliche, but I obviously related Audrey with Breakfast At Tiffanys – I hadn’t seen the film at this point, but it’s such an iconic image that I was aware of her stature and Holly Golightly singing Moon River out of her little window.

Ironically, author Truman Capote desperately wanted Marilyn for the starring role, but she declined as her coach Paula Strasberg didn’t want her name being associated with the role of a call girl. Therefore, it’s interesting to think of how many people would know Audrey if she hadn’t taken on her iconic role, I for one, think she would be just as loved and appreciated today. After all, Audrey Hepburn is so much more than a little black dress and a jewelry store! I love the film by the way, I’m just saying that people who only equate Audrey with this are missing out on such an incredible person.

Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story (1959)
Audrey Hepburn in The Nun’s Story (1959)

Four years on, I’ve got quite a few books on this lady and I’ve seen the majority of her films numerous times. I learnt what an incredible person Audrey was, how much she gave to others who needed support and care. She was so humble and never saw herself the way we all saw her, which in a way makes me love her more.

“I never thought I’d land in pictures with a face like mine.”

“I’ll never have an answer to what make mes special. I remember many years ago, my mother said to me, “considering that you have no talent, it’s really extraordinary where you’ve got.” And that’s what I really believe to this day. I’ve always been self-conscious about my interviews, about my thinness, my tallness, my unattractiveness. My success – it still bewilders me. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that maybe I’d be a great star.” 

For someone who suffered so much in life, she had numerous miscarriages, her father abandoned her family and she lived in Holland during World War Two and practically starved for years, as well as witnessing very traumatic experiences, she had so much love and hope in her heart and I think that’s incredibly inspiring.

Here’s my three favourite books that I  would recommend on learning about lovely Audrey;

Audrey Hepburn with her Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday on 25th March 1954.
Audrey Hepburn with her Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday on 25th March 1954.

Although Audrey’s career spanned five decades, she only made twenty seven films. When she had her two children she wanted to devote as much time to being a mother as she could, which is understandable. During her last years she gave much of her time to Humanitarian Efforts in UNICEF helping thousands of children, even when she was battling the disease that would ultimately take her from us. She always put others before herself and had so much love to give to those who needed it most.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn in Japan in 1983.
Audrey Hepburn in Japan in 1983.

The best blog on Audrey in my opinion has to be the wonderful, hepburny and I suggest you go over there right after reading this post, her edits are simply incredible! As for films, out of all the movies I have seen of Audrey’s these would be my favourites;

I hope wherever you are Audrey, you know how much people adore you and appreciate the love and joy you spread during your 63 years. You never fail to bring tears to my eyes when I think of how much you went through, yet this never deterred your strength and passion to succeed in life and give to so many.

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Favourite Films Of The Fifties.

Although I adore all the decades of Old Hollywood, I think the 1950s will always have a special place in my heart. Obviously, with Marilyn being my favourite she first brought my attention to Old Hollywood and the 1950s and is one of the main reasons I know so much about the films from that iconic decade.  To me, there is something so special about The Golden Age Of Cinema; the luminous Technicolor, the beautiful faces, iconic moments and incredible talents on film.

Therefore, I decided to make a list of my favourite films from this decade and I shall bold my ultimate must watch movies. I’m often asked this question on my tumblr and thought it was an important post to be made as Old Hollywood Movies are such a huge passion of mine. My other two favourite decades are the 1940s and the 1960s and I will probably do a post on my favourite films from there also.

The Seven Year Itch showing in New York City in 1955.

I have a lot of Old Hollywood books in my collection and think these books are great for fellow enthusiasts of the 40s/50s/60s too! Please note, this is in no particular order, it’s simply which comes into my head first. Also, I will separate the films into catergories.

Marilyn Monroe

  • Monkey Business (1952)
  • Don’t Bother To Knock (1952)
  • Niagara (1953)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)
  • River Of No Return (1954)
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954)
  • The Seven Year Itch (1955)
  • Bus Stop (1956)
  • The Prince and The Showgirl (1957)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
Marilyn by Milton Greene for Look Magazine in September 1953.

Brigitte Bardot 

  • And God Created Woman (1956)
  • Une Parisienne (1957)
  • The Night Heaven Fell (1958)
  • Come Dance With Me! (1959)
And God Created Woman (1956)
And God Created Woman (1956)

Alfred Hitchcock

  • Dial M For Murder (1954)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • To Catch A Thief (1955)
  • Vertigo (1958)
  • North By Northwest (1959)
Rear Window (1954)

Billy Wilder

  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • Sabrina (1954)
  • The Seven Year Itch (1955)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Musicals/Comedies

  • Singin’ In The Rain (1952)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • The Girl Can’t Help It! (1956)
  • High Society (1956)
  • Pal Joey (1957)
  • Funny Face (1957)
  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
  • An Affair To Remember (1957)
  • Bell Book And Candle (1958)
Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Dramas

  • In A Lonely Place (1950)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • The African Queen (1951)
  • His Kind Of Woman (1951)
  • A Place In The Sun (1951)
  • Macao (1952)
  • Affair In Trinidad (1952)
  • Mogambo (1953)
  • From Here To Eternity (1953)
  • Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)
  • On The Waterfront (1954)
  • The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
  • Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
  • The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
  • Picnic (1955)
  • Fire Down Below (1957)
  • Peyton Place (1957)
  • Imitation Of Life (1959)
  • On The Beach (1959)
Mogambo (1953)
Mogambo (1953)

This is only a fraction of the amount of films that were released in the 1950s and I still have so many to see, but these are definitely worth watching! I will definitely do a 1940s and 1960s post similar to this style and if you have any film recommendations, please share!

Here’s a few 1950s films I have on DVD, but have yet to watch;

  • Bride Of Gorilla (1951)
  • Viva Zapata! (1952)
  • Oklahoma! (1955)
  • The Big Country (1956)
  • The King and I (1956)
  • Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  • Sayonara (1957)
  • The Young Lions (1958)
  • South Pacific (1958)
  • The Nun’s Story (1959)

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