Beginning of 1958
Melancholy took hold of the Miller couple in those first months.
Marilyn had the image of herself as an inefficient muse and an inadequate partner. Her prolonged professional absence was also the mark of a dispute; all those things made Marilyn drinking a lot during the first months of 1958. She prefered drinking champagne which didn't make her ill.
Thursday, January 2, Lew Schreiber of the Fox had an appointment with the MCA, the agency which represented Marilyn.
The MCA confirmed that Marilyn would shoot "The Blue Angel", but only if the Fox would guarantee the collaboration with Spencer Tracy.
Friday, January 3 , Spencer Tracy's agent confirmed that the actor was ready to sign, but he first wanted to be sure that his name would be above Marilyn's one. If she agreed, the movie would be done.
The Fox asked the MCA to talk about it with Marilyn.
The MCA announced to the Fox that Marilyn was unwell, but to them, there were no doubts that Marilyn would submlt to Spencer
demands. So the Fox wrote down Tracy's contract and started the
negotiations with George Cukor (), the director who had often shot with Spencer Tracy and who was one of his friends.
Thursday, January 9 , Marilyn cancelled her appointment scheduled in the MCA office, during which she had to gave her agreement so that Spencer Tracy was on top billing.
Monday, January 13 , she arrived at the MCA but it was no question for her to agree Spencer Tracy's conditions, and no more question to shot "The Blue Angel".
Her New York lawyers had re-examined her contract. To them, the Fox failings, which hadn't allow her to shoot in1957, led the studio to owe her 100 000$ for the missing movie.Wednesday, January 15 , the Marilyn Monroe Productions new lawyer, Robert H.Montgomery, sent a mail to the Fox, remembering the studio that in the contract, they should have make Marilyn shoot according to the1955 contract, and owed them not 3 but only 2 movies.
The Fox retorted that the studio had postponed the shooting of "The Blue Angel" on Marilyn's request. If she withdrew from the project at that time, the Fox would hold her responsible for the huge waste the studio would suffer from.
In mid-January, it was learned from the court of appeals that Arthur Miller 's case couldn't be pleaded as long as the Supreme Court wouldn't have decided on a similar case.
At the end of December 1957, the Fox let know they were interested in buying the rights of "The Misfits", but in the beginning of this year, and because of the difficulties with Marilyn, the Fox wasn't visibly ready to purchase Miller's screenplay.
Miller and Marilyn then publicly announced they intended to produce "The Misfits" asindependents.
A new stage direction of Arthur's play, "The Crucible" was preparing. The play would be performed in March off-Broadway, at the
A new stage direction of Arthur's play, "The Crucible" was preparing. The play would be performed in March off-Broadway, at theMartinique Theater, in New York City. Miller attended the rehearsals.
In Roxbury, Marilyn fell in the stairs and had only a sprained ankle and cuts on the right hand, caused by the whisky glass she had with her.
She was ready to listen to the propositions to go back to Hollywood; not only because she wanted to do something
She also wanted to put on her work what she had learned since 1956.
So she listened to her MCA agents, Lew Wasserman (), Jay Kanter and George Chasin.
Fox suggested to produce a movie based on a musical, "Can-Can", with
her and Maurice Chevalier; it was also talk of "Some Came Running" with
Frank Sinatra, and another movie based on a Faulkner novel, "The Sound and the Fry".
According to her agents, those projects would prevent her from having again the roles she didn't want anymore.
At the beginning, Marilyn expected to work with Frank Sinatra Wilder had contacted to play the part performed later by Tony Curtis. Apparently Wilder changed his mind after Sinatra had forgotten to come to a lunch; with Marilyn, Wilder didn't need such another popular and expensive name.
Miller familiarized himself with the screenplay of " Some Like it Hot" and suggested it to Marilyn who, angry, refused to play a nth part of featherbrain blonde.
But in her anger, she didn't realize that it was the most successfully completed and more intelligent part which was ever offered to her. Miller, like her agents, urged her to accept.
The Fox was also in favor of it, because even if the movie was produced by the United Artists, the Fox would benefitted from the extremely positive impact of the movie on Marilyn's reputation. If the movie would be the stunning success that everyone, except Marilyn, predicted, it could only reflect on the studio, through her.
But Marilyn found the screenplay ridiculous. She didn't want to hear anything and accused Miller to only think of money and to want to go over her head.
Miller made Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis come, but it was finally Lee Strasberg who convinced her to do this movie.
Tuesday, April 15, Marilyn's agents and the Fox reached an agreement. The both sides had agreed to important concessions. The MCA abandonned the idea of arguing that Marilyn owed 2 movies and not 3 to the studio, and the Fox recovered Marilyn from her necessity to appear in "The Blue Angel".
Spyros Skouras (), president of the Fox agreed to pay the sum of 100 000$ for a movie Marilyn hadn't shot.
Monday, April 21, Marilyn signed an amendment to her contract which agreed the new conditions.
She would earn 100 000$ plus 10% of net benefits. It would be, according to her, a pleasant and lucrative interval, during which Arthur could finish the screenplay of "The Misfits".
Friday, April 25, Marilyn received Walter Mirisch, the producer of her next movie "Some Like it Hot", in order to talk about the
The MCA informed the Fox that Marilyn had officially agreed to shoot "Some Like it Hot".
The beginning of the shooting was scheduled between July 15 and August 1. Marilyn would work for about 6 weeks.
Wednesday, May 21, Arthur Miller received the gold medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (the most prestigious of the literary awards) during the annual ceremony which took place at the Academy Auditorium.
The gold medal was only awarded every 5 years, which was a great tribute to Miller(,,,).
photographer Carl Perutz (,,,,,).
Miller was keen to finish his new play, "After the Fall", which had to be played in Broadway.
The date of the premiere was scheduled on Thursday, December 18, 1958.
On July, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6, in Roxbury, Arthur Miller invited Frank Taylor (), his publisher, to
talk about "The Misfits". Miller explained him that he wanted to give his screenplay to director John Huston ().
Taylor promised to call him and to give him John Huston's address and telephone number.
Monday, July 7 , Marilyn left Miller in Amagansett so that he could get ahead with his work, and in the evening, flew to Los
It was her first appearance in Hollywood since "Bus Stop".
The 200 photographers and reporters were blinded by Marilyn's platinum blond hair, her white silky blouse, her white skirt, her white shoes and white gloves. It's been 2 years they hadn't seen her, but they nevertheless found her "really chubby"
Marilyn and May Reis were sent to the Beverly Hills Hotel for a press conference () which also attended Billy
Reporter Louella Parsons was also present ().
Miller wrote to John Huston. This one was in Paris where he ended the shooting of "Roots of Heaven". He had just engaged Jean-Paul Sartre so this one write a screenplay on Sigmund Freud's life. Sartre, captivated by Marilyn, wanted her to play the feminine role of "Freud". Huston answered Miller that he was delighted to examine "The Misfits" and that he would give him his opinion rather quickly.
Wednesday, July 9, Marilyn and Louella Parsons attended a party given at composer Jimmy McHugh's place
Thursday, July 10, she attended the premiere of the play " Gigi" at the Paramount Theater on Hollywood Boulevard
Marilyn met Billy Wilder on Monday, July 14 for the need of the tests and pre-production, which had to last a couple of weeks.
This same day, she saw Dr Gurdin (), plastic surgeon, for a chin deformity ().So the atmosphere set fair between Marilyn, her director and her partners.
Huston announced to Miller that he would be delighted to shoot the movie based on the screenplay of "The Misfits". He planned to go back to the USA several months later and planned to meet Miller. He declared that the screenplay was perfect and didn't suggest any change. Huston was known for knowing how to work with screenwriters.
Monday, August 4 , beginning of the shooting of "Some Like it Hot" in the Samuel Goldwyn studios, on Formosa Avenue, in Hollywood.
Marilyn arrived accompanied with Paula Strasberg, with her hairdresser Agnes Flanagan (,,
,) and her make-up man Allan Whitey Snyder, who took care of her make-up
Billy Wilder, at that time on the peak of his artistic abilities, seemed to want to treat Marilyn with respect and dignity
Monday, August 5, Wilder and Marilyn viewed the rushes of the previous day. Wilder was delighted with what he saw on the screen; it wasn't Marilyn's case. She thought that her first appearance in the movie should have been more vivacious, more funny. Wilder listened to her with interest. With his co-screenwriter, I.A.L Diamond, he modified the scene in the light of Marilyn's critics.
Wilder expressed his wish to use Marilyn's suggestions about this role, something Laurence Olivier () had never done. It was a long time Marilyn wanted to see her opinion taken seriously by the kind of director like Wilder. But she didn't seem to understand that Wilder was really interested in what she had to say.
She was much more awful than she had ever been. She made her partners crazy with her endless lateness and her inability to remember the easiest dialogue. A scene was even shot 65 times for a 3 words line. She made a succession of delays, wasn't present for entire mornings, forgot her lines too knocked out by the drugs, and almost each scene should be shot many times, either because she had forgotten a word, or because, perfectionist, she thought she could do better. Then, if she was angry because she found a performance bad, she cried and the make-up had to be done again.
Apparently, she was so occupied by the way she wanted to play each scene, so focused on the metaphors Paula Strasberg used to help her to understand the underlying feelings, that she undermined Wilder's authority on the set.
Moreover, Billy Wilder wasn't in a really good physical condition because he suffered from his back.
Thursday, August 7, Marilyn learned that Joseph Rauh (), Miller's lawyer, had won the trial in appeal, Miller hadn't been completely informed about the necessity to answer from the beginning to the questions he was asked. So the charge of contempt to the Court was closed.
Spyros Skouras (), head of the Fox, sent a letter of congratulations to Arthur, emphasizing the positive end of the step, and praised Miller's guts and perseverance.
The shooting went on in Florida. Marilyn didn't agree with the characters disposition.
Marilyn didn't stop arriving late. She wanted to take the shots again so that those would be like she wanted to, but always with the sole intention of improving. It was a constant tension and the shooting was awful.
Marilyn didn't want to admit that the base of her problem was not only the need of safety, but also her fear to be back in Hollywood : she was feared that everything she had worked for disappeared, that with a company which was much more a fiscal caper for her salary, she would once again be had by a systme she had bravely given up.
During the shooting, Marilyn met the poet and biographer Carl Sandburg; she wanted to meet him since she had read his biography of Abraham Lincoln, Miller had recommended her at the beginning of the 50's, when they had first met.
It was also during this shooting that Marilyn worked for the first time with hairstylist Kenneth Battelle, called "Mr Kenneth"
Dietrich (,), Jean Harlow (,), Clara Bow
The magazine was published on December 22, 1958.
She stayed at the Vista Mar Cottage, of the Coronado Hotel (,,
It was from there she wrote to Norman Rosten () :
She started again the habit of taking, each evening, massive doses of barbiturates.
Susan Strasberg visited her on the set ().
Friday, September 12 , she called Arthur who was still in Connecticut and informed him about her distress.
Arthur left Connecticut and arrived in Los Angeles.
So Paula wasn't alone anymore to comfort Marilyn between the shots. Arthur's presence hugely improved the atmosphere.
They stayed at the Bel Air Hotel.
Miller announced Billy Wilder that Marilyn was pregnant and asked him to be careful with her and to let her leaving the set each day at 4.30 PM. Wilder didn't take it very well :
"Listen Arthur,it's now 4.00 PM and I haven't any shot. She has arrived on the set at around 11.30 AM. We've waited until 1.00 PM she was ready to work. I'm gonna tell you something. If you bring her at 9.00 AM, ready to shoot, I don't let her go at 4.30 PM but at noon".
Marilyn, for her part, suddenly seemed to both hope and dread pregnancy.
She wanted to protect her baby but at the same time, she put it in danger. On one hand she thought that Wilder asked her too much and she didn't want to lose this child. On the other hand, she didn't consider her gynecologist warning, Dr Leon Krohn
Saturday, October 27 , Marilyn wrote to Norman Rosten :
Thanks for your Halloween wishes. It's a pity we can't be together. I would scare you.
don't write to anybody. Only poems - there are so many ghosts here!
Arthur looks great but he's weaker - by supporting me..
I need to hold onto something..".
She signed E.E.Cummings, a poet she had just discovered.
She wasn't iinvited to the party given by Billy Wilder. Marilyn and Wilder hardly talked to each other, Wilder being exasperated by Marilyn's lack of punctuality as much as her inability to remember her lines.
However, the movie was welcomed with so many praises.
Everything seemed to suggest she was having a miscarriage; she entered the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, but it was false alarm.
The doctors asked her to stop drinking and taking drugs, because her baby was seriously in danger.
Now that she had finished "Some Like it Hot", the Fox had until April 14, 1959 to offer her another movie.
Wednesday, November 26, she received a telegram () from George Auric of the French Cinema Academy, inviting her to the prize-giving of the Crystal Star in France, for "The Best Foreign Actress" in "The Prince and the Showgirl".
But, because she was pregnant and couldn't travel, the award was presented to her on February 26, 1959, at the French Film Institute in New York City.
Tuesday, December 2 , the Fox wrote her a letter, in which the studio asked her confirmation about the fact she was pregnant and in that case, the Fox wanted the period they had to employ her, would be extended.
The date of the premiere of "After the Fall", who, before summer had been scheduled for Thursday, December 18, was postponed to February or March 1959, because Miller hadn't finished his play.
John Huston was back to the USA and was about to go in Los Angeles to prepare his next movie, which shooting had to start in Janauary, in Mexico.
Formerly, he wanted to meet Arthur Miller in New York.
"The Unforgiven" would occupy him until May 1959, and if Marilyn gave birth in June 1959, he would move on to with "Freud" while she would shot a movie for the Fox.
Sunday, December 14, John Huston arrived in New York and met Miller. He explained him he wanted his text to be re-writte, contrary to what he had first said.
Tuesday, December 16, Marilyn had a miscarriage, after a 3 months pregnancy; she entered the Manhattan Polyclinic Hospital in New York.
Wednesday, December 17, first showing of "Some Like it Hot" at the Westwood Village Theater; the film was immediately a huge success.
Until today, the film has brought in Marilyn's heirs (Anna Strasberg) the amount of 47 millions $.
Marilyn's miscarriage was annonced to the press.
Marilyn's miscarriage was annonced to the press.
After the Fox mail dated
After the Fox mail datedDecember 2, Robert H.Montgomery, the Marilyn Monroe Productions lawyer, wrote to the studio, informing them that Marilyn, having finished "Some Like it Hot" was then "ready, willing and able" to start the shooting of her next movie with the Fox.
A period of grief and exhaustion followed for Marilyn. She consulted Dr Kris but it didn't comfort her a lot.
Saturday, December 22 , publishing in Life magazine of the serie of pictures of Marilyn in Marlene Dietrich, Lilian Russell, Jean Harlow taken by photographer Richard Avedon.
The feasts were favorable to recovery, but Marilyn was still depressed.
In this year, she was nominated for the "Best Foreign Actress" for "The Prince and the Showgirl" by the British Academy Awards.