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Marilyn Monroe - The final days 2001

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MAN 1: We need less than that. MAN 2: 201 .
NARRATOR: ln the early months of 1962...
...Marilyn Monroe was set to go before the cameras for her 30th film.
MAN: 503.
NARRATOR: She'd been absent from the screen for over a year.
And the comedy Something's Got to Give would offer her a comeback.
Come on. The water's so refreshing.
NARRATOR: Legendary filmmaker George Cukor was brought in to direct.
Cast opposite Marilyn were two of the most gifted and glamorous stars.
Dean Martin...
Ellen! Get out of there!
...and Cyd Charisse.
Not like that! Go in and change!
NARRATOR: The film also included...
...some of Hollywood's most respected character actors.
-Excuse me, are you being helped? MAN: ''Are you being waited on?''
NARRATOR: But eight weeks after production began, Marilyn was fired.
Two months later, the star was found dead...
...of an apparent sleeping pill overdose.
The movie became one of the most talked-about...
...unfinished films in Hollywood history.
For nearly four decades, 500 minutes of unedited footage...
...sat in storage in the vaults at Twentieth Century Fox.
The story of the film and of Marilyn's tragic final days...
... was seemingly lost.
Lost until now.
MAN: Cut it. Cut it! MARlL YN: Can't.
See that man? That's Max Fabian, the producer.
Why do they look like unhappy rabbits?
Because that's what they are. Now go and make him happy.
NARRATOR: By January of 1962...
...Marilyn Monroe had been Fox's most bankable star for over a decade.
Tell him from me he's simply a doll. l'm crazy about these old customs.
NARRATOR: Her 20 pictures for the studio had grossed over $200 million...
...making Marilyn its biggest commodity since Shirley Temple.
But Monroe hadn't worked for her own studio in two years...
...and Fox was facing financial problems...
...due to costly delays on the epic production of Cleopatra.
The studio needed Marilyn back at work as soon as possible.
So they sent veteran producer David Brown... entice the star with a script for a comedy...
...entitled Something's Got to Give.
Marilyn really didn't want to make the movie.
She was under a slave contract, having made films away from Fox.
Fox insisted she live up to the contract and this was given to her.
NARRATOR: Something's Got to Give was a remake...
...of the 1940 comedy My Favorite Wife...
... which had starred Cary Grant and lrene Dunne.
Marilyn was a woman who returns home after five years stranded on an island... find herself legally declared dead...
...and her husband newly re-married.
The film would be co-produced by Fox and Marilyn Monroe Productions...
...a company set up in 1955... give Marilyn creative control over her projects.
REPORTER: ls it true you submitted a list of directors you would work with?
l would rather say that l have director approval, and that is true.
REPORTER: This you think is important? -Yes, it is. Very important to me.
NARRATOR: ln September 1961...
...Marilyn submitted a list of directors she'd agree to work with.
lt included some famous names. Among them, George Cukor.
But after a difficult experience with her in the 1960 Let's Make Love...
...Cukor had misgivings about working with Marilyn again.
l've never been so humiliated in my life!
You could have told me who you are!
ln Hollywood, you always owe somebody a picture.
You finish one, then you have to do another.
l think it worked out that Fox wanted Cukor to do this picture...
...and he owed them a picture for something else.
NARRATOR: ln January of 1962, Cukor reluctantly signed on to the film.
David Brown now had a major director and a star attached to the project...
...but he had no final script despite the efforts...
...of Fox's staff writer Arnold Schulman.
DA VlD BROWN: He was a great writer, but l was quite alarmed... see that he was writing in a yoga position.
Bear in mind the myth of Hollywood is far less than the reality.
NARRATOR: But the producers knew they had problems much bigger...
...than script rewrites.
Monroe's tardiness was legendary in Hollywood.
She had been blamed for creating costly delays on nearly all her films.
To make matters worse, her marriage to Arthur Miller had just ended.
She was finding consolation...
...from a growing dependency on pills and alcohol.
Concerned that Marilyn's problems would add to Fox's financial woes... chief Peter Levathes recruited...
...the help of Marilyn's psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson.
Levathes hoped Greenson would control her erratic behavior.
But what the doctor began controlling was the movie.
He pushed out David Brown in favor of his friend, producer Henry Weinstein.
WElNSTElN: l got a call on a Sunday from the then-heads of the studio.
And l went down there and they gave me the script...
...of Something's Got to Give.
l was told not to say anything to anybody about it.
l was told of my impending removal by my friend Richard Zanuck...
...who said, ''l saw Henry Weinstein who was carrying...
...a script of Something's Got to Give. Watch your back.''
l did. There was an arrow in it.
NARRATOR: Director George Cukor was furious at Brown's dismissal.
And his resentment lingered as Henry Weinstein came on board.
l did whatever Cukor didn't want to do. l just did it.
Right from the beginning, he was difficult...
...with the script and everything else.
NARRATOR: Two centers of power began emerging on the set.
One between Marilyn and Weinstein, and the other between Cukor...
...and his associate producer and art director, Gene Allen.
But both sides agreed on one thing: The script still needed work.
Oscar winner Nunnally Johnson was brought in to do some rewrites.
He had written How to Marry a Millionaire...
...a great success for Fox and Marilyn.
-You know who l'd like to marry? -Who?
-Which one? -l don't care.
Johnson and Monroe would work together to update Something's Got to Give.
WElNSTElN: He said to her:
''Marilyn, wherever you think the line is out of character, put a cross.
Where you think the line is not funny enough, put a double cross.''
Fine. l leave happy. l don't hear from them for a week.
l call her analyst Romi and l said, ''What is the problem?''
And he said, ''Why did Nunnally use the word 'double cross'?''
l said, ''What do you mean?''
He said, ''Nunnally once gave her a picture which she turned down.
And she now thinks he's gonna get back at her.''
NARRATOR: But despite her fears, Marilyn slowly came to trust Johnson.
She loved his witty interpretation of the story, as did Henry Weinstein.
Nunnally Johnson, l think, was who Marilyn was working with... get a story that she would approve.
l don't know whether they were keeping Cukor involved.
One of the mistakes l made was l didn't...
...confer with Cukor, which l should have done.
lt may have saved me problems towards the end.
l was reluctant to do so because Cukor was working with Allen.
And l just thought l would undercut all of that.
NARRATOR: Cukor was furious to be left out of the meetings.
He felt Johnson's version strayed too far...
...from the original charm of My Favorite Wife.
Within two months, Johnson was replaced...
... with a writer named Walter Bernstein.
Johnson had written a script.
And l have no idea whether he then had--
Whatever reason he had left it, whether he had died or whether....
l really didn't know. All l knew was that...
...l got a call from George Cukor.
NARRATOR: Rewrites alone brought the production $300,000 over budget...
...a problem that mirrored...
...the larger financial crisis confronting Twentieth Century Fox.
Cleopatra was still massively over budget...
...and Fox was panicking from the escalating costs.
The company was going broke, and fast.
We got notes we should water our own plants...
...because the greensmen had been fired.
Then we got notes the cafeteria was gonna be closed.
So l said, ''Don't worry about it. l'm eating my plants.''
lt's true. l mean, it was like a ghost town.
NARRATOR: A dark cloud seemed to hover over Something's Got to Give.
And Marilyn Monroe now had more to accomplish...
...and more to prove than ever before.
By late March 1962...
...there were only three weeks left before the first day of photography.
The race was on to meet the tight deadline.
As Cukor and Bernstein pounded out a new draft...
...associate producer Gene Allen oversaw completion of the set... exact replica of Cukor's own home and back yard.
The costume department worked overtime to pull a wardrobe together...
...for the entire cast.
And producer Henry Weinstein struggled to keep track of Marilyn Monroe.
BERNSTElN: He was a prisoner, really, of the situation.
His preoccupation was Marilyn. How to get her there and keep her working.
And it was just a thankless job.
NARRATOR: On April 10, Marilyn arrived for makeup and costume tests.
But to her surprise, George Cukor did not show up to supervise and direct.
l think it was a big mistake for Cukor not to have done that.
She was at her best.
And she had to take it as a putdown. l'm sure she did.
NARRATOR: Despite Cukor's absence...
...Marilyn's performance convinced everyone she was in top form.
And l was so happy, because they were brilliant.
She looked extraordinary. She was at her best.
NARRATOR: Weinstein couldn't wait to share his enthusiasm with the star.
But when Marilyn was hours late for their meeting...
...the producer raced over to her home in Brentwood.
WElNSTElN: When l came there, she's spread across her bed...
...practically nude, and really out.
So l called Romi up and then we called her internist.
And they came running over.
This was the first time. l knew we were in trouble.
NARRATOR: Weinstein was shocked at seeing Marilyn Monroe...
...unconscious from an overdose of sleeping pills.
l said to the studio, ''We gotta postpone this picture.
She won't be ready.'' We were gonna shoot in 3 weeks.
''What happened?'' He said, ''You're being melodramatic.''
l said, ''l tell you, the girl is not able to do this yet.
lf l came and told you she just had a heart attack, what would you do?''
He said, ''We would wait.'' l said, ''What's the difference?''
''With a heart attack, we get no insurance. With this we can.''
BERNSTElN: They felt that she was somewhat out of control...
...but still a very bankable movie star.
And whatever personal problems she had... was felt it could be dealt with.
NARRATOR: Marilyn's habit of mixing champagne and pills was well-known.
And this latest incident rang few warning bells.
MAN: The first time l actually got to the house...
...she had some champagne and had taken sleeping pills.
And Dr. Greenson became worried... she gave me a key so l could get in quickly.
When she moved out to Brentwood, we had a key to the house... a fuchsia plant that was hanging in front of the front door.
We know things we didn't know then. That's just deadly.
NARRATOR: Marilyn had grown dependent on sleeping pills during her rise.
She had insomnia, and for the past two years...
...sought almost daily psychological treatment from Dr. Greenson... ease her emotional pain.
ENGELBERG: We knew she was manic-depressive, or bipolar.
l think manic-depressive is better. lt's more descriptive.
That always meant there were emotional problems...
...and she could have big swings in her moods.
NARRATOR: Marilyn was impressed with Dr. Greenson's understanding.
Traditional patient/doctor boundaries soon dissolved...
...and Marilyn became like an extended member of the doctor's family.
WElNSTElN: She would eat at his house.
He had a house in Santa Monica with a pool.
She would eat there...
...because he wanted to show Marilyn what a ''normal'' family was like.
l put the word ''normal'' in quotes.
So it was really quite simple.
And he saw her at his house. He didn't see her at his office.
He did everything possible...
...but he saw the real problems that were Marilyn's...
...and tried to keep her functioning.
NARRATOR: But with just five days to go before cameras would roll...
... Weinstein feared...
...that a solution to her emotional problems and chemical dependency...
... was eluding even her psychiatrist.
Weinstein was left to wonder if Marilyn could ever recover...
...from what truly ailed her.
Three days after her April 10th overdose...
...she attended a script meeting for the movie.
Outwardly unfazed by the events days before...
...Marilyn focused on the script...
...trying to establish a working relationship with Walter Bernstein.
BERNSTElN: Once l went to her house to talk about a particular scene.
And she had some ideas about the scene.
And it was a very cordial meeting. You know, she was very, very nice.
Except you also got the impression you were in the presence of Caesar.
She'd refer to herself in the third person.
About a moment in the scene, she'd say, ''No, Monroe wouldn't do this.''
And she was very shrewd about her own image as she saw it.
NARRATOR: With the script still incomplete...
...Cukor postponed principal photography one week, to April 23.
Marilyn left for New York to work on her role...
... with acting coach Lee Strasberg.
By now, she had been studying with Lee and Paula Strasberg for 7 years.
Lee Strasberg was the foremost teacher of method acting...
... who challenged Marilyn to become a serious dramatic actress.
WOMAN: To go to the Actors Studio...
...after being thought of... the glamour-girl, empty-headed blond?
Can you imagine what that took?
To prepare a scene and have to go out there and do it in front of actors?
l can't imagine having to do that. Where did that come from?
Except you have to see this enormous need to do better.
MARlL YN: What l'd like to do, that is, what l'd like to accomplish....
l'd like to be a good actress.
And it's not a matter of being on top...
...because some of the best actors and actresses...
...perhaps aren't on the top.
BERNSTElN: lt was a big coup for Marilyn... be part of the Actors Studio that Lee Strasberg ran.
And she was a big, big star and a big, big personality.
And for them to be known as her mentors...
...was important to them.
NARRATOR: They opened their home to Marilyn...
...and gave her the comfort and security of a family.
We were sharing a room at our Fire lsland house.
l woke up early, and Marilyn was standing nude...
...watching the sun come up and l was looking at her.
And l said, ''You know, Marilyn, l'd give anything to be like you.''
She was horrified. And she said, ''Susie, don't say that.
l'd give anything to be like you. People respect you.''
So l think that what she wanted and what she got from my father...
...was respect.
NARRATOR: Marilyn longed for respect and credibility.
And she sought out the company of the most esteemed artists and writers...
...including famed playwright Arthur Miller, whom she later married.
SUSAN STRASBERG: Marilyn, l think, felt she had a chance of evolving...
...not just as an actress, but as a woman.
l have a lot of respect for that.
The fact that a girl from her background was reading Rilke...
...was reading the poets, was making this effort--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
NARRATOR: Marilyn planned her return to the set...
...energized by her stay in New York.
But a bad cold she caught from Lee Strasberg began weakening her health.
On April 19, Marilyn landed in Los Angeles, suffering from a serious flu.
Two days later, she was diagnosed with acute sinusitis.
l called her up and l said, ''Marilyn, what is the problem?''
She says, ''l'm running a fever.''
''What's your temperature?'' ''Just above normal.''
l said, ''l get that temperature by walking.''
She said, ''Yes, but you don't have to be in front of the camera.''
GENE ALLEN: Her performance depended a lot on how she looked.
lf she wasn't looking well and had a cold, maybe you couldn't shoot her.
NARRATOR: Throat and cold problems caused delays on most of her films.
And Weinstein worried the same would happen on Something's Got to Give.
ENGELBERG: She was easily disturbed by work pressure, though she worked hard.
When she was depressed, her resistance to infection dropped.
There's a phrase that is used by doctors called ''psyche and soma'' ...
...meaning psychological things and bodily things affect each other.
NARRATOR: On Sunday, April 22, studio doctor Lee Segal...
...reported that Marilyn was too sick with the flu to work.
He suggested that the movie be postponed for at least one month.
His recommendation was rejected.
l'm not sure they believed her. And they didn't check with me.
NARRATOR: Cukor proceeded as planned...
...and principal photography was slated to begin on Monday, April 23.
That day, 104 crew members reported to sound-stage 14...
...ready and eager to work.
Every time you started a picture you're up because it's new.
Everybody was excited. The film was to start.
The director said, ''You'll have a few weeks where you're not working...
...because we have so much to do with Marilyn and Dean.''
l said, ''Fine with me. Call me when you need me.''
NARRATOR: But that first morning, Marilyn failed to show up.
CHARlSSE: The phone rings around 7:30.
They said, ''Could you come to the studio now?''
And l said, ''Of course.''
NARRATOR: Cukor was forced to reorganize his shooting schedule.
This scene with Dean and Cyd became the first moment...
...of Something's Got to Give captured on film.
CUK OR: All right, lot of get-up-and-go! Cameras!
NARRATOR: Here, Martin's character...
...returns from his honeymoon with his new bride...
...played by Cyd Charisse.
Well, here we are! Home, sweet home!
Lita, Timmy, front and center. Daddy's home.
Did you order any carpentry work done, darling?
Maybe they're hitting each other over the head. Let's go get them.
CUK OR: Cut it. Good.
WOMAN: Hello, my darlings.
-Hi, Daddy! LlTA: Hi, Daddy!
-ls that all you've got to say? LlTA: No presents?
-What are you two doing up there? -Building a tree house.
What's the matter with the house? What are you doing up there?
TlMMY : Building a tree house. -You said that.
CUK OR: Say it again. We're building a tree house.
NARRATOR: The following day, on April 24, Monroe called in sick again.
She even missed a visit to the set by the shah of lran and his wife...
... who were in the U.S. on a goodwill tour.
ANNOUNCER: Ginger Rogers is there to greet the visitors, and Bob Hope.
l have nothing against the shah.
l even liked Artie Shaw so it shows l'm neutral.
But Hollywood was quite appropriately agog at meeting foreign royalty.
NARRATOR: Although the dignitaries wanted to meet Monroe...
...she refused to appear.
WElNSTElN: l called her and said, ''The shah's coming. You gotta come.''
And she said, ''l can't come...
...because he is anti-lsrael.''
And l think she didn't come because...
...she didn't think she'd be pretty enough.
We waited for her and they said, ''We'll shoot today with you and Steve.''
ANNOUNCER: The shah visits the set of Something's Got to Give...
... where Cyd Charisse and George Cukor welcome him.
NARRATOR: lnstead of meeting Marilyn, the shah watched this scene...
... where Charisse's character...
...appeals to her psychoanalyst, played by Steve Allen.
CUK OR: Camera!
-l know Nicholas is in love with me. -l see.
That's why it's so maddening!
-This shyness. -Yes.
Well, now.
Now, you say that even though-- Oh, there you are.
NARRATOR: For the whole week, Monroe was a no-show.
The company worked around her.
ENGELBERG: She definitely had sinusitis that summer.
She definitely had some bronchial infection...
...from the drip from the sinus down into her chest.
And she felt, at times, weak and depleted by the infection.
MAN: 191 .
NARRATOR: On Monday, April 30, a week after production had begun...
...Marilyn reported to work for the first time.
That day, Cukor shot several takes where Marilyn's character...
...emotes silently, reacting to being home...
...for the first time in five years.
CUK OR: Cut it! Cut it! -Can't.
NARRATOR: On Tuesday, May 1, Marilyn was on the set at 7 a.m...
...against the advice of the studio's own doctor.
But after only moments, the actress collapsed and was rushed home.
CHARlSSE: Cukor said, ''Don't worry about anything. This will all be fine.
We have to have patience with Marilyn. This isn't unusual.
But she's so wonderful, the results will be worth it.''
NARRATOR: Cukor shot this scene with Dean Martin and Phil Silvers.
Here, Nick Arden discovers his first wife, Ellen...
... was not stranded alone on that island.
MAN: 229.
They have a report, actually a rumor...
...that a woman answering the description of your first wife...
...was picked up by an American submarine.
NlCK: To tell you the truth--
As was a young man answering the description of Stephen Burkett...
...who was reported drowned when your wife was. lt's absurd.
A man was rescued at the same time as my wife?
No. A young man, according to this unverified rumor.
They were on this island for five years?
Ridiculous, isn't it?
MAN: 279.
NARRATOR: Marilyn was absent for the rest of the week, during which...
...these scenes with Martin, Cyd Charisse and John McGiver were shot.
CUK OR: Happy when you-- MAN 1: 303.
MAN 2: Speed. CUK OR: Camera!
MAN 3: Am l supposed to marry someone? -Us.
-What? -Yes.
-Already? -lt's been five years, sir.
WElNSTElN: They were marvelous. They were real pros.
She was just charming and nice.
WOMAN: She would never say anything. She just went along with the flow.
She was very quiet, very ladylike.
She scares the crew sometimes. She's a perfectionist. She's great.
WElNSTElN: Dean Martin was just superb.
And he'd always have a golf club, always be swinging it.
He'd call me in and say, ''Sit. Nothing'll happen.
Just be patient. Wait it out.''
l mean, just the opposite of everybody...
...who was running around trying to do whatever they were doing.
He was stalwart.
NARRATOR: Marilyn may have been out sick but she kept her eyes on the set.
CUK OR: All right.
CUK OR: Camera!
l got a call from Marilyn one day.
She says, ''Cyd Charisse is padding her breasts.''
l said, ''You haven't been on the set. You don't know.''
She said, ''l have people watching.''
l said, ''How? She's wearing this little negligee. You can't do it.''
She said, ''You don't know anything.''
l said, ''lf you think l'll tell her... stop doing it, you're mistaken.''
NARRATOR: On Monday, May 7, Marilyn called in sick for the 10th time.
Her behavior was starting to test even the crew's patience.
GENE ALLEN: She seemed healthy.
All this talk that she had these colds, l never saw any evidence.
Up to a point, l believed it.
l was certainly ready to believe she was susceptible to colds.
But l didn't get any sense of drinking when she came to work.
l always felt she was on pills.
She had those kind of mood swings.
l never felt, except for rare intervals...
...that there was a normal, healthy person there.
NARRATOR: Tuesday, May 8, the entire company shut down.
They had run out of scenes to shoot without Monroe.
NARRATOR: Two days later, it was stated in the production report...
...that Marilyn's presence was required for the rest of the script.
The star had only worked two days...
...and the show was 5 1/2 days behind schedule.
Studio executives began to worry.
They couldn't afford to lose money.
Fox needed this film in theaters by October... help make up for the mounting debt...
...caused by Cleopatra bills.
ln Rome, they were handling Elizabeth Taylor with kid gloves...
...though her own behavior and illnesses...
...had created huge delays and extravagant expenses.
But back in Hollywood...
...the studio's patience with Marilyn was wearing thin.
CHARlSSE: l'm sure they had been through this many times with her.
l don't think it was the first time.
So they knew what to expect. Like Cukor did.
He really knew what to expect.
BERNSTElN: There was a lot riding on the project. She had the most power...
...which was whether to show up or not.
NARRATOR: The fourth week rolled by...
...and she had completed only a few days of work.
Many scenes were shot in her absence...
...including sequences with the children.
Kathleen and Michael went to the ponies. My horse bit--
You don't have a horse! She doesn't have a horse.
CUK OR: Good. Except you didn't grab it early enough.
NARRATOR: Child actors Alexandra Heilweil and Christopher Morley...
...had difficulty remembering their dialogue and staying focused.
Cukor shot take after take with them, occasionally losing his patience.
CUK OR: Be surprised. Leave that alone! Watch me!
MAN 1: 498. MAN 2: Speed.
CUK OR: Once more, without cutting.
That was very good. Come on, boys! Leave it alone!
CUK OR: Now watch me walk away.
Alexandra, stop fussing with that and watch me!
NARRATOR: On May 14, Marilyn made her third appearance on set.
She was put to work opposite a very uncooperative dog...
...and a very frustrated trainer.
-l start like this? MAN: 382.
TRAlNER: Good, Jeb. Watch it. Jeb, speak!
Jeb, speak! Speak for us!
Come on, speak! Come on up here!
Come on, Jeb!
NARRATOR: Performing a welcome-home scene over and over... was the dog, not Monroe, who repeatedly missed cues...
...and required take after take.
TRAlNER: Good, Jeb. Speak, boy, speak!
Come on, Jeb, get it. Speak!
That's a boy.
Uh, well....
-l guess he's out of it. TRAlNER: Jeb, come here. Get in here.
Now stay right there.
TRAlNER: Jeb, speak! Jeb, speak!
Come on, Jeb! Speak! Come on, boy, speak!
GENE ALLEN: Animals are never cooperative, except in rehearsals.
A dog will react to a trainer perfectly all through rehearsals.
But when they hear a director say, ''Action'' ...
...they know they can get away with anything.
l remember the poor animal trainer trying to get it working.
WElNSTElN: We had her finally on the set.
There were better things to do with Marilyn than shoot that dog.
l just thought it was a waste. A terrible waste.
NARRATOR: The next two days rolled by without incident.
Monroe showed up ready to work...
... with her $5000-a-week acting coach, Paula Strasberg, in tow.
Cukor finally had Marilyn present...
...but could not command her undivided attention.
She was upstairs with her coach and she wouldn't come down...
...if she didn't feel she was ready for the scene.
l think she had a lot of psychological problems.
NARRATOR: Marilyn had relied on Paula Strasberg's guidance...
...during the production of her last five films.
Paula had a reputation for usurping any director's control over the star.
A manner of working that made her...
...universally unpopular on the set.
WElNSTElN: She was heavier than l am.
She wore these black capes. She looked like Dracula's assistant.
And she indulged Marilyn all of those whims.
''You can't treat her this way. She's a great star.''
BERNSTElN: Marilyn would look to her for encouragement and for what to do.
lt was insidious. l think it hurt her very much.
SHANNON: Every time she had to do something, Paula had to tell her.
We were doing the scene...
...where Marilyn was supposed to walk down the steps near the pool.
CHARlSSE: She went up and down the stairs 10 times. Every time...
...she'd look at Paula and if Paula said no, she had to do it again.
l could see George just fuming.
WElNSTElN: Cukor hated her. Really hated her.
l don't think they helped her at all.
l think they just pumped her up full of lots of stuff... they could use her.
NARRATOR: Strasberg was not the only strong female in Monroe's entourage.
Marilyn's publicist, Pat Newcomb, was also a presence in her life.
SHANNON: Pat Newcomb took control of Marilyn.
Between Pat Newcomb and Paula Strasberg...
...Marilyn was like a caged animal. Nobody could get near her.
Even if Cukor wanted to talk to her, you had to go through Newcomb.
NARRATOR: Marilyn's distracted moods during Something's Got to Give...
... were also the result of a chaotic romantic life.
Rumors flew about a flirtation with President Kennedy...
...and an intense relationship with his brother, Bobby...
... who was also the U.S. Attorney General.
WOMAN: Over a period of time, l was not at all surprised...
...that the Kennedys were a very important part of Marilyn's life.
l wasn't included in this information...
...but l was a witness to what was happening.
WElNSTElN: l get a call from Marilyn.
She says, ''l have a date with a very important man.
And l'd like to know what questions to ask.''
l said, ''Who's the person?'' She says, ''Bobby Kennedy.''
l said, ''We're in the middle of the civil rights situation.
Ask why he's not being more supportive of Martin Luther King.
What are they doing to calm down these riots?''
She said, ''Which question?'' l said, ''Depends on his answer.''
l said, ''Let's rehearse. Say the question, answer and then go on.''
A few days later, she has another date.
l said, ''How did the other date go?'' She said, ''Very well.''
l said, ''Now you could be more personal.''
l don't hear from her for a week. So l call up, ''How's it going?''
She says, ''l don't need any more questions.''
NARRATOR: On May 15, Marilyn reported to work...
...despite complaining of a fever.
We'd get reports from the psychiatrist and the producer.
''Marilyn said this'' and ''She's coming in tomorrow.''
lf she did show up, it was like the Second Coming.
Everybody fell down and genuflected.
NARRATOR: Following hours of makeup...
...Marilyn walked into the glare of the lights.
Cukor filmed this, where after a long absence...
...Ellen talks to her children who don't recognize her as their mother.
TlMMY : Are you staying long?
l don't know yet. Would you like me to?
-l don't know where you would sleep. -l don't know either. Yet.
But if it worked out, would you like me to stay?
LlTA: l would! -You would?
TlMMY : l wouldn't mind.
LlTA: Don't get her wet again. He got you wet again.
Oh, yeah!
MAN: All right. CUK OR: Cut.
As l remember, there was a boy and a little girl.
And even before we shot, she interacted with them... get them at ease so she could play with them. l remember that.
WOMAN: lt was hard, because had her children lived...
...they'd have been that age.
They loved her. But it was sad. Marilyn wanted children.
She wanted them badly.
NARRATOR: Marilyn's own childhood had been riddled with painful experiences.
Her biological father never recognized her as his own child.
Her mother was put into a mental institution.
And the girl endured years of emotional, even sexual, abuse...
... while growing up in a series of foster homes.
Through her years of stardom...
...Marilyn had been open about her desire to have a child.
But after several failed pregnancies...
...she feared she could never have a baby of her own.
After a while, even the sight of children reminded her...
...of a painful void in her life.
CUK OR: Cut it. Good!
-Timmy, you hurt yourself. -Let me go.
NARRATOR: Marilyn had now been on set, eager to work, three days in a row.
But on Thursday, May 17, it was learned she would take time off... attend President Kennedy's birthday gala in New York.
Before production had begun...
... Weinstein had given her his tentative approval.
But he had changed his mind.
Little did l know we'd miss so many other days.
Now the day comes and she says:
''Remember, l'm not supposed to shoot on this day.''
l said, ''l do, but we haven't shot an arc.''
''l don't want to shoot. l can't.''
Then l pick up she's going to the president's birthday party.
l said, ''You're not gonna shoot, but you're not gonna go.''
And, ''l'm gonna go.''
NARRATOR: Production reports stated she had permission to attend the ball.
But behind the scenes... head Peter Levathes was imploring her not to go.
A week earlier, he had sent a letter stating:
''As you know, we're behind schedule with our picture...
...and we cannot consent to or acquiesce in your absence. ''
But her mind was made up...
...and she went to New York to perform for the president.
We all knew she was going to go.
lt was an honor to go. She wasn't the only one invited.
There were many. And she had permission.
Mr. President, Marilyn Monroe.
NARRATOR: Her legendary tardiness was made a running gag through the night.
Here she is.
l'll introduce her anyway. ln the history of show business...
...perhaps there has been no one female who meant so much...
...who has done more--
When she finally appeared, she was wearing a silk gown...
...that revealed more than it hid.
Mr. President, the late Marilyn Monroe.
NARRATOR: That night, her memorable performance was caught on camera.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday...
...Mr. President
Happy birthday... you
NARRATOR: Fox executives were livid.
WElNSTElN: She didn't have any sense of responsibility...
...or any respect for them. Had no feelings for them.
And they just suddenly...
...l think, moved away from a professional evaluation... a personal snit.
Everybody! Happy birthday!
GENE ALLEN: Well, it was very upsetting to Cukor.
The rest of us have been in this movie business a long time.
All kinds of things happen.
So it was no big red-letter day to the crew. Just one more episode.
But Cukor took it quite personally.
NARRATOR: The incident marked a significant turning point...
...on the set of Something's Got to Give.
On Monday, May 21...
...Monroe let Cukor know that close-ups were out of the question.
No amount of makeup could hide her fatigue.
BERNSTElN: You feel it as manipulation.
The crew felt, you're doing your best work...
...and here she was, pissing on it.
NARRATOR: Matters were made worse the following day.
Marilyn had a fresh reason to postpone shooting.
Dean Martin reported to work in spite of a cold and fever.
For three days, she refused to work with him...
...for fear of catching his cold.
Cukor was forced to shoot close-ups heavily filtered... conceal the actress's exhaustion.
-Rolling? CUK OR: Yeah, ready.
NARRATOR: Tensions mounted and she began to lose the support...
...from the crew she had come to depend on.
But everyone was prepared to forgive her behavior...
... when word leaked out she'd be filming a nude swim scene on May 23.
The first ever by a major American actress.
Come on in. The water's so refreshing.
lt was like panic. And excitement. People running back and forth.
Everybody was kicked off the set, including me.
l'd never been off the set, but she wanted everybody off.
NARRATOR: Only the illusion of skinny-dipping was planned.
But Marilyn took things a step further.
WElNSTElN: We had a body suit for her, where you look nude in the water.
After three takes, she tore it off...
...and did it without anything else on.
MAN: 502.
CUK OR: Do it again!
NARRATOR: Marilyn posed provocatively by the pool...
...and made the world take note that she still had a gorgeous body.
NARRATOR: Marilyn seemed inspired by the scene...
...and by the presence of her favorite still photographers.
She was again in front of the kind of camera...
...that had fallen in love with her face and figure, years before.
WElNSTElN: When it was over, she said: ''This is knocking Liz Taylor... the cover of the magazines.'' And she was.
That picture was on the cover of every magazine.
MARlL YN: Hey! CUK OR: Cut it!
MARlL YN: lt's cool here!
NARRATOR: While the temperature in the pool didn't rise, optimism at Fox did.
The scene was extraordinary.
And Monroe had been on the set for a week without interruption.
On Friday, May 25th...
...she left the studio looking happier than she had in weeks.
But that weekend, she disappeared.
No one heard from her for two whole days.
WElNSTElN: l couldn't understand what happened that weekend.
That's what-- To me, it's the big personal mystery.
She left feeling great and now it was all over again.
Maybe she had a disappointing affair.
NARRATOR: Some speculated Monroe's rumored affair...
... with Attorney General Bobby Kennedy was at fault.
People think it's ridiculous that she thought she could be First Lady.
But who thought she could've married the greatest baseball player ever?
And she did.
Or one of the great American authors. And she did.
ln Marilyn's mind, she could do all these things.
NARRATOR: But whatever she needed to get back on track with her role... one on or off the set seemed to have the solution.
On Monday, May 28, Marilyn called in sick again.
Reports that once stated ''Marilyn Monroe ill'' now reported:
''Company did not shoot...
...due to Miss Monroe's inability to report for work. ''
The following day, she showed up...
...but lacked focus in this scene where her husband...
...implies Ellen was unfaithful during her absence.
CUK OR: All right. Camera!
NlCK: Adam and Eve. -l was afraid you'd misunderstand.
Misunderstand? You spend five years on an island with a strange man--
-Would it be better if l knew him? -And it slips her mind?
-Can we start again? -Yeah.
All you can think about is the way l behaved with this poor little--
This poor little fly.
All you can think of is how l behaved with a--
CUK OR: Poor little man.
A poor little man who wouldn't harm a fly.
CUK OR: Print that.
One more. That was good though.
How long does it take to tell a woman, ''My wife's back''?
lt takes me two seconds. You've had two days!
-Sorry, George, but we can do it. CUK OR: Good, good.
MAN: Cut.
NARRATOR: At 5 p.m. the company stopped shooting...
...due to Marilyn's complaints of exhaustion.
The film was now 11 days behind schedule.
On May 31, her raw nerves were noticeably close to the surface...
...during this sequence opposite Wally Cox.
She uses her feminine wiles to convince a naive shoe salesman... pose as the man with whom she spent five years on the island.
Would you have lunch with me?
l bring my lunch to the store.
l'd be so grateful if you'd take it out.
Are you free for lunch?
That is, inferior footwear is made from them.
The crocodiles themselves don't make--
Would you have lunch with me?
l bring my lunch to the store.
My foot's grown.
Go barefoot for five years!
-Gee. CUK OR: Cut it, print. Good.
NARRATOR: On Friday, June 1, Marilyn turned 36.
A watershed year for any actress.
But especially one noted for her beauty and sexuality.
MAN: l think she realized, ''l'll be 36.
Then l'll be 37, and there's a lot of new girls that could replace me.''
MAN 1: 699. MAN 2: Speed.
CUK OR: Camera!
NARRATOR: Any concerns Marilyn had about her age, she kept to herself...
...and without mishap, shot this scene with Wally Cox and Dean Martin.
NARRATOR: At 9:37 a.m. they began. CUK OR: Camera!
Eve said you had some questions you wanted to ask me, Nick.
He has. Ask him, ask him anything.
Well, let me see. What kind of an island was it?
-An ordinary island, wouldn't you say? -Like the rest.
-Small island? -Not small. Not large.
-Trees, yes. -No vines?
Yes, vines too.
-Water? -Yes, all around.
That's the nice thing about Stephen, he doesn't talk your ear off.
-l suppose you lived in tree houses? -Well--
-Huts. We lived in huts. -Separate huts.
Even for the rainy season?
When it rained, we moved to the trees.
CUK OR: Cut. How was that? Good.
NARRATOR: Shooting wrapped at 5:30. Then Marilyn's birthday party began.
l picked up the cake, and they screamed that l had to hide the cake.
lt wasn't to be brought out till 6:00.
They had to get a full day's work out of that woman.
That was the expression.
We're having Marilyn's 36th birthday. The assistant director says:
''Get that goddamn cake off the set till we're done shooting at 6:00.
Then you can have her birthday party!''
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