The US cable channel Reelz has produced several documentaries about Marilyn in the past decade, under titles like Reel Life, It Happened Here, National Enquirer Investigates, Scandal and Legacy, and Case Closed. As the names may suggest, their content is often rather sensationalised. However, their latest documentary – scheduled for 8pm on March 14, and somewhat ironically titled Marilyn, Misunderstood – promises to show a different side of the icon, as Pritha Paul reports for MEAWW. (Incidentally, actress Kim Cattrall – who narrates the documentary – also presented a BBC radio tribute to Marilyn in 2012.)
“While the world of entertainment and fashion have known Marilyn Monroe as the tragic star who struggled to overcome a difficult childhood and had a string of failed marriages while battling with addiction, the upcoming documentary on Reelz, called Marilyn, Misunderstood, attempts to provide the account of the other Monroe, as seen through the eyes of her personal friends and colleagues including former agents, co-stars and photographers.
‘In their words, though she may have been victimized at times, she was not the tragic victim history has made her out to be. The Marilyn Monroe who emerges from their stories is a brave, brilliant, funny, outspoken and ambitious woman who blazed her own trail through Hollywood,’ the press release reads.
According to the synopsis of Marilyn, Misunderstood, the documentary ‘tells the story of the other Marilyn, a woman who didn’t just suddenly wake up and become the biggest star in the world. The other Marilyn was a bold and ambitious trailblazer who refused to toe the line and who never stopped fighting to be taken seriously as an actress. The documentary presents this little known side of her life story as told through Monroe’s own words in rare audio recordings as she discusses everything from deftly managing the controversy that swirled around her supposedly private nude photoshoot to her paralyzing stage fright that almost derailed her career and her blistering exposé “Wolves I Have Known” about harassment and disrespect she endured from Hollywood industry executives throughout her career.'”
UPDATE: A clip from the documentary, focusing on the filming of the ‘subway scene’ from The Seven Year Itch, and featuring guest speakers James Haspiel, Angela Allen, Lawrence Schiller and Amy Greene, as well as tribute artist Suzie Kennedy in a partial reconstruction of the fateful night’s events.