Monday, July 28, 2008
LIZ SMITH "The Marilyn/Kennedy SEX TAPE"
April 16, 2008
"SHE WAS our angel, the sweet angel of sex and the sugar of sex came up from her like the resonance of sound in the clearest grain of a violin. . Marilyn was deliverance, a very Stradivarius of sex, so gorgeous, forgiving, humorous, compliant and tender."So wrote Norman Mailer in his much derided, controversial and underrated 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe.THE HOPE that there exists film of Marilyn Monroe having sex just won't die. In fact, it has recently regenerated in a big way. This hope is, in a way, a tribute to Monroe's arguable status as the supreme erotic symbol. Norman Mailer certainly thought she was!As such, she has to be seen . Doing it. Or doing something, at least, that couldn't be seen by millions, in Cinemascope and Technicolor. Before she became famous, Monroe posed nude for calendar art. If she did that, conventional wisdom wondered, surely she must have done "more."Credence to the fantasy of Marilyn en flagrante was provided by Arlene Hunter, a B-movie actress and stripper. Hunter starred in a solo short called "The Apple Knockers and the Coke," circa the late 1940s, which eventually came to be advertised - as much as such things could be back in the day - as "Marilyn Monroe's porno loop." It circulated during Monroe's lifetime and even more after the star's death in 1962. Miss Hunter bore only a passing resemblance to Marilyn, but it was enough. Many accepted the grainy black-and-white movie as the real thing. People - men especially - just wanted to believe it. And they still do want to believe it, no matter how sketchy the "evidence."So, now comes another tale - this time in front-page headlines - of another grainy black-and-white "Monroe sex film." The star - identified by "her famous mole" - is actively engaged with a man. This 15-minute piece of celluloid is something the FBI was actually interested in, and kept in its vaults for 55 years! Why? Because the agency's headman J. Edgar Hoover thought the fellow in the movie was JFK or RFK, both of whom were rumored to have had affairs with Monroe.Well, I don't doubt Hoover came across a porno with a woman who looked like Marilyn, with a partner who (he hoped!) was the philandering President Kennedy. Or, better yet, to Hoover's point of view, brother Bobby Kennedy, the arrogant, high-minded, crime-fighting attorney general. Hoover loathed both men. He must have, to have pursued this avenue.Yes, JFK was reckless - his amused approval of Marilyn's public "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" serenade was downright Clintonian. (Jackie declined the opportunity to watch Monroe perform in her semi-transparent gown, saying only, "How typical," when told of the plans.) But Kennedy wasn't crazy, nor was Monroe. Nobody was going to have sex on camera!As for Bobby, those who believe he fell into a brief, sympathetic affair with Marilyn, say it was uncharacteristic. (My own sources told me years ago, that with JFK it was more of a thrill thing for Marilyn, casual and fun - she wasn't the married person! But that the encounters with Bobby were serious; at least on her part.)AND IF this amateur porn film indeed "looks like it was made in the early '50s," then it couldn't be either Kennedy. Monroe, by every legitimate account, did not meet the brothers until 1961.Joe DiMaggio also figures in this new story. During his brief marriage to the actress, he attempted to "buy up" copies of the film. Please - that is the work of studio heads, not husbands. All Marilyn ever had to do was fess up to the 20th Century Fox PR department, and any such indiscretion would have been tracked down and destroyed. (Fox wanted her to deny she was the calendar nude, but Monroe accurately gauged the changing times and her own little-girl-lost appeal, told all, and became an international sensation.)The owner of this movie says he will continue to resist big bucks offers to release it. He says he "respects" the late Miss Monroe too much to ever do such a thing. Uh-huh. Next stop - YouTube.This story was welcome news to all the cable stations - a relief from the "bitter" Obama analyzing, which is currently consuming the cycles. The Monroe gossip played all night. Accompanying the sordid details, were newsreel clips of Marilyn. These candid glimpses of her, through the years - at press conferences, premieres, airports - were breathtaking. Her silent image, alternately joyful or wistful, transcended what was being said about her. You couldn't snicker at such luminosity. And that is the truth of Monroe's enduring appeal - she was and is a flower that blooms in the mud.(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com, or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)©2008 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.