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June 1, 2017

Amazing Behind the Scenes Photos of Marilyn Monroe in Her Last Unfinished Movie “Something’s Got to Give” in 1962

“Wait a minute, sorry, sorry, sorry.” Marilyn Monroe, swathed in a blue dressing gown, her platinum hair still damp, is filming a scene for Something’s Got to Give. She has just fluffed her lines again. “I’m sorry. Shall we … from the beginning? Sorry.” Within a month, the Hollywood star will be fired. Within three months, she’ll be dead. The film will never be completed.

She hadn’t been on a film set for over a year when she was cast in Something’s Got to Give, a remake of the 1940 screwball comedy My Favorite Wife. Her time off had been plagued by illness and drug addiction: she had undergone surgery for endometriosis, had a cholecystectomy (the removal of her gallbladder) and been briefly hospitalized for depression. The accumulative physical toll had caused her to lose so much weight that she was thinner than she had been in all her adult life. The studio, Twentieth Century Fox, was delighted. “She didn’t have to perform, she just had to look great,” said the film’s producer Henry Weinstein, “and she did.”

But in hindsight, Monroe wasn’t ready – either physically or mentally – to return to acting. She was to play Ellen, a woman who has been stranded on a desert island for years, and who returns to discover that her husband (Dean Martin) has re-married. But from day one of filming, she was absent more than she was present, sending doctor’s notes citing acute sinusitis, high fevers and a chronic virus. When she did turn up, she would have to be coaxed into leaving her trailer.

“She was just fearful of the camera,” said Weinstein, who recalled Monroe throwing up before scenes. Early on, he found her unconscious, in what he described as a barbiturate coma. “I realized that she was even more unstable than I was led to believe,” he said. “And I went to the studio and reported this. I said: ‘I don’t think you can go on with the picture.’ And they said: ‘No, no, it’s OK, we’ll go on.’”

Most of its completed footage remained unseen for many years. During the now (in)famous swimming pool scene, Ellen takes a late-night skinny dip, attempting to lure her husband out of his bedroom. The set was closed, but a few select photographers were allowed to stay. When Monroe ended up removing the flesh-coloured swimming costume she had been given, they were caught completely off guard. “I had been wearing the suit, but it concealed too much,” she later told the press, “and it would have looked wrong on the screen… The set was closed, all except members of the crew, who were very sweet. I told them to close their eyes or turn their backs, and I think they all did. There was a lifeguard on the set to help me out if I needed him, but I’m not sure it would have worked. He had his eyes closed too.” Photos of Monroe emerging from the pool, sans suit, appeared on magazine covers in over 30 countries. By all accounts, spirits seemed high.

Below are some amazing behind the scenes photos of Marilyn Monroe in her last unfinished movie Something’s Got to Give in 1962.



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