Marilyn Monroe`s potent musicality
Marilyn Monroe is without a doubt the sexiest star of the 1950s. She was the embodiment of the Blonde Bombshell in the mold of Jean Harlow. She lightened her hair to accentuate similarities with and the consequent erotic association to the latter. Her curves drove men wild, and women around the world were jealous of her effect on their husbands, sons and lovers.
Cameramen noted the photogenic stars love affair with the camera. Indeed, her rapport with the lens translated to countless magazine covers. As a struggling starlet, she posed nude for a calendar and was paid $50. (The calendar eventually earned over $750,000, a huge sum in those days.)
However, Monroe was packaged as a beautiful but dumb blonde, and her comic sense perpetuated that notion even more. She personified the extremely sexy gal who didn't realize her fatal effect on men. She introduced an element of innocence to what was brazenly erotic. This unique combination of sweet and saucy was especially evident in musicals, where she danced suggestively and sang with a little girl's voice.
I first heard her sing Kiss in Niagara, the film that alerted the movie world that a new sex bombshell was encroaching upon the regal realm of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. If the latter were regarded as ladies, Marilyn was a broad, but didn't know it!
If Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable thrilled American soldiers in the Korean War via still photos, Marilyn doubled their excitement by visiting them in person, in the company of Bob Hope. After making a splash in Seven Year Itch, the sexy nymphet acted alongside Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Monroe's rendition of Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend is still remembered to this day. She sang again in There's No Business Like Show Business, where her version of Tropical Heat Wave sent men's temperatures rising to dangerous heights with the potent power of her wiggle, kittenish pout and husky whisper. It is to the actress? credit that she is remembered in that movie musical, even in the venerable company of Ethel Merman and Mitzi Gaynor.
Marilyn also sang and danced in River of No Return, Some Like It Hot and Let's Make Love. As I am a fan of the actress comedic and musical skills, I often play her songs to remind me that the Blonde Bombshell of the 50s was also a very competent musical performer!
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