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Marilyn Monroe’s personally hand-annotated script from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Marilyn Monroe’s personally hand-annotated script from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (TCF, 1953) Marilyn Monroe’s personally-used and annotated script from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. An incomplete script, being a block of revisions delivered by the production to Marilyn Monroe comprising 69 pages total (numbered 48 through 117, missing page 93) plus a pink title cover-sheet printed “26 November 1952, ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ (Revised Final Script…13 Nov. 1952),” plus “TO ALL SECRETARIES: Please place these ADDITIONAL PAGES at the back of your script of the above date. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Majority of the prompts for Marilyn’s character “Lorelei Lee” are circled variously in graphite and non-repro blue pencil, with approximately 22 pages annotated in various inks and pencil in Monroe’s hand with amendments and additions to the script and notes on how she proposes to deliver lines and portray Lorelei’s character, with several other pages showing line deletions and other demarcations. Highlights of notes include: pg. 56, when Lord Beekman finds Lorelei stuck in Malone’s porthole, next to Lorelei’s line “Oh yes–Tea with Lady Beekman. Why, she must of forgot. She didn”t show up,” with Monroe adding an alternative line, “Well, I just wanted to see the view. It’s better from here”; pg. 58, Monroe changes the line “Piggie, will you run down to my cabin and get my purse?” to “Maybe I should have that Sherry – will you get me some”; pg. 79, Monroe has written a note to herself in the margin “Feeling that feeds the words, know the lines, go over it inteligently [sic]”; pg. 92, also to herself, “sense the feeling with the body” plus several dialogue changes; pg. 94, again to herself, “grit my teeth and forget it must have my,” “all of feeling in my words,” and “build pull back, don’t stop mutual conflict between partners.” Also, the following page (95) although bearing no notations, features the scene for Monroe’s classic musical number “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” In generally very good condition, with expected handling wear, soiling, and creasing, and some small edge tears and damp-staining to cover page and a few internal margins throughout. Marilyn’s unique, revealing personal notations in this script reveal her private thought processes and fleeting self confidence. On set, she was haunted by her controlling acting coach Natasha Lytess, constantly striving for her approval and insisting on retakes even when director Howard Hawks had already approved. Co-star Jane Russell looked after Marilyn on set and was often one of the only people able to coax her out of her trailer during her bouts of self doubt. Despite her anxieties, it was the role of Lorelei Lee that first fabricated her ‘dumb blonde’ persona—a genius mixture of comedy and sexiness which Marilyn personified on screen, all the while taking her acting very seriously, as evidenced by her occasional heartfelt self-motivational notes in the margins. Monroe biographer Donald Spoto once said: “She put a twist on sexiness. It was not something wicked and shameful…it was something which was terribly funny. And Marilyn enjoyed it.” A remarkable and deeply personal artifact both from Marilyn’s aura imbued within it, and of Hollywood history in general. Provenance: Christies, New York, June 22, 2006, Lot 160.. $40,000 – $60,000

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