In American popular culture Marilyn Monroe has evolved in stature from Hollywood sex symbol to tragic legend. Most books about Monroe stress the sensational events that surrounded her-this book is the first to deal honestly and critically with Monroe as an actress, evaluating her moves as crucial forces in the shaping of her identity. Through careful examination of her performances, from her small appearances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve to her memorable roles in Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot , and the The Misfits , the author traces her development from cover girl innocent to an actress devoted to her craft. Based on extensive interviews with many of Monroe's colleagues, close friends, and mentors, this comprehensive, critically balanced study describes her use of Method acting as well as her instruction with Michael Chekhov and, later, the Strasbergs. Carl Rollyson has written a refreshing analysis and appreciation of Marilyn Monroe's enduring and, until now, underestimated gifts as a creative artist.
About the Author
Carl E. Rollyson, Jr. teaches filme and literature at Baruch College and is the author of many acclaimed biographies of female artists including Lillian Hellman and Rebecca West.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was saddened to see the critical comments about this ambitious and scholarly treatment of Monroe. I applaud the author for asserting his valuable exploration of Marilyn's acting & contribution to the art of film-making. Monroe herself would feel completely validated and affirmed by Rollyson's thoughtful, respectful and reverent celebration of her technique and the personal psychology behind it. This is a thinking person's biography...and my personal recommendation as the definitive Monroe biography, along with others by Spoto, Guiles & Steinem. Above written by the author of 'Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Hacienda/The Story of Her Final Months'
I wrote this biography at a time when no biography had shown how Monroe approached her screen roles. I developed a vocabulary for assessing her acting, particularly her major roles from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to The Misfits. Much new information has been uncovered since I wrote my book, but I don't think any writer has surpassed my treatment of her life as an actress.