This book is a good view of the inside world of film making and those who make it happen and those who could do it better. Egos are alive and well on any project and this film is no different with the exception of its stars and star director. It's a good read!
This book is an absolutely riveting behind the scenes account of the highlights of six months of work on the making of the movie, the Prince and the Showgirl. It's full of unvarnished (if not suspiciously insightful perhaps in hindsight) observations of the personalities of the principle players in the making of the movie, the primary focus being on the behavior of Marilyn Monroe and its effect on Sir Laurence Olivier and the rest of the cast of the movie.
Some of the author's most fascinating observations involve the abominable behavior and temperament of Marilyn Monroe. Far from the vulnerable, sensitive, creature the mythologist consistently describe, Monroe comes off as a vague, confused, manipulative and thoughtless child whose antics turned the entire crew against her to the point that they lined up and threw her gifts in the trash after filming wrapped up. After six months with the supposedly tragically sensitive Monroe, she was roundly despised by everyone involved with filming.
It's these sorts of insights into Monroe's behavior that explain why she was friendless and died alone. She was simply horrid. The author also describes how unsightly she was until the magic of the make up and lighting brought her to life and revealed the otherworldly and beguiling beauty of the woman who was Marilyn Monroe. No wonder she was forgiven so much. There has never been before, nor ever will be again, anyone like her.
The most intriguing aspect to Marilyn Monroe is the mythologizing she has enjoyed at the hands of her worshipers and many biographers. According to this book, the honeymoon between Monroe and Arther Miller was over before it started, Laurence Oliver despised her to the point he had to resort to theater tricks to appear to kiss her rather than the real thing, the crew despised the ground she walked on, and she was condescending to and marginalized everyone she worked with. One of the keenest observations in this book was that Monroe was a "mimophant": an English word for a person who was as highly sensitive as a Mimosa to their own feelings but trounced like an elephant over the feelings of others.
It's very refreshing to read something besides the same old party line on Monroe. This book makes clear that not only was Monroe not controlled by everyone around her (just the opposite) but that she was just as able and willing to use others as they were to use her. She gave as good as she got and was notorious for jettisoning people from her life once they'd served their purpose as discussed in regards to the unraveling of her relationship with Milton Greene during the filming of this movie.
This book is a fascinating read that reports without comment, the foibles of foolish stars and their dreadful egos and temperamental vanities. It's the best I've read on the subject of Marilyn Monroe and is not afraid to call a spade a spade and make observations that don't jibe with the Monroe mythologists.
I highly recommend it as a person who enjoys the unvarnished truth and thinks none the less of the human failings in everyone - including our heroes.
This is a very good read. Colin Clark worked with Marilyn and Sir Laurence Olivier. He is brutally honest about his observations as the movie was being filmed. This English shoot just wasn't Marilyns "Cup of Tea" since it seems no one really liked her. Marilyn gave the crew gifts after the end of the shoot and everyone dumped them in the trash. Colin Clark is very witty and honest, even disclosing he had gay sex with someone who worked on this movie (and he was straight), you can't get more honest than that.
I received the book in a timely manner. I haven't finished the book yet (I'm a bit more than half way through) but it's an enjoyable read. If you like books about movie celebrities and want a glimpse into the daily goings on during the shooting of The Prince and the Showgirl it's worth the time it takes to read this... it's a quick read if your not lazy like I am.