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Marilyn Monroe Gets New Stamp, Movie Starring Michelle Williams, Is Everywhere

Photo of Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood August 29, 2011 at 3:02AM

We can't get enough of Marilyn Monroe, it seems. The U.S. Postal Service will honor director Billy Wilder, the enduring director of the classics Double Indemnity, The Apartment, Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot (joining John Ford, John Huston and Frank Capra in their Great Film Directors series), by emblazoning his hottest star on a 2012 "Forever" stamp.
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Thompson on Hollywood

We can't get enough of Marilyn Monroe, it seems. The U.S. Postal Service will honor director Billy Wilder, the enduring director of the classics Double Indemnity, The Apartment, Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot (joining John Ford, John Huston and Frank Capra in their Great Film Directors series), by emblazoning his hottest star on a 2012 "Forever" stamp.

Thompson on Hollywood

The iconic Marilyn--the actress died in 1962--keeps feeling the love from this century, from a $4.6 million price tag for her Seven Year Itch dress, jazz singers performing her repertory (see video clips below), and a 26-foot Seward Johnson sculpture in Chicago that now boasts a tattoo, no less.

Thompson on Hollywood


Michelle Williams stars as Monroe during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl in My Week with Marilyn, which will debut at the New York Film Festival this fall. (See the new poster here.)

Back in February 2008, Lindsay Lohan boosted traffic to New York Magazine's website when she channeled Monroe in a steamy photo shoot. Norman Mailer landed on the 1973 cover of Time when he wrote his biography Marilyn, which many credit with turning Monroe into the internationally ubiquitous figure she is today--thanks in part to the book's many photographs. Here's Mailer's explanation for why Marilyn sticks with us:

“So we think of Marilyn who was every man’s love affair with America, Marilyn Monroe who was blonde and beautiful and had a sweet little rinky-dink of a voice and all the cleanliness of the clean American backyards. She was our angel, the sweet angel of sex, the sugar of sex came up from her like a resonance of sound in the clearest grain of a violin… She was not the dark contract of those passionate brunette depths that speak of blood, vows taken for life, and the furies of vengeance if you are untrue to the depth of passion, no, Marilyn suggested sex might be difficult and dangerous with others but ice cream with her. If your taste combined with her taste, how nice, how sweet would be that tender dream of flesh to share.”
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Mailer returned to his muse with his 1980 pseudo-autobiography Of Women and Their Elegance, as Told to Marilyn Monroe, which also became a controversial bestseller. ("Much of the book is based on fact. I would say some of it is made up," Mailer admitted at the time.)

Latch on to La Monroe, it seems, and they will come.

Thompson on Hollywood

This article is related to: Genres, Headliners, Hollywood, comedy, Classics


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.