This is a mildly cruddy kinescope of a 4.8.55 Person to Person segment in which the 47-year-old Edward R. Murrow interviewed Marilyn Monroe, who was then 28. She was staying at the Connecticut home of celebrity photographer and producer Milton Greene, who had photographed her many times and with whom she had formed a production company. Monroe’s appearance (along with Greene’s wife Amy) begins at 3:30.
Even though she’s “acting” (as anyone sitting for an on-camera interview would do) and particularly the inaccurate but well-known part of the less-than-robustly-intellectual blonde who nonetheless tries like hell, there’s something emotionally devastating about Monroe’s eyes, personality, manner, looks…the whole package.
Yes, this observation has been shared tens of millions of times but something extra is going on in this interview, I swear. Very political and practiced and polite, a sly sense of humor, but the delicate sensitivity and especially the vulnerability…God. The way she occasionally takes a beat to collect her thoughts, and sometimes speaks slowly and cautiously, drawing on a sufficient but less-than-vast vocabulary. Try not to succumb.
Wiki excerpt: “Greene’s work with Monroe (whom he first shot for a layout for Look in 1953) changed the course of his career. The two struck up a friendship and, when Monroe left Los Angeles to study acting with Lee Strasberg in New York City, she stayed with Greene, his wife Amy and young son Joshua in Connecticut. Together with Greene, Monroe formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, a production company in an effort to gain control of her career. Greene would go on to produce Bus Stop (’56) and The Prince and the Showgirl (’57).
“Monroe and Greene’s friendship ended after the production of The Prince and the Showgirl, and [then] Monroe fired Greene.”