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Monroe-esque (1 Viewer)

Caproni

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We've got a thread going on Marilyn Monroe and her movies, so let's dive into those women cloned in her likeness. There were a host of them back in the 1950s, the more popular probably being Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren, who, along with Monroe, were called The Three M's in the press.

Every major studio seemed to follow the trend: Columbia had Cleo Moore and Kim Novak, Paramount had Anita Ekberg, Warner Brothers had Carroll Baker, and MGM tried with Barbara Lang. There were other actresses occasionally thrown into the mold, like Barbara Nichols and Joi Lansing. Diana Dors was touted as the English apparent to Monroe, while Brigitte Bardot was the French brand.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Jayne Mansfield, Mamie Van Doren, and Diana Dors
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Caproni

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Many of these ladies had their own strengths, but none ever matched what Monroe had.
You're absolutely right. Mansfield was at her best in satirical over-the-top comedy, while Van Doren was the queen of the B-movie bad girls.

The rest of them PROBABLY had potential, but it was all dwarfed by their blonde hair and good looks. It morphed them into a "type" whether they wanted it to or not.
 

bujaki

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Yield to the Night aka Blonde Sinner is considered one of her best.
Deep End
The Long Haul
Steaming
There are other films in which she had small roles but she made the most of the opportunity. She was even in Lean's Oliver Twist!
 

Osato

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Yield to the Night aka Blonde Sinner is considered one of her best.
Deep End
The Long Haul
Steaming
There are other films in which she had small roles but she made the most of the opportunity. She was even in Lean's Oliver Twist!

cool.I’ll try and find some of these.
 

Caproni

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Sheree North was apparently a big deal there for a while in the mid-fifties, or at least she was branded that way. In late 1953, 20th Century-Fox was beginning to experience difficulties with Marilyn Monroe, their most bankable star. She had just finished filming River of No Return, a rugged frontier western with Robert Mitchum, and was had been assigned the title role in The Girl in Pink Tights, a thin remake of the studio's own Wabash Avenue from 1950. Press releases and promotional posters touted Marilyn as the star (with Dan Dailey and Mitzi Gaynor touted as co-stars), but she wouldn't have it. Monroe personally sent a telegram to Fox informing them of her disapproval of the script and her refusal to take the part. She was immediately placed on suspension without pay.

In the meantime, Fox was anxious to show Marilyn who was boss. Somebody somewhere noticed Sheree North, a Broadway dancer whom they felt had enough potential to knock Marilyn off her high horse. North was quickly given a contract with Fox. After her arrival, the cost-cautious studio executives were enthusiastic to learn that Sheree and Marilyn had the exact same measurements---which mean Sheree could wear Marilyn's clothes and they wouldn't have to pay for new ones. It wasn't long before Fox was issuing press releases of Sheree wearing Marilyn's studio wardrobe, and proclaiming as the star of The Girl in Pink Tights.

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The newspapers spread the miff that Marilyn was "worried" about Sheree coming to Fox. I doubt it. Marilyn married former baseball great Joe DiMaggio in January 1954, and flew off to Korea for a honeymoon. Sheree --- and Fox for that matter --- were the furthest things from her mind. But Fox swore they had Monroe in their box. They were going to get her in line. Fox touted that not only was Sheree North going to headline The Girl in Pink Tights, she would also star in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, a dramatized retelling of the turn-of-the-century story of stage performer Evelyn Nesbitt. There were also discussions that she'd have a supporting role in Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business, an Ethel Merman musical then in development. Still, Marilyn showed no signs of concern as she performed for the troops in Korea.

Moving along, the movie The Girl in Pink Tights eventually died on the drawing board, while Fox would cast English newcomer Joan Collins The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. Eventually, Monroe was persuaded to appear in Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business after her salary was upped to then-impressive $3,000 a week. North was therefore "put on ice", as one paper wrote it, just in case Fox needed to teach Marilyn another lesson. It didn't take too long, either. Within a few months Monroe had refused How to Be Very, Very Popular, a comedy that would've re-teamed her with good friend Betty Grable. She wanted no part of it, so the studio again suspended her. This time, Sheree North was cast in her place. A massive publicity campaign ensued with North being featured on the cover of LIFE magazine with the headline "Sheree North Takes Over From Marilyn Monroe". How to Be Very, Very Popular was a moderate success, and Fox continued to usher North into their films. Over the next few years, she starred in The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956), a comedy co-starring Tom Ewell, and No Down Payment (1957), a melodrama that served as a template of sorts for the popular night-time drama Knots Landing.

In fairness, Sheree North never became the star Fox wanted her to be. She was never the threat to Marilyn they presented her to be either. Sure, she showed up in a handful of decent pictures, but once her studio contract dissolved in 1958, her film career stalled for the better part of a decade. Marilyn, however, stayed with Fox until her mysterious death in 1962.

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