Marilyn Monroe starred in a "graphic" film performing oral sex on an unidentified man, according to a memorabilia collector who says he brokered the recent sale of the film for $1.5 million to a New York businessman who vows to keep it private.
Keya Morgan says the silent, 15-minute, black-and-white, 16 millimeter film was apparently shot in the 1950s, and shows Monroe on her knees performing the sex act on the man, who's only shown from the shoulders down, standing against a wall.
Morgan says the FBI agent he interviewed "told me he and nine other agents were involved in verifying (the authenticity of the film) and were working directly under Hoover, who was directly involved in this investigation, because of the possibility this tape involved John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy."
An employee of Butterfields auction house displays a copy of a model release signed by Marilyn Monore in front of one of the photographs of Monroe during a Hollywood photo shoot in 1949, in Los Angeles, March 22, 2001. A 15-minute film of Marilyn Monroe engaging in an oral sex act with an unidentified man will be kept from public view by a New York businessman who has bought it for $1.5 million, the broker of the deal said on Monday. REUTERS/Fred Prouser
See below Marilyn Monroe in the famous Red Velvet series, shot by Tom Kelley. The photographs were taken in 1949. Are we to believe that the heavy, overweight woman in the film transformed into the beauty that graced the first ever Playboy centerfold?
Thank you for taking the time to point out so specifically and with so much detail the vast differences between the girl in the film and Marilyn. I've been a fan and collector of Marilyn for 25 years, seen all her movies, read (and own) dozens of books and studied zillions of images of Marilyn I find it laughable that anyone could believe that girl is Marilyn. Mr. Barsa should be ashamed for trying to sully Marilyn's name and reputation and for trying to dupe some poor fool out of any money for that film. I hope the film never sells and rots to dust in Mr. Barsa's possession, regardless of who the girl in the film really is.
Ana de Armas stars as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's Blonde, but the movie is far from a traditional biopic. It's based not on a biography, but on a novel by Joyce Carol Oates. Netflix described the film as taking "dramatic license with her life," featuring real historical figures but also "amalgams of people she might have known."
For example, Blonde imagines Monroe to have been in a throuple with the sons of Charlie Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson, one of whom is implied to have contributed to her apparent suicide. Several graphic sex scenes between the three are featured, but there is no evidence a throuple actually happened as depicted in the movie. Most controversially, the climax of the film involves President John F. Kennedy sexually assaulting Monroe, who is then kidnapped and forced to have an abortion in a sequence that, again, is totally imagined.
But Blonde isn't completely fictional, as it also draws on true aspects of Monroe's life, including the fact that she married Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller (listed in the credits as "Ex-Athlete" and "The Playwright," respectively); that her father wasn't present; and that her mother suffered from schizophrenia, though another scene invented for the film shows her mother attempting to kill Marilyn in a bathtub when there is no evidence this event occurred.
Blonde is a relentlessly bleak and punishing film focused almost entirely on showing the suffering inflicted on Monroe over its two-and-half-hour runtime. It's rated NC-17 for its graphic sexual content and has sparked criticism by those who find it exploitative and disrespectful to the actress' legacy.
Later, Secret Service agents drag Monroe to President John F. Kennedy after she has taken pills and become disoriented. Kennedy forces her to perform oral sex on him while he's lying in bed on the phone, aggressively pushing her head toward his crotch. A close-up of Monroe giving Kennedy oral sex lasts more than a minute as he calls her a "dirty slut," and a visibly distressed Monroe thinks to herself, "You have to swallow. You have to swallow." The film zooms out to show this oral sex scene being watched in a movie theater.
Afterward, Kennedy grabs Monroe and throws her onto the bed, placing his hand over her mouth as she screams. The scene cuts to her waking up in bed and puking as Secret Service agents drag her away, implying she was raped by Kennedy. She is subsequently kidnapped in the middle of the night and forced to have an abortion. Monroe wakes up covered in blood the following morning and overdoses not long after. (The film doesn't specifically identify the president as being Kennedy and lists him as "The President" in the credits, but it's clearly meant to be him.)
There are also multiple consensual sex scenes with Charles Chaplin Jr. and Edward G. Robinson Jr. An explicit one early on shows them having a threesome, and they have a sexual encounter in public in a movie theater, with Monroe loudly moaning as the trailer for one of her films plays.
In multiple scenes, the movie also depicts Monroe's fetus, which she imagines speaking to her in a baby's voice. "You won't hurt me this time, will you?" the CGI fetus asks her, referring to her abortion earlier in the film. She tells the fetus that "you're not the same baby," but it responds, "That was me. It's always me." These scenes have led some critics to argue the film is pro-life.
But other critics have come away from Blonde impressed, with Vulture's Bilge Ebiri writing that the film is "beautiful, mesmerizing, and, at times, deeply moving," while The Associated Press' Jocelyn Noveck called it "bruising and often beautiful."
Speaking to The Associated Press' Lindsey Bahr, Dominik argued the film isn't exploitative. "Suffering is not exploitative, because it's not titillating," he said. In an interview with The Wrap, he addressed claims that the film is pro-life, saying that while some critics are looking at it "through this Roe v. Wade lens," it's "not really about that." Speaking to Deadline, Dominik also argued Monroe "clearly wasn't in control of her life," like the movie portrays, arguing, "Any person that's killing themselves is not a figure of female empowerment."
In an interview with Sight and Sound, journalist Christina Newland questioned the fact that Blonde ignores how Monroe "formed her own production company, or that she was involved in opposing the anti-communist witch-hunts by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s," and other aspects of her life. In response, Dominik said the film is not about that but "about a person who is going to be killing themself," so his interest was to "examine the reasons why they did that," calling Monroe an "extraordinarily self-destructive" person.
Newland shared a cut portion of this interview on Twitter, in which Dominik also argued "nobody really watches" Monroe's movies and was surprised to learn Newland watches 1953's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes regularly. "What is it about it?" Dominik asked, before controversially describing the classic film as being about "well-dressed whores." He also suggested Monroe's performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in that movie is an example of "romanticized whoredom."
The quotes attracted further criticism of Dominik ahead of Blonde's release, with critic Kayleigh Donaldson tweeting that he seemed "openly contemptuous towards the woman he made an entire film about," while critic Dana Stevens suggested Dominik views Monroe as "a glorified whore who is interesting only for her suffering."
De Armas was once seen as a strong candidate to be nominated for Best Actress, and some pundits still think this is possible, as even the film's detractors have praised her performance. But the fact that the movie itself is so polarizing and upsetting has made that less likely.
Collector Mikel Barsa said in an interview Wednesday that he wants at least $500,000 for the sexually explicit 6½-minute, grainy black-and-white film, which he says was made before 1947, when Monroe was not yet 21.
Barsa said he has no idea how the two original copies ended up in the hands of the people who sought his help selling them, and he refused to identify any of the principals involved. He said that in the 1940s, sex films were often made using side-by-side 16-mm and 8-mm cameras, since audiences used both formats.
The collector said that Mark Roesler of Indianapolis-based CMG Worldwide, which has managed the image and estate of Monroe, threatened to sue after the earlier version surfaced in 1997. Barsa said nothing ever came of it after the owners offered to sell the film to CMG.
Barsa says he plans to auction the film himself Aug. 7 at a memorabilia collectors fair that he has organized in Buenos Aires, and is hoping for publicity similar to the scandal he generated when he screened the 16-mm version at a similar fair in Madrid in 1997. News coverage of his auction is already creating another buzz on the Internet.
According to accounts spun out this week by collectibles dealer Keya Morgan, the purported film was sold by the son of a late FBI informant who had somehow obtained it in the mid-1960s. The 15-minute film, which supposedly shows Monroe performing oral sex on an unknown male, was purchased by a wealthy New York man who wanted to guarantee that it was never shown, Morgan has claimed.
In interviews this week, Morgan has declined to identify the FBI agent, the informant, the snitch's son, or the businessman who bought the 16mm film. The only corroboration he has offered is a few pages of FBI records, documents that TSG posted online in February 2002 (but which had first been made available years earlier to those filing Freedom of Information requests).
But it is those FBI documents that Morgan has mischaracterized as supporting the central claims that he has made about the purported Monroe film. The redacted documents were sent to FBI headquarters from the bureau's Albany field office, which apparently controlled the informant. 2b1af7f3a8