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Unheard tapes reveal Marilyn Monroe's 'mysterious' final days


JakeHolman
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I'll be very interested to see what tapes they're talking about. Just from a quick search, it seems as though they're recordings of interviews made in subsequent years by Anthony Summers, not any tapes of events in the house on the night of her death, which have long been rumored to exist (or to have existed). I remember reading that when a later owner of the house remodeled, the walls were honeycombed with wiring, indicating she'd been bugged on a number of occasions and probably by different parties. Who heard what and when has always been the question, but it seems like the claim that this documentary has "tapes" about her final hours may be deliberately misleading. Also, the Schaefer Ambulance story (that she was removed from the house alive, died in the ambulance, and the body was brought back to the house) has been around the block before, fueling lots of tabloid coverage in the 1980's. I kind of gave up on paying attention because, as with the Kennedy assassination, the stories got screwier and harder to prove or disprove. I'll give this documentary a look, but so far I'm not particularly excited about this "new" take. I'm assuming Anthony Summers' most relevant material already made it into his book.

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As documentary filmmaking, it's not bad, though the device of having actors lip-synch to Anthony Summers' recorded interviews seems to be catering to the modern attention span (or lack thereof) where simple words aren't enough.  Much of this information appeared in the 1985 BBC documentary Say Goodbye to The President, so this new doc Is basically Summers' greatest hits, a late-in-life recap of his 1985 biography, Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe. It's interesting hearing some of his source material directly, but the basics remain the same. But for a younger generation which knows Marilyn for her iconic images and little else (and who maybe don't "read" in the traditional sense), this could be eye-opening. Summers deserves credit for helping kick the investigations around Marilyn's death into high gear; others preceded him but even such a fearless writer as Norman Mailer only dared to hint at a powerful "Easterner" in her life in his 1973 biography. Summers nailed the Kennedy connection for good and that's where his legacy lies. Others have made the leap to murder speculation, but Summers has stayed in his lane, insisting the information he has uncovered proves a cover-up only.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/1/2022 at 5:56 PM, MortSahlFan said:

I hope there's more archive and less commentary.

Not sure what you mean, but it's the official "archive" (the police report, the autopsy, etc.) which is at question, because it's so at odds with the story being told here.  If by commentary you mean talking heads, no, there's not much of that other than Summers himself. The commentary comes from his tapes of interviews with people who had (or claimed to have had) a direct relation to events around the time of Marilyn's death. For instance, Summers has a taped interview with the wife of Marilyn's publicist who confirms that her husband was called away from a concert at the Hollywood Bowl between 10 and 11 PM to deal with Marilyn's death at the house, when the official timeline from the police report stated that the body wasn't discovered until 3 AM and the police weren't called until 4. He has tapes of the housekeeper from years after the events rescinding the alleged chain of events from the original police report and confirming that Bobby Kennedy had been at the house that day. But, as I said, much of this was published in his 1985 biography, so it's not exactly breaking news.

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