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Laone08

Shameful...Arlene Dahl on Marilyn Monroe "Word of Mouth" Segment

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I recently sent this email to TCM to ask them to remove a segment they are airing a lot recently from rotation. If you feel the same, please contact TCM and ask them to remove the segment. This is my very first post on the TCM message boards and my first contact to TCM, so I feel very strongly about this. If you feel the same, please take action. If not....oh well.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I have been a proud, loyal and praising TCM fan for so many years I cannot remember life without it. As a film historian, elitist film snob and classic film aficionado I have always been 100% committed to TCM's purpose, *but* this past week I saw and keep seeing something so distasteful that for the first time ever, I feel I should contact TCM.

 

I recently saw the ?Word of Mouth? segment with Arlene Dahl discussing an incident at a party at Mickey Mantle?s home at which Marilyn Monroe was in attendance. The segment relates an anecdote of Marilyn overhearing a conversation about Walt Whitman, and entering the discussion assuming, according to the anecdote, that the topic is Whitman?s Chocolates. Arlene describes this as a ?gaffe? with the obvious implication that Marilyn didn?t know who Walt Whitman was and embarrassed herself and the entire party with her ignorance.

 

I am quite surprised this "Word of Mouth" segment is being aired because it is perpetuating a false stereotype, something that I thought TCM was against. Up until this segment, it was my impression that TCM reported and shared truths, not stereotypes, and there is indeed a difference in the Arlene Dahl segment. While the anecdote itself may be true, TCM should not be airing anecdotes that characterize and slander an actress who suffered enough with that in her lifetime.

 

Marilyn was a very well read person who was rarely seen without a book of some kind in her hand. In fact, there is a photo in ?Fragments? [Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe; Buchthal and Comment, 2010] on page 122 of Marilyn reading Walt Whitman?s "Leaves of Grass" in 1951, which is almost certainly before Marilyn would have attended the Mickey Mantle party (since she did not meet Joe DiMaggio, Mantle?s teammate, until 1952). Thus Marilyn obviously knew who Walt Whitman was and her statement was clearly a joke, not as a ?gaffe?. I?m sure it would surprise Ms. Dahl that Marilyn did not read children?s fiction, but rather many prominent literary authors: James Joyce, Heinrich Heine, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, Albert Camus, Jack Kerouac, John Milton, Gustave Flaubert, Khalil Gibran and others. It is said that Marilyn owned over 200 works of literature, all of which she read and could discuss. Many photos of her library and of her reading can be found in the book ?Fragments? as well as a magazine article in November 2010 issue of Vanity Fair.

 

Despite the types of roles she often played on screen, Marilyn was far from the dumb blonde in real life. In fact, she was pretty much the polar opposite of the gay party girl she often portrayed, spending the bulk of her life in constant therapy and self-analysis.

 

Marilyn was often snubbed and looked down on by her peers as being ignorant, but this was not the case, and TCM should not be lowering itself to the level of the National Enquirer to participate and perpetuate such ignorance about Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn?s feelings were often hurt when people summed her up as stupid simply because she sometimes played such characters in films. By allowing this ?Word of Mouth? segment to continue rotation, TCM is stabbing Marilyn through the heart every time it airs.

 

Please consider removing this "Word of Mouth" segment from rotation.

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I saw that WOM segment for the first time yesterday. I too was kind of turned off by what Dahl said. There are many explanations of what might have really happened, but it was Dahl's point of view, snarky as it is.

Any gentleman involved in a misunderstanding would have done the same as Astaire, although not these days!

 

But I'm not disturbed enough by the segment to write to the programmers.

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I understand that at that same party some men were talking about Mark Twain as Marilyn was walking by, and she walked over to them and said, ?I used to ride twains a lot when I was a child, but sometimes I would take a bus.?

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Monroe being Monroe, she was probably trying to be funny but the party dolts didn't get it.

 

Monroe was indeed well read and very witty. You have to remember when a snarky reporter asked her about her early days posing nude for calendars. He asked, "Didn't you have anything on?" and she responded, "The radio."

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Changing the subject a bit. Glancing through dozens of fan magazines from the 1950's, I was amazed how much the press in those magazines loved Monroe.Maybe it was her down to earth honesty relating her impoverished background. And when that nude photo emerged many in Hollywood said gossip columnist Hedda Hopper would tear her apart. Far from it! She was kind and understanding. Hollywood in the early 1950's was a frenetic place with inroads of TV and the studio systems collapsing. Monroe brought a new excitement to the industry with her fresh and magnetic personality. She helped get the public interested in stars again,In a strange way she helped Hollywood get through a difficult period.

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Every real movie fan knows that MM was a bewitching combination of

Oscar Wilde and Harold Bloom all rolled up into one lovely blonde package.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

> Every real movie fan knows that MM was a bewitching combination of

> Oscar Wilde and Harold Bloom all rolled up into one lovely blonde package.

 

 

That's beautiful man.

 

May I throw in that there is just the teensiest chance that Arlene is stretching the truth? On youtube there are competing stories from Arlene and Gloria DeHaven on the topic of Joan Crawford, Gloria tells a very nice story about how kind Joan was to her while Arlene recalls a rather far-fetched incident wherein Joan threw a drink on her and then proceeded to get into a catfight with Joan Fontaine. I don't believe a word of the latter.

 

I'm not too keen on yanking the segment tho'- remember Arlene must live with the fact that she is responsible for the existence of Lorenzo Lamas and his various Lamai- which for anyone who saw a nanosecond that _gawdawful_ E! show knows must be a heavy burden to bear.

 

I also note that Monroe's name is still synonomous with sex, success, glamour, class, and all things HOLLYWOOD, while (outside of these boards) most people would say "Arlene who?"

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Jan 3, 2011 2:33 PM

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Didn't Arlene Dahl abandon her child after a divorce from Fernando Lamas?

 

I don't think she should be telling "stories" about her betters.....

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> {quote:title=Laone08 wrote:}{quote}

> I recently sent this email to TCM to ask them to remove a segment they are airing a lot recently from rotation. If you feel the same, please contact TCM and ask them to remove the segment. This is my very first post on the TCM message boards and my first contact to TCM, so I feel very strongly about this. If you feel the same, please take action. If not....oh well.

>

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>

> I have been a proud, loyal and praising TCM fan for so many years I cannot remember life without it. As a film historian, elitist film snob and classic film aficionado I have always been 100% committed to TCM's purpose, *but* this past week I saw and keep seeing something so distasteful that for the first time ever, I feel I should contact TCM.

>

> I recently saw the Word of Mouth segment with Arlene Dahl discussing an incident at a party at Mickey Mantles home at which Marilyn Monroe was in attendance. The segment relates an anecdote of Marilyn overhearing a conversation about Walt Whitman, and entering the discussion assuming, according to the anecdote, that the topic is Whitmans Chocolates. Arlene describes this as a gaffe with the obvious implication that Marilyn didnt know who Walt Whitman was and embarrassed herself and the entire party with her ignorance.

>

> I am quite surprised this "Word of Mouth" segment is being aired because it is perpetuating a false stereotype, something that I thought TCM was against. Up until this segment, it was my impression that TCM reported and shared truths, not stereotypes, and there is indeed a difference in the Arlene Dahl segment. While the anecdote itself may be true, TCM should not be airing anecdotes that characterize and slander an actress who suffered enough with that in her lifetime.

>

> Marilyn was a very well read person who was rarely seen without a book of some kind in her hand. In fact, there is a photo in Fragments [Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe; Buchthal and Comment, 2010] on page 122 of Marilyn reading Walt Whitmans "Leaves of Grass" in 1951, which is almost certainly before Marilyn would have attended the Mickey Mantle party (since she did not meet Joe DiMaggio, Mantles teammate, until 1952). Thus Marilyn obviously knew who Walt Whitman was and her statement was clearly a joke, not as a gaffe. Im sure it would surprise Ms. Dahl that Marilyn did not read childrens fiction, but rather many prominent literary authors: James Joyce, Heinrich Heine, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Beckett, Albert Camus, Jack Kerouac, John Milton, Gustave Flaubert, Khalil Gibran and others. It is said that Marilyn owned over 200 works of literature, all of which she read and could discuss. Many photos of her library and of her reading can be found in the book Fragments as well as a magazine article in November 2010 issue of Vanity Fair.

>

> Despite the types of roles she often played on screen, Marilyn was far from the dumb blonde in real life. In fact, she was pretty much the polar opposite of the gay party girl she often portrayed, spending the bulk of her life in constant therapy and self-analysis.

>

> Marilyn was often snubbed and looked down on by her peers as being ignorant, but this was not the case, and TCM should not be lowering itself to the level of the National Enquirer to participate and perpetuate such ignorance about Marilyn Monroe. Marilyns feelings were often hurt when people summed her up as stupid simply because she sometimes played such characters in films. By allowing this Word of Mouth segment to continue rotation, TCM is stabbing Marilyn through the heart every time it airs.

>

> Please consider removing this "Word of Mouth" segment from rotation.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Are you for real?

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That's the problem with the Hollywood hype machine. It's hard to know who's telling

the truth and who is stretching it out of shape. Three different people will reminisce

about the same thing and they will come up with three different stories. Whatever.

 

Marilyn is certainly many times more famous than Arlene Dahl, but whether she is

her better or not is a whole different matter.

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> {quote:title=Laone08 wrote:}{quote}

> Marilyn was often snubbed and looked down on by her peers as being ignorant, but this was not the case, and TCM should not be lowering itself to the level of the National Enquirer to participate and perpetuate such ignorance about Marilyn Monroe. Marilyns feelings were often hurt when people summed her up as stupid simply because she sometimes played such characters in films. By allowing this Word of Mouth segment to continue rotation, TCM is stabbing Marilyn through the heart every time it airs.

>

> Please consider removing this "Word of Mouth" segment from rotation.

 

There have been worse things said about Monroe, but her reputation hasn't suffered. Monroe, herself, is nearly fifty years dead, and is past caring.

 

In a world full of real and tragic injustices, this counts about as much as a sneeze in a cancer ward.

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7:48 P.M. - Tuesday night

They're running it again!

 

And there it was again, at 9:22 P.M.

Looks like they're not planning to stop running it.

 

Okay, here we go again!

It's 11:52 P.M. Tuesday night and it's on again!

 

Not again!

Sure enough here it is again!

Wednesday morning at 3:43 A.M.

Looks like they're not taking the request to stop running this seriously!

 

Just in case anyone missed it...yes it's on again!

Wednesday morning at 5:33 A.M.

 

Well, they really want everyone to see this, don't they?

Here it is Wednesday morning at 6:38 A.M. and it's on again!

 

I knew it would be on again...and here it is!

Wednesday morning at 9:39 A.M.

 

It's on again right now...

Wednesday afternoon at 12:33 P.M.

 

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 4, 2011 9:26 PM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 4, 2011 11:54 PM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 5, 2011 3:46 AM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 5, 2011 5:34 AM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 5, 2011 6:41 AM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 5, 2011 9:40 AM

 

Edited by: musicalnovelty on Jan 5, 2011 12:34 PM

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The segment is called "Word of Mouth" and the comment comes directly from someone's mouth.

 

I can see get bent out of shape if the comment was made by a host and they said it came from an unnamed source. Those type of comments should be shown.

 

But the person making the comment is willing to stand by their comment. I really see no need to censor this type of comment. Let us decide what we think about it.

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I don't see the issue here. Ms. Dahl is stating what happened as she remembers it. You can believe her or disbelieve her, agree or disagree, but I can't see any reason why she should be silenced, simply because her story doesn't comport with someone else's opinion of Miss Monroe. Indeed, isn't it important to consider history from all points of view in order to then arrive at conclusions which stand the best chance of being true?

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It's a MM third person story, which all of them will be now. This discussion does make me wonder, however.

 

1. Are there instances where MM contemporaries saw glimpses of her brilliance off the set?

 

2. What of the format of other "Word of Mouth" stories? I have seen many of these, and -I am shocked, SHOCKED! to find- that most are third person stories.

 

3. Are we talking Hollywood, and isn't this more like what we see now with most newsworthy people in the media, where the gossip (third person) sells?

 

The Word of Mouth segment does sound like a quippy exchange out of The Seven Year Itch, and reflects more on Arlene Dahl's ability as a story teller (so-so) than illuminating anything fresh about Hollywood's premiere Bombshell. I think the best part is of Fred Astaire's graciousness of the situation more than anything.

 

There was a better told story by Maureen O'Hara about the Duke that doesn't shine so nobly on him at first, but does reflect the world they live in, the stardom they endure, and adventures that are totally unique for them.

 

I say lighten up about it. HA, It's not like she's relating behavior on par with Lindsay Lohan.

 

h5. Is it better to live up to one's image, or to surpass it?

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I just saw it last night during a break of the Little Rascal marathon and I agree I really disliked that segment. I like when word of mouth talks about the positive legacy of a star not making fun of Marilyn. I don't want to silence Arlene but I did find it a little tactless.

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I've been staying out of this..but I am finally going to chime in...I'm not a real big MM fan..she was undeniably sexy, true, and I've read of her intelligence before..(Jayne Mansfield was another "bombshell" who was also supposedly very intelliegent but also used the "dumb blonde" persona), but I have never though much of Marilyn's dramatic acting talent...having said that, I will also hasten to add that I think she had a real gift for comedy...but as far as her drama movies..no, not so much.

 

As for Ms Dahl's comments I don't think they were meant hurtfully. Maryiln was one who was "on" much of the time..and she may well have been playing dumb blonde with a misunderstood joke, or (this is also possible) it could have been one of those dumb remarks even intelligent people make now and then, and everyone makes them occasionally, or some part of the conversation led her to honestly believe that they were talking actually talking about Whitman's chocolate, which caused Marilyn to then indulge herself in a classic "open mouth-insert foot" moment...

 

Arlene Dahl is merely reporting what she heard/saw..so I don't think she should be penalized for it..

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As with all of these segments we learn something about the speaker (in this case Dahl), as much as we do about who they are talking about.

 

Just take the info with a grain of salt.

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So Arlene Dahl was talking with Fred Astaire and Clark Gable and they just

got around to Walt Whitman. In theory that's possible, but I wouldn't take

it on faith alone. Oh to be a fly on the wall.

 

Wasn't Jayne Mansfield the actress who supposedly had an IQ of 160 or so?

Coulda be, but then again...

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