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Great Scenes – THE GODDESS

Having recently caught a target=”_blank”>trailer for the Michelle Williams vehicle My Week with Marilyn I was immediately reminded of The Goddess (1958) – directed by John Cromwell and written by one of Hollywood’s greatest scribes ever, Paddy Chayefsky. This thinly-veiled deconstruction of Marilyn Monroe is especially noteworthy for its vintage (made 4 years before her death!) and complexity, and seems a fitting reminder of what once made movies great – the way they challenged audiences to look past the visible into the gulf between representation and reality. In this day and age when movies are more primitive-minded and LCD-driven than ever before we need to look to the past to find complex films such as these to feed our malnourished minds. Kim Stanley‘s embodiment of the come-from-nothing-farm girl is more than just a revealing look at the starlet – it is also an examination of attention-seeking compulsive behavior which forever dooms those who seek their happiness in the approval of others. Just look at this scene where Marilyn – a lost soul torn apart by a constant need for attention – ineptly attacks her God-fearing mother where it hurts most.

and here’s another great scene from the movie (available in its entirety on youtube) in which Lloyd Bridges plays “Dutch” – another of Marilyn’s possessive suitors – a thinly veiled Joe DiMaggio?

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