Monroe's film heritage would have been much more interesting had she
managed to obtain some of the parts she wanted to play, among them,
Grushenka, a spirited Russian girl, Irma,
a Parisian prostitute - two totally contrasting personalities that might
have afforded her a real opportunity to shine. Yet, for various reasons,
she wasn't able to play the parts.
Marilyn made 30 films, the majority of
which are unremarkable.
As an aspiring actress, Marilyn
had little choice. It was a matter of seeking whichever roles she could
get, auditioning and screen testing. As a contract artist with 20th
Century Fox, she had to toe the line. As she became a bigger star she
refused many of the roles Fox had penciled in for her - their idea of
films she was right for did not agree with hers.
Since 1950, Marilyn had wanted to
appear as Grushenka in "The Brothers Karamazov", a meaty role
as the leading female figure in the epic Russian novel. She announced to
the world that she wanted the part. A reporter asked, "Do you want
to play 'The Brothers Karamazov'?" she replied, "I don't want
to play the brothers, I want to play Grushenka. She's a girl."
20th Century Fox announced that they wouldn't consider her for such a
role; they obviously wanted to keep her in frothy, dumb blonde roles.
The novel eventually made it to
the screen in a 1958 MGM production, in which the part Marilyn desired
went to German actress, Maria Schell. The film itself was a lackluster,
superficial treatment of the great Russian classic.
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