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Years after his wife, Ellen, was lost at sea, Nick has her declared legally dead and remarries. That same day, Ellen is rescued from a desert island and returns home. This unfinished remake of "My Favorite Wife" was the last film Marilyn Monroe worked on before her death in 1962. Most of the footage was unseen, until it was restored into a 37-minute short which aired on television on June 1, 2001.Written by
The instrumental version of "Something's Gotta Give" by Ray Anthony & His Orchestra was originally in Daddy Long Legs (1955) which starred Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. When the digital restoration and reconstruction was undertaken for the unfinished film, 20th Century-Fox inadvertently mixed in Anthony's instrumental version of the song for Marilyn's famous 'swimming pool' sequence at no cost since Fox also produced the Astaire vehicle. A different instrumental background - originally to be for the film - can be heard in an alternate take of the swimming pool scene that appeared on a Marilyn Monroe CD compilation issued by Hollywood Soundstage; this music was eventually used later on in the film as Monroe's character is encountered by Phil Silvers as she rests nude on the edge of the pool. See more »
This could have been one quite-good movie. AMC assembled the footage that was shot prior to MM's death-- but if you're reading this, chances are you know this-- and from every indication, it could have turned out to be an enjoyable sex farce, perhaps a groundbreaking one, as it pushed the envelope just a little further.
First, Monroe looked great in the tests as well as in the completed footage. She could get her act together if handled right. Second, and this fact cannot be overlooked, she was playing a MOTHER-- of children-- for the first time. And a sexy, mid-30s mother at that! Way back in 1962, 40-odd years before "Desperate Housewives," sexy moms were unheard of. Nobody considered that a woman was still a woman, even after having a kid or two.
Second, "Something's Got To Give" had a great cast. Both Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse were perfect as the other two angles in this screwball triangle, Martin quite convincing as a comic suburban dad and Charisse exemplary as Monroe's sexual foil. And the cameos from comedians ranging from Wally Cox to Steve Allen only added to the parfait.
But above and beyond Monroe and the casting, "SGTG" had George Cukor at the helm. Cukor knew a few things about comedy and could bring a presence to any film bearing his directorial touch. He knew what makes things funny. Think the Tracy-Hepburn classics. Think "The Women." Think "What Price Hollywood." No, DON'T think "My Fair Lady" nor "A Star Is Born."
There's talk about finishing this film digitally. Just one question: why? Unless someone can digitally resurrect George Cukor from the grave, there'd be no point.
Something's got to give? Something DID give, damn it. Marilyn Monroe gave into her demons, and what might have been a new start for Monroe's career as we witnessed maturing sexuality never got a chance.
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