Review: 'Marilyn & Me' a Visual Dive Into Iconic Memories

by Bill Biss

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday August 7, 2021

"Come on in! The water's so refreshing... After you've done, you know what." That's a line of dialogue from Marilyn Monroe in her last, and uncompleted, film at 20th Century Fox, titled "Something's Got To Give."

Hollywood photographer Lawrence Schiller was on assignment to take pictures of the star in the film as Monroe took the plunge into an on-set swimming pool. What was unexpected was the joy and happiness as Marilyn tossed her two-piece suit off once she swam around awhile in the pool. Just as Marilyn Monroe intended, she knocked Elizabeth Taylor off the cover of almost every fashion and entertainment publication around the world. Schiller didn't even know beforehand that he was about to witness this tremendous photo-op.

He shares this phenomenal experience in a revised and updated version from the initial 2012 book, which in 2021 is simply titled "Marilyn & Me." What did men use to say about Playboy magazine? It goes something like this... "I just read it for the interesting articles." Whether you react to the visuals or read all about it, the combination of Schiller's personal memories and his photography of Marilyn in or out of the pool are priceless.

At 23 years of age, Lawrence Schiller had captured an echelon of motion picture stars. Of course, not knowing of Marilyn's untimely death four months later on August 5, 1962, he would rank with Bert Stern and George Barris in this master class of moments by a trio of brilliant photographers taken in the last year and a half of her life. Marilyn's star quality was natural, her acting as a wide-eyed blonde was an actor's tool, and at 36 she had come a long way and was smart and savvy in all aspects of her career. Off screen she was overly sensitive (see her childhood as the cause of her personality traits), and yearned to improve her knowledge of many subjects while being truly genuine and caring. Lawrence Schiller elaborates on many of these qualities with photos, and with his writing about his time spent with Monroe.

These beautifully presented photos of Marilyn Monroe showcase an au naturel Monroe who, though going through health issues along with personal turmoil at the time, simply radiates beauty and mischievous charm. She created a definitive splash — one that was glowingly warm, and now frozen in time. Take a visual dive through "Marilyn & Me" by Lawrence Schiller for some truly iconic memories that will never be forgotten.

"Marilyn & Me" by Lawrence Schiller is available now from TASCHEN.