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Thread: Elia Kazan's Private Letters - Affair with Marilyn Monroe, Chastises Warren Beatty

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Default Elia Kazan's Private Letters - Affair with Marilyn Monroe, Chastises Warren Beatty

    https://movies.yahoo.com/news/elia-k...050000636.html

    Elia Kazan's Private Letters: Sleeping With Marilyn, Chastising Beatty and Discovering Newman

    Director Elia Kazan remains one of Hollywood's most polarizing figures. He directed such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), East of Eden (1955) and Splendor in the Grass (1961). The native New Yorker's career began on the stage and, as such, Kazan was an actor's director; he discovered Marlon Brando, James Dean and Warren Beatty. He also loved writers and proved a nimble collaborator for such icons as Tennessee Williams and John Steinbeck.

    But when he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee about being a member of the Communist Party in the '30s, he "named names" -- an act that drew scorn from some of his contemporaries and colored his career and his 1999 honorary Oscar (some of the attendees, like Kirk Douglas, steadfastly refused to applaud).

    While a look at the correspondence he left when he died in 2003 at 94 -- collected in The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan, out April 22 -- can't form a complete portrait of the man, it offers invaluable insight into the mind of one of the 20th century's great cinematic artists.

    He was a man who admitted to various marital infidelities, including one with Marilyn Monroe ("a touching pathetic waif," see full letter below), recognized the appeal of Paul Newman ("plenty of power, insides and sex"), scolded Beatty for being a diva and fought tooth-and-nail with censors and studio heads to preserve his directorial vision. He was a man who loathed much about Hollywood -- writing his wife, Molly Day Thacher, that he hated it "in a shrieking insane way. … It's like the grave, the tomb, the charnel pit -- except it's all very fancy … full of really very fine people, all in various stages of decomposition, without knowing" -- but came to Tinseltown anyway because that's where movies are made.

    Letter Concerning Monroe
    In 1955, a defiant Kazan, 46, confessed to his wife an affair with Monroe, 29, a few years earlier -- not the first or last time he would stray. His letter offers an intimate view of not only their relationship but Monroe's marriage to Joe DiMaggio. It shows how Kazan was both tender and tough to the women he loved.

    Nov. 29, 1955

    To Molly Day Thacher

    The reason I can't write you about what I'm ashamed of is because I'm ashamed of it. I'm ashamed I hurt you ever. On the other hand I resent being made to feel guilty and low and less. This harks back to the worst times I ever had when I felt low and less and all that. I don't feel that way any more ostensibly. I just want you to know that it's not a philosophy of mine, or a callous piece of habitual aggression. And it's not like the earlier episode because I don't feel vengeful, hardly at all, if at all. I guess it's accurate to say: not at all.

    In one sense it's true to say that it meant nothing. On the other hand it was a human experience, and it started, if that is of any significance, in a most human way. Her boy friend, or "keeper" (if you want to be mean) had just died. His family had not allowed her to see the body, or allowed her into the house, where she had been living. She had sneaked in one night and been thrown out. I met her on Harmon Jones' set. Harmon thought her a ridiculous person and was fashionably scornful of her. I found her, when I was introduced, in tears. I took her to dinner because she seemed like such a touching pathetic waif. She sobbed all thru dinner. I wasn't "interested in her"; that came later. I got to know her in time and introduced her to Arthur Miller, who also was very taken by her. You couldn't help being touched. She was talented, funny, vulnerable, helpless in awful pain, with no hope, and some worth and not a liar, not vicious, not catty, and with a history of orphanism that was killing to hear. She was like all Charlie Chaplin's heroines in one.

    I'm not ashamed at all, not a damn bit, of having been attracted to her. She is nothing like what she appears to be now, or even appears to have turned into now. She was a little stray cat when I knew her. I got a lot out of her just as you do from any human experience where anyone is revealed to you and you affect anyone in any way. I guess I gave her a lot of hope. She is not a big sex pot as advertised. At least not in my experience. I don't know if there are such as "advertised" big sex pots. She told me a lot about [Joe DiMaggio] and her, his Catholicism, and his viciousness (he struck her often, and beat her up several times). I was touched and fascinated. It was the type of experience that I do not understand and I enjoyed (not the right word) hearing about it. I certainly recommended her to Tennessee's attention. And he was very taken by her.

    I'm not sorry about it. I love you and only want to help you. I'm awful sorry I hurt you. I am human though. It might happen again. I hope not, and I have resisted quite some other opportunities. No loss. I got a lot out of this one; can't say I didn't. I think I helped her. If you don't like what I say and feel it necessary for your own sense of honor to divorce me, divorce me. I don't think I should not be married or anything like that. If you divorce me, I'll tell you plainly I will in time get married again and have more children. I feel I'm a family man and a damned good one. I don't care what your judgment is on that.

    Elia Kazan's Private Letters: Warren Beatty Chastised for Diva Behavior

    After he was cast in 1961's Splendor in the Grass, Warren Beatty saw Kazan as a mentor and turned to him for advice and help -- but the director could be candid in his criticism, as seen in this letter, in which he tells the actor to behave less like a diva.

    May 22, 1963

    To Warren Beatty

    Forgive the impertinence of a friend. I really do like you, and it disheartens me when I hear from the underground that you are giving everybody a bad time in Maryland. I know rumors are unreliable and it's not right to repeat them. But, damn it, they dishearten me. I always say: "Warren at bottom is a damn fine guy!" But there's some contradiction all through your behavior. On the one hand you say that you want to be a movie star. You've said it again and again not only to me but to lots of people. But I must tell you that becoming a first flight movie star depends, as you well know, on working with the elite directors on the real good stories. And when these director-glamour boys hear that you are being "difficult" their only reaction can be: "Who needs it?"

    It seems to me that you must find a way of legitimately asserting yourself and even forcibly making your opinions and impulses felt. While, at the same time, being agreeable to work with, decent to deal with, fun to be with, and a contributor to an overall effort. It's very regrettable that so many people think of you as a special problem. You have so much: intelligence, talent, sensitivity. You are handsome, vigorous, physically able. But all this can be nullified or badly handicapped by the kind of stories -- true, part true, quite false, whatever -- that have been getting back to me here.

    As I said, it's possibly impertinent of me to write you this way. I am not your father or your brother, only a friend. But think about what I say.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    So,Warren didn't follow a word.
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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Oh, please...don't bring up WB...oh God.
    czb, msdeb, Seth82 and 1 others like this.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    If I were married and I ever got a letter from my husband like the one that asshole Kazan laid on his wife, the ink on the divorce papers wouldn't be dry before he got served with them.
    Last edited by Laurent; April 10th, 2014 at 08:58 PM.
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    Yeah, a letter like that from my husband would not go over well.

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    Elite Member WhateverLolaWants's Avatar
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    What a manipulative self-centered fuckwit. That letter would fly like a ton of bricks with me. I could forgive an affair within some circumstances, but this guy had some real nerve.
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    Elite Member Flygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhateverLolaWants View Post
    What a manipulative self-centered fuckwit. That letter would fly like a ton of bricks with me. I could forgive an affair within some circumstances, but this guy had some real nerve.
    But when he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee about being a member of the Communist Party in the '30s, he "named names" -- an act that drew scorn from some of his contemporaries and colored his career and his 1999 honorary Oscar (some of the attendees, like Kirk Douglas, steadfastly refused to applaud).
    Hey, look, he was a sell-out snitching little pussy too.

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Great director, miserable piece of shit human being.

    I just can't get past him writing a letter to his wife to brag about banging Marilyn and to reassure her that it was nothing special!!!

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    Oh, please...don't bring up WB...oh God.
    Wow, censorship on an Americun forum called Gossip Rocks! How about freedom of speech????? You do know you can always put me on ignore or just skip any post on WB?
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    Wow, censorship on an Americun forum called Gossip Rocks! How about freedom of speech????? You do know you can always put me on ignore or just skip any post on WB?
    Who said I was talking about YOU? Why, I'm sure I've never read you posting about WB ever....
    "I am a social vegan; I avoid meet!” Anonymous Introvert

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I knew I didn't like that piece of shit for some reason. This all reminded me of why. Ugh. What a dick!

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITTER View Post
    Who said I was talking about YOU? Why, I'm sure I've never read you posting about WB ever....
    Yes, and the choir of angels sang Hallelujah.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Some of his other letters are at the link too. I don't have time right now to post those but they are interesting.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    He sounds very self-centered and immature. Good riddance for the wife.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    He's of his time. There must have been millions like him. I think what he says about Marilyn is interesting and sad.

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