A photographer who took the nude on-stage shots in Marilyn Monroe’s last movie “Something’s Got to Give,” told the story of how the famous actress resorted to removing clothes in an effort to combat a rival actress.
Lawrence Schiller, who was hired to capture on-stage moments of the film for a French magazine, disclosed that in 1962, Monroe’s popularity was challenged by Taylor, who was filming Cleopatra. Feeling that “Something’s Got to Give” was not enough of a hit – even calling the movie “flimsy,” – Monroe came up with the idea to spice things up by removing her clothes before the camera.
“What if I went into the swimming pool with my bathing suit on but I came out with nothing on,” she said, according to Schiller.
As the shooting proceeded, the actress entered the pool in a nude-colored suit, but, with each shot, approached the edge with less and less clothing on.
“Third time there were no panties on,” Schiller said.
According to the photographer, 90 percent of the cameramen “were oblivious to the saucy scenes,” the Daily Mail report says.
Marilyn Monroe on the set of Something's Got to Give, 1962. Photograph by Lawrence Schiller. pic.twitter.com/c2tzflIhQv— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPics) July 30, 2015
Then, at some point, Monroe approached the side of the pool and flipped her leg over the edge. This pose, combined with Monroe’s mischievous expression, later became an iconic photo. Schiller said in an interview that his daughter later described the shot as one that “shows nothing by says everything.”
©Lawrence Schiller, Marilyn Monroe during the filming of a pool scene from 'Something's Got to Give' (directed by George Cukor), Los Angeles, California, May 23, 1962 @stjohnsphoto @lecinema_ @TheCinegogue @A_man_within pic.twitter.com/sSfXyCqC6U— Sucre Rose (@Sgusciosa) January 6, 2018
It was during this time that Monroe made her famous nude shots, covering herself with a towel and, at some points, just her own hands.
Sadly, this was the actress’s last photoshoot before her death in August that year. The incident led to the movie being eventually abandoned. It was re-filmed and released as “Move Over, Darling” the next year.
The movie’s production was troubled, as Monroe, struggling with personal troubles, would skip entire days of shooting, appearing for only 12 of 33 shooting days, The Daily Mail report recalls. She frequently called for sick days off, each reportedly costing the studio more than half a million dollars.
Eventually, shortly after her birthday on 1 June, she was fired by 20th Century Fox who grew tired of constant delays. On 5 August 1962, two months after her birthday, she was found dead in her bed.