“The Queen” is a movie about Marilyn Monroe

Opinion: What calls to boycott ‘The Woman King’ are really saying

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2013 at 10:57 p.m.

Last Modified: Thursday, March 23, 2013 at 10:57 p.m.

“The Queen” is one of my favorite films, but I will only see it once: the year it came out. It’s a movie as much about the time in which it was made as it is about its subject, Marilyn Monroe, the movie’s leading lady. “The Queen” is about Monroe’s relationship with Arthur Miller and how that relationship changed her. It’s a relationship that changed so much of Monroe’s life—not just the way she behaved in public (and thus, how her public and private behavior collided), but also her character, whose life after Monroe’s death was defined by that relationship. Like all of Monroe’s films, “The Queen” is about the triumph of good over evil. But “The Queen” goes further than that. It takes a look at a life that is much larger than the man in it.

Some of Monroe’s best friends and lovers, like Arthur Miller and Clark Gable, were not great people. Gable was a philanderer and a drunk. Miller was a narcissist and an antiwar activist. But Monroe’s good friends who worked with her on films like “Gentleman’s Agreement” and “How to Marry a Millionaire” were good people. One of these was William Randolph Hearst, who was a huge influence on both Monroe and Miller. On their way to the premiere of “Gentleman’s Agreement,” Monroe was photographed sitting next to Hearst’s wife, Marion Davies, who was also an influence on Monroe. On the way to Hearst’s home, Monroe was photographed walking alongside Hearst’s personal driver, Arthur Schlesinger. Their relationship went all the way back to the 1930s. Monroe’s first serious love was James Buchanan, president of a paper company. Miller and Monroe were together for eight years when she was married to Arthur Miller.

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