Alleged Marilyn Monroe sex film sparks debate
BUENOS AIRES - A Spanish collector plans to auction what he claims is a newly discovered 8mm version of a film purportedly showing Marilyn Monroe having sex when she was still an underage actress known as Norma Jean Baker.
A Marilyn Monroe expert, however, says the actress in the film is someone else, considerably heavier and less feminine than the film star.
“That’s not Marilyn. The chin is not the same, the lips are not the same, the teeth are not the same,” said Scott Fortner, who has a sizeable collection of Monroe memorabilia, including a belt he said proves how much more petite she was. “Marilyn was a tiny little thing. And I know that for a fact. I own her clothing.”
Collector Mikel Barsa said in an interview Wednesday that he wants at least $500,000 for the sexually explicit 6½-minute, grainy, black-and-white film, which he says was made before 1947, when Monroe was not yet 21.
He said it’s an exact copy of a 16mm film discovered more than a decade ago. Barsa brokered a sale of that film to a European magazine in 1997, which he said in turn sold some 600,000 copies before a collector bought the original 16mm reel for $1.2 million. Copies of that version are still circulating on the Internet.
“People with romantic notions have denied that it’s Marilyn Monroe, and have invented stories” to raise doubts about the film, Barsa said in his Buenos Aires office, which is lined with pictures from his days as a concert promoter. “This film shows the real Marilyn Monroe - it was only later that the studios discovered her and transformed her.”
The face of the woman in the film looks considerably different from the Monroe who emerged later as a star, but more similar to the Monroe seen in one of her first movies, 1949’s “Love Happy,” which shows the actress before she lost weight and added a beauty spot on her left cheek.
Barsa said he has no idea how the two original copies ended up in the hands of the people who sought his help selling them, and he refused to identify any of the principals involved. He said that in the 1940s, sex films were often made using side-by-side 16mm and 8mm cameras, since audiences used both formats.
Barsa plans to auction the film himself on Aug. 7 at a memorabilia collectors fair that he has organized in Buenos Aires, and is hoping for publicity similar to the scandal he generated when he screened the 16mm film at a fair in Madrid in 1997.