3 July 2012

Book Review - My Week With Marilyn, By Colin Clark

I have always been an Audrey Hepburn fan over Marilyn Monroe, despite only having seen one Marilyn film.. This was changed rather quickly when I read My Week With Marilyn, a real diary written by Colin Clark, who got to know Marilyn when he was third assistant director on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. The version of the book I have is the one released after the film, and is a combination of two separate releases of individual diaries diary, The Prince The Showgirl and Me and My Week With Marilyn. The latter was released at a later date and were combined to make the film because the two overlap.


In 1956, fresh from Oxford, 23-year-old Colin Clark worked as a humble 'gofer' on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. The film united Britain's leading actor, Laurence Olivier, with Hollywood's most glamorous sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe - and clashes between them entered film legend.

For one glorious week, the world's biggest film star sought comfort in the arms of the set's most junior employee. This is the frank, fresh, comic story of how Clark came to share Monroe's confidences - and her bed!


As much as this book made me fall in love with Marilyn Monroe, as did the whole world when she was alive, I could not help but feel a little disappointed with how mundane the book was. I felt as if i was waiting for something dramatic to happen that never came, (this is reminiscent of how i felt after reading the much acclaimed One Day, which failed to live up to my expectations despite being addictive). I gave up on the first part of the book The Prince the Showgirl and Me after being talked through a few days of Colin's life. Ultimately if you are into the whole making of movies in the 50s then this would be excellent for you, but I'm much more interested in the actual films produced. This led me to skip to the second part My Week With Marilyn. The blurb, which is clearly designed to sell the book, made the whole affair (if it can be called that) seem a bit dramatic.

However you must take into consideration that this is first and foremost the diary of a (now deceased) man, and his claim to fame (despite the connections he has). It was not written to be read by the masses and is an account of real life, which in a way, reflects the differences between the lives portrayed in films and novels, and reality.

My main problem with this is that because Marilyn unfortunately killed herself many years ago, there is no one around to confirm the story, and even Colin Clark himself has since died. despite this, it is a lovely read for any Monroe fans out there or for any of you interested in the workings of a film studio in the 50s. And in the version with the film cover there is the added bonus of a few pictures of both Marilyn herself in the film production and Michelle Williams, who played her in the film, in similar poses.

I hope you enjoyed the first book review of many, definitely enjoyed writing this one.. the words literally just flowed out. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I am still without adequate camera and am not willing to get one off the internet which i did not take.

Laura xx

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