Mumbai: A remarkable two and a half minute amateur film of screen goddess Marilyn Monroe has surfaced almost 50 years after it was presumed lost. The 8mm film is still in its original Kodak box and includes candid images on the set of Some Like It Hot, which the American Film Institute listed as the greatest American comedy film of all time.
It was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The footage, featuring Monroe, Wilder and Curtis, was taken in early 1959 by a young naval officer when Monroe visited his base in San
Diego. Later that day he was invited by Monroe to visit the set at the nearby Hotel Del Coronado.
Earlier this year an amateur film of Monroe on the set of The Misfits sold in the US for US$60,000. Auctioneer Charles Leski believes this latest find may be more valuable as it pre-dates The Misfits and because of the status of Some Like It Hot in American filmography.
The purchaser of the film also acquires full commercial rights worldwide.
The lot including a CD copy and a DVD copy together with the original 8mm film, will be offered for sale by Leski Auctions in Melbourne on 25 September. It has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 – $30,000.
Leski said the vendor is the daughter of the naval officer, and the film was discovered by chance among her late father’s possessions. "Marilyn Monroe memorabilia is always in demand, but rarely do we get one-off material like this. It is also extremely rare for such important archival footage to be auctioned outside of the US before its domestic release, and for that we are extremely proud," he said.