One off documentary Marilyn Monroe: Auction Of A Lifetime, Airing On Wednesday 5 April at 9.00pm on Channel 4, explores Marilyn Monroe’s short but brilliant life story, told through some of her most personal and glamorous possessions – including the most expensive dress in the world – with exclusive interviews from those who worked with her and knew her well.
In November 2016 a show-stopping auction of Marilyn’s last possessions took place in Los Angeles. Each item that was sold provides new insight into the real Marilyn Monroe, from the dress she commissioned herself, to sing Happy Birthday Mr President in – a breathtaking gown made of ‘skin and beads’ that stole the front cover of every paper in America and sold for a record breaking $4.81 million – to private thoughts scrawled on a menu card, saying ‘think with your body’, which sold for $4000.
In all, more than 1000 unique lots sold for over $11 million. Marilyn Monroe is remembered the greatest sex symbol of the 20th century, and the definitive Hollywood movie star. But beneath her sex bomb façade was a clever, imaginative self-made woman who came from nowhere and used everything she had to get ahead. Marilyn perfected her dumb blonde persona – and then used it to get to the top of an industry that treated most actresses as set dressing.
She was a trailblazer who set up her own production company so that she could choose her own roles. And in an era of starchy morality she refused to be shamed. She survived sex scandals. She married the biggest sports star in America, and then left him for the country’s greatest playwright. As well as being beautiful, she had wit and vitality and ferocious ambition. She burned very brightly and – as this remarkable selection of the rarest, most valuable and most sought-after Marilyn Monroe possessions demonstrates – she still does.
Executive Producers: Susan Jones, Nicolas Kent
Production Company: Oxford Film And Television Ltd