Portfolio III

Black Cape

October 1955 – Milton selected two outfits from a rack of clothes left over from a fashion shoot and used Marilyn as a model while setting up lights for two shooting environments to be used the following day. Milton and Marilyn had heard that the lawsuit filed against 20th Century Fox would soon be settled and were in festive mood. “She wasn’t a victim. I hate when people describe her as a victim,” recalled Amy. “She was a young woman that was a sponge who wanted life to come in and show her what she had to do. She was ready for anything. That’s why she had such a great sense of humor. And she lived every day in the present.”


April 1956 – Here Marilyn is dressed as a gypsy palm reader, one of the many outfits she would dress up in while ransacking the 20th Century Fox costume department with Milton on Sunday afternoons. Milton’s intuition led him to photograph Marilyn in three different environments: on the stairwell inside the shop; on the windowsill from the inside looking out; and from the street looking in through the window. He also got a wide exterior as well. That’s the sign of a photographer exploring options. 


April 1956 – More images from Milton and Marilyn’s 20th Century Fox back lot sessions. This time Marilyn vamps it up as a streetwalker. Milton believed in Marilyn’s range as an actress and on this Sunday, the two took on a number of characters to portray her diversity. Note the fishnet stockings, introduced first in the Black Sitting, and the blouse, which became the performing costume when she sang “That Ol’ Black Magic” in Bus Stop. Later, Madonna would copy this series for her Like a Virgin promotion. 


May 1954 – Rifling through the 20th Century Fox prop closet during one of those glorious Sunday afternoons on the studio backlots, Milton and Marilyn photographed the Peasant Sitting. Taken on May 24, 1954, this series was created on the French village set used for What Price Glory. Milton, believed in Marilyn’s ability to be a dramatic actress and to prove it to her, he photographed her in the costume that Jennifer Jones wore in her Oscar-winning performance in The Song of Bernadette.