Marilyn Monroe had only recently married Arthur Miller, who was with her more often than not. She had a dressing room on the stage and one of our jobs was to escort her, daily, to the projection room where she saw her rushes, very often with her husband and the film’s producer, Milton Green.

So either Des or I would knock on her door about 5:30 and she’d walk with us down the long corridor at Pinewood, often clutching a copy of the collected poems of Dylan Thomas, which I never saw her open. She was very shortsighted and wore glasses until she was in front of the camera.

On the very last day of filming, Marilyn had reluctantly agreed to shoot some retakes that Olivier demanded. The crew sat around all morning waiting for her to arrive, which was not unusual, and when she did, she distributed champagne to everyone, which was fine, but caused even more delay and more frustration for Olivier, or ‘Sir’ as we called him.

She finally did appear in costume, ready for work, but was, by now, quite pickled. Olivier, out of spite, perhaps, printed everything they shot that afternoon, most of which was useless as Marilyn was bumping into the furniture and unable to act.

In the end, Jack Harris used about 6 feet out of 2,000. I have often pondered the lost opportunity to remove those rushes from the cutting room and secrete them in my garage for future use. Of course none of us knew the star would soon die, nor that she would become a screen idol and that these feeble rushes would have been worth a great deal.

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