Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 4

Published Manuscript

We are entertaining the idea of publishing a first edition of Ralph's manuscript in book form.  This would be a hard bound limited print first edition with the complete manuscript (around 100 pages) and pictures.  At this time we are trying to gauge interest.  If you think you would be interested in a copy of this book, should we publish it,   Draft pages will be posted here so you can get an idea of what it contains.

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Posted - March 15, 2004

During December, I was finishing work on the movie BELLS ARE RINGING. At night, we had a regular time set for massage, nine o’clock. Only once during that period was she late. That was a night she had dinner at George Cukor’s, when they were trying to persuade Rock Hudson to play the lead opposite her in LET’S MAKE LOVE. When she saw that she would not be able to finish the dinner in time to be back by then, she called the desk at the hotel to have a bellboy bring me a bottle of champagne, and apologies, but would I be able to be there the following night. 

On one of these nights, Arthur asked if I would be interested in doing a small part in a movie he’d just finished, THE MISFITS. The part of an Indian. Marilyn exclaimed "how wonderful! And I could have massages at night." 

That weekend, Paula and I drove to Palm Springs to stay in a motel where I’d been going almost every weekend during BELLS. It was owned by Virginia Field and Willard Parker, called the PARKERS, and was very pleasant. Virginia and Willard asked us for a drink the Saturday afternoon, then we drove somewhere for dinner. Paula had an early copy of MISFITS, which she let me have for the night to read. I thought it fantastic – I was sorry for any improvements to be put in later. But the part of the Indian was just a shot of an Indian standing by the roadside at one point. I am part Indian, and have the cheekbones of one, but I didn’t think the overall look was what was needed to make the impact Arthur wanted. Nevertheless I wanted to be connected with such a movie in any capacity. As it turned out, I played the part of the ambulance driver in the rodeo scene. 

Marilyn told me in January that too many complications and commitments prevented Rock from playing the part in LET’S MAKE LOVE. But that Arthur had come up with a marvelous idea – Yves Montand. They had become quite friendly with Yves and his wife, Simone Signoret, in fact, the movie in which Yves played the lead (Salem Witch Hunt) showed on television sometime during this period – the first time I ever saw him. He was doing his one-man show in LA in December and I believe had the bungalow next to the Millers. 

Arthurs’s children visited them for the Christmas holidays, and Marilyn, although enmeshed in all the preliminary work on LOVE - make-up tests, wardrobe tests, working all day with _____ Cole on the dance routines, tried to arrange things for them to do that they would enjoy. She had great affection for them. One of the things she asked me – what was shooting at MGM, where BELLS was. A western was shooting, and she wanted me to get passes for them. I told her my influence there was nil, but I’d ask Judy. Judy was surprised and said all Marilyn had to do was to call, I think, Benny Thaux, and it would be open sesame. 

Toward the end of January, I got a call from my agent about a very good part in a Broadway show, so I decided that I had better return to New York. Both Marilyn and Arthur expressed great regret, but that they hoped it would still be possible to work on MISFITS so I started out, driving across the country, what was to be the first of many trips – almost always somehow involving Marilyn. To work with her on MISFITS, again during SOMETHINGS GOT TO GIVE, then, when she died, to escape from LA, and the numerous subsequent returns. 

The "very good part" didn’t turn out, and I was tempted to call them to say I could return. A talk with Milton Goldman, my agent and friend, convinced me I should really concentrate on acting, what with a few television appearances, and the movie BELLS being released that spring.

Manuscript property of the estate of Ralph L. Roberts. Do not copy without permission.