Ralphís Manuscript - Page 7

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 - June 1, 2004

A few days before Montyís birthday "I think Iíll give Monty a surprise birthday party at Miss Palmersí. It should be his party, so we have to make sure theyíre all the people he really likes. It turned out to be a marvelous evening, with all of us on one side of the room, at a long table. Monty told me later that it was one of the highspots of his life, and that he really felt loved that evening. Years later, I found that one of the other customers at the Place that night was Fred Lawrence Guiles, a writer from San Francisco, who was writing a book on Marilyn, and had come up to Reno in hopes of interviewing her, but had been told "no interviews"; He and a friend drove to Virginia City to have dinner. They made no attempt to intrude, even though there was an hour of casual mixing, and toasting. He later wrote a sensitive, revealing portrait of Marilyn in NORMA JEAN.

Gable said he would stop by to wish Monty a happy birthday, but didnít feel that he could stay for the party. He didnít like to socialize while working Ė and loved being with his wife when he was able to relax after the days shooting.

A routing began a few days later when shooting started that caused the days and nights to merge into one long seemingly endless period of time. After Whitey finished the make-up, Paula and Marilyn would go ride together to the location Ė the ranch house, the lake, the rodeo, etc. Ė going over lines, of the scene, and discuss the attitudes, objectives, meanings. I would drive my car with usually May, and a rotating list of passengers. I remember getting to know the publicist, Harry Mines, and Sheldon Raskin. Dorothy Blass who had been Marilynís secretary during the period after SOME LIKE IT HOT, when May was on vacation. Often, reporters, and photographers there to cover the picture would hop in the car. Marilyn wanted me around during the day; to have a friendly face and for a neck rub during breaks "to get me through the day." The lunch break, feet rub time. She seldom talked during these moments Ė she saved that for the evening massage, and the middle of the night. One day, during the scene at the ranch-house, when Gable and Marilyn were planting flowers, at a break, Marilyn and Paula were sitting in the shade, and discussing the scene (I was at the usual neck-rub), when Gable brought his chair over sat and started talking about what a lovely scene it was. "Marilyn, I have to tell you that Iíve had reservations about you and your temperament. I wanted to do this picture more than I can tell you, and even if it meant working with you, I was determined to do it. As far as I can see, youíre about the least temperamental person involved." Everyone became choked with a very special feeling Ė that statement wasnít something that seemed to come easy with him, and it certainly overwhelmed Marilyn and Paula. Then, "I went to see Lake Pyramid late yesterday. Itís unbelievable. Reminded me when we shot MOGAMBO in Africa. Near Lake Victoria. Incredibly beautiful in a strange, desolate way. Grace Kelly and I thought what a waste, nobody going swimming and it was very hot. We got our suits, got into a jeep and drove to a beautiful beach. Changed, ran to the water, and dived in. When we had swum a few yards, we happened to look in front of us, and there was a herd of Rhinoceroses headed our way. I donít know where they were, where they came from, but I tell you, you never saw two people back-track in water, the way Grace and I did and we were in the jeep and back at the camp before you could say "Jack Rhinosceroses." Laughing almost hysterically, "Oh, Clark, thank you. Iím so glad Iíve had you for all these years to hold on to Ė I feel like Judy Garland and her song." The break over, there was disagreement as to what to call a particular flower Gable planting, and he himself came out with ___________. Everyone thought it great. That night at talk-time, "I feel that Iím in seventh heaven. I knew he was up-tight about me Ė Oh, he never showed it, but you can tell Ė I love working with him, he makes me feel more feminine than I can ever remember feeling in a movie. Heís so really masculine, and even before today, protective. I guess, for an actress, a man to be masculine, protective, and _____ accept you as and equal talent Ė one canít ask for anything more. I donít know why I limited that to "an actress", for a man and woman, thatís what life is all about."

That day marked a slight change in the line-up of troops. Almost imperceptibly, a mood changed the atmosphere. And, oddly enough, when I mentioned it to her, she replied, "Yes. Itís the first time all along that Iíve felt hope. Itís also not only going to change the atmosphere Ė sooner or later, Itíll charge the atmosphere. Something absolutely marvelous may come of all this."

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