CORONADO, Calif. — Just when you thought you'd seen every image of Marilyn Monroe, the KFMB archives produces never-before-seen outtakes of the movie star. In this Zevely Zone, I visited Hotel del Coronado where Marilyn starred in one of the greatest comedies of all time, 'Some Like it Hot'. The movie was shot in September of 1958. That's when the magnificent red top towers of Hotel del Coronado were upstaged by the beauty of Marilyn Monroe. San Diegans were mesmerized by the star who stood before them. News 8 has rediscovered several minutes of never-before-seen silent outtakes of Marilyn Monroe. This footage was shot at Hotel del Coronado.
"Marilyn was really at the height of her fame," said Gina Petrone who is the Heritage Manager at Hotel del Coronado. Gina couldn't believe News 8 never aired the footage in its entirety. "This is incredible, incredible footage," said Gina.
The outtakes were shot on the beach in front of the resort on the set of 'Some Like it Hot', which starred Marilyn, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. "I have never read a comedy script, not only better maybe not it's equal," said Jack Lemmon during an archived News 8 story. The outtakes of Marilyn were first discovered decades ago by News 8 photographer Ben Cutshall. They were hidden away in an archive canister and simply labeled "outs".
"There is maybe two and half minutes of Marilyn, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis on the beach at the Hotel del and I thought wow," said Ben who passed away in 2009.
About thirty seconds of that footage aired in a Larry Himmel story, but the bulk of the images have never been shown on television. It was in those outtakes where we spotted another star. Jamie Lee Curtis was also on the beach that day sort of. Film shows Tony Curtis sitting next to his wife Janet Leigh, who you may remember from the movie Psycho. "Janet Leigh was pregnant. She was pregnant with Jamie Lee Curtis at the time of filming," said Gina.
Janet Leigh wasn't alone; Marilyn was also pregnant during the shooting of 'Some Like It Hot' which could have contributed to her showing up on set three and four hours late according to director Billy Wilder. "So, you just say my god, my god, it is a question as to who is going to have a nervous breakdown me, the two guys who were suffering or the money man," said Billy Wilder during a News 8 archive story. Wilder said it cost 20,000 dollars a day to shoot the movie, but Marilyn was worth the wait.
In 2009, while celebrating the film's 50-th Anniversary, I interviewed Tony Curtis. "It was fun it was fun," said Curtis. He laughed about the movie's plot. The characters played by Lemmon and Curtis witnessed a mob shooting and were forced to dress up as women to escape. Walking in high heels was a first for Curtis, but kissing Marilyn Monroe is what he remembered most. "Let's throw another log on the fire," said Curtis in the film's steamy scene with Monroe and him. Curtis told me Marilyn devoured him. "She was a very beautiful woman very beautiful," said Curtis in 2009.
The lost footage also shows Marilyn with her husband at the time playwright Arthur Miller. Both were unaware in September of 1958 that Marilyn would suffer a miscarriage two months later. "Just when you think you've seen it all and learned everything there is. It is wonderful to discover something like this that really brings it to life," said Gina Petrone.
Eleven presidents have stayed at the Del, but no one made San Diego's crown jewel shine like the magic of Marilyn. "That is fantastic, absolutely wonderful footage," said Gina. "Priceless."
Marilyn Monroe told her friends; she did not want to star in 'Some Like it Hot'. She said was tired of playing dumb blonde in movies, but she couldn't turn down a lucrative deal of $100,000 dollars and ten percent of the movie's gross profits.