"News of Hollywood" Bob Thomas, Associated Press - March 2nd, 1953
"Joan Crawford Monday aimed this curt message at Marilyn Monroe: Stop believing your publicity.
The curvaceous blond has been the subject of a hot controversy during the past fortnight. Women’s clubs have protested about the nature of her publicity and the advertising photos for her pictures. When I addressed the woman’s Club of Hollywood a week ago, the members were eager to know what the producers were doing to curb Miss Monroe.
Adding fuel to the fire were reports that her latest picture, the first with which she could demonstrate her box-office pull, was doing disappointing business. Then there was her much-publicized appearance at the Photoplay awards dinner.
Miss Monroe showed up in a zipperless metallic gown into which she had to be sewn. When she stepped up to get her award as the outstanding new personality on the screen, she put on a hip-swinging display that brought the house down.
“I was like a burlesque show,” said the horrified Miss Crawford, who was present at the affair. “The audience yelled and shouted, and Jerry Lewis got up on the table and whistled. But those of us in the industry just shuddered."
“Certainly her picture isn’t doing business, and I’ll tell you why. Sex plays a tremendously important part in every persona’s life. People are interested in it, intrigued with it. But they don’t like to see it flaunted in their faces."
“Kids don’t like her. Sex plays a growingly important part in their lives, too, and they don’t like to see it exploited.
And don’t forget the women. They’re the ones who pick out the movie entertainment for the family. They won’t pick anything that won’t be suitable for their husbands and children.”
The durable Miss Crawford, who has lasted longer than any other film star in history, said the Monroe buildup was clever and well planned.
It was the work of master exploiters, she remarked, but it got out of hand.
“The publicity has gone too far.” she said. “And apparently Miss Monroe is making the mistake of believing her publicity. Someone should be told that the public likes provocative feminine personalities; but it also likes to know that underneath it all the actresses are ladies.
The Crawford comments were read to Miss Monroe and she was asked if she cared to say anything about them. Miss Monroe started to make a statement and then changed her mind and replied: “No comment.”
Discussing other glamour buildups, she remarked that Jane Russell had managed herself well.
“Howard Hughes tried to make her out a sexy dish at first,” she said, “but Jane managed to keep her feet on the ground.”
Then there was Jean Harlow, who was first painted as a platinum blond vamp. When that novelty wore off, she turned redhead and became a successful comedienne. Apparently 20th-Fox has the same thing in mind for Monroe. Although she wants to be a dramatic actress, the studio is grooming her for comedies like “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds.”
Miss Crawford, who is up for her second Oscar with “Sudden Fear,” added: “I think she’d better become a comedienne – or something.”
I think Miss Monroe also believes it’s time for a change. Her performance in last week’s Redbook dinner was far different from the Photoplay event. Again chosen as the outstanding young personality, she showed up in a conservative for her black cocktail dress.
When “Martin and Lewis” urged her to come up to the microphone, she declined until three of her advisers urged her to do so. Then she walked quietly up and expressed her thanks in a small, frightened voice.”