The Most Successful of Hollywood Film Stars Can Be Regarded as Almost Entirely Artificial Constructions. Discuss with Reference to the Hollywood Star System.

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“In building a public personality the motion picture industry has perfected the device of stereotyping its stars. The star system is based on the premise that a star is accepted by the public in terms of a certain set of personality traits which permeate all of his or her film roles. The successful stars have been those whose appeal can be catalogued into a series of such traits, associations and mannerisms” (Gledhill: 1991: 40). This statement can easily be applied to Marilyn Monroe because she was loved for her glamour and beauty as well as the “girl next door” persona. Even now after her death, she is still just as, maybe even more, successful in the present. Marilyn Monroe was the epitome of pulchritudinous but beauty is only skin deep as it does not always equal a luxurious life. Hollywood itself even admitted that they created false stories to fuel their publicity and they tended to do with some stars more regularly than others. Marilyn Monroe is one of the more obvious examples as Hollywood portrayed her as being the ultimate glamour puss and sex idol but her life was darker and more troubled than the perfect life we were to believe she led. Whilst some of the advertisements for ‘Some Like It Hot’ described Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as being Monroe’s ’bosom companions’, “Curtis was to speak later of Marilyn’s ‘vicious arrogance’ and ‘vindictive selfishness’...kissing Marilyn, he vouchsafed, was ‘like kissing Hitler’” (Summers, A: 1985: 177). On the other hand, “Dr Milton Gottlieb, who gave Marilyn gynaecological care says ‘she was insecure, frightened of the reality of life. A very disturbed young woman’” (ibid: 147). These two sides of the apparently flawless actress were because she thought she had inherited schizophrenia from her mother and this was a problem for Hollywood. They had to create this alternate persona for one of their biggest stars to keep the attraction to their films. Marilyn was born Norma Jeane Baker and in the mid 1940’s, she...
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