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Marilyn Monroe, Communist?
December 28, 2012 1:47 PM   Subscribe

"FBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star’s communist-leaning acquaintances who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage."

She wasn't a communist, but that didn't stop the FBI from making sure they found out. You can find the actual FBI records in the Vault.

Arthur Miller on "Are You Now or Have You Ever?" - with details on how his engagement with Monroe played a part in his HUAC appearance. From the file, Monroe had "a lot of leftist rubbed off from Miller."
posted by graymouser (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The number of leftists who've rubbed off against me here on Metafilter alone is staggering. I've tried beating them off with a stick, but still they come. I'd never survive another Red Scare.
posted by gilrain at 2:13 PM on December 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just remember the line from Bernstein's FBI's report, zi know he's a commie cause he talks like one.

The red scare was real and real scary people.
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The number of leftists who've rubbed off against me here on Metafilter alone is staggering. I've tried beating them off with a stick, but still they come.

The Metafilter meetups held in the region where you live must be of a very different nature than the Metafilter meetups in my neighbourhood.
posted by orange swan at 2:17 PM on December 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


You don't go out to inspire the proletariat? Werid.
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on December 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


> The red scare was real and real scary people.

Oh, for sure. Good Night, and Good Luck. had a big impact on me when it released. I'd never really internalized that history, nor realized how eminently possible it would be to repeat.

I saw it with my grandparents, who weren't leftists back then, but were, y'know, not normal. They were in the New Age movement. I hadn't known before, but after the movie my grandma talked about how she was actually on one of the blacklists as a result.
posted by gilrain at 2:23 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah I didn't hit me until I married into a family that had like " and then we all had to move to Mexico for a while cause somebody was at a party once " in living memory.
posted by The Whelk at 2:26 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh and speaking of Good Night and Good Luck, test audience thought the guy playing McCarthy was laying it on too thick and obviously and wasn't believable....not realizing it was all archive footage of McCarthy himself.
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on December 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


They have the same list now, but the title's been altered from "Known Associates of Communists" to "Known Associates of Brown People".
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:30 PM on December 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


In other archive news, because of the UK's 30 years law, the National Archive has released government papers detailing Margaret Thatcher's reaction to the Falklands invasion.

Interesting day for us film archivists!
posted by dumdidumdum at 2:37 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was hoping she had to be restrained from storming out of 10 Downing Street with a knife clenched between her teeth or something.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:40 PM on December 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


They have the same list now, but the title's been altered from "Known Associates of Communists" to "Known Associates of Brown People".

I've known antiwar activists who have been in the sights of the FBI both in the '60s and today. The more things change ...
posted by graymouser at 2:40 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


While the witchhunt definitely got out of control, Orwell made a good point in warning of the very real threat of Stalinist "5th columns" who took over the governments of central and eastern Europe, one by one, and also gained considerable influence in the French communist party.

Robert Kennedy was also an anti-Red crusader, and got his start aiding the McCarthy hearings, although to his credit he grew disgusted after a while and quit, shortly before the public turned on McCarthy.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:03 PM on December 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


They have the same list now, but the title's been altered from "Known Associates of Communists" to "Known Associates of Brown People".

You don't think they had that list in the 50s?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:06 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't think they had that list in the 50s?

Eh, it was all one list. You had your Paul Robesons, your Richard Wrights. Maya Angelou and Truman Capote toured the Soviet Union with Porgy and Bess. (to be fair, that was a sanctioned goodwill thing.) But she was BFFs with the straight up Commie Jessica Mitford in later life.
posted by Diablevert at 4:41 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've tried beating them off with a stick, but still they come.



Commies do enjoy that kinky stuff.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:51 PM on December 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Card Cheat: I was hoping she had to be restrained from storming out of 10 Downing Street with a knife clenched between her teeth or something.

From what I was hearing on NPR this afternoon, that's actually not too far off. Reagan was apparently pushing her to get into dialog for a peace treaty with Argentina, afraid that England would bring down a government that America found acceptably non-left-wing, and Thatcher would have none of it. They'd killed a ship and a bunch of sailors, and she was going to beat them bloody.
posted by Malor at 8:18 PM on December 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views."

The Fuh?

Y'know, the Soviets actually did have a very good spy network. We had all sorts of infiltration, subversion, payoffs, etc. It's something the Soviets did very very well. The problem is, the secret police intimidation thing only really works if people are in isolation and they can't communicate and unite.
Our free press pretty much immunized us from Soviet-style espionage. Sure they got a bunch of secrets. But they'd wind up paying a big chunk of change for something the NYT was going to publish the next week anyway.

The irony is, the asshats in our government were actually helping them and furthering their ends (and isn't that a broken record?)
What a waste of time. And effort. And Marylin Monroe yet. Like she's worth the time to investigate while John Forbes Nash, Jr is crazy enough to bite a hammer. Neils Bohr is hard at the left and knows all about the Manhattan project. Kurt Godel is saying he's found serious flaws in the constitution which will lead to the downfall of the United States.

But no, let's chase around this good looking leggy blonde bombshell .... actually, sort of answers itself there.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:23 AM on December 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah the really funny ( sad? Bleakly comic?) thing was that there was a persistent soviet disinformation campaign , mostly designed to get the US populace to distrust its government - which they didn't need to do cause the actual government was running witch hunts that never pinned down any actual, you know, spies.
posted by The Whelk at 1:53 AM on December 29, 2012


The records reveal that some in Monroe’s inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.

A trip to Mexico earlier that year to shop for furniture brought Monroe in contact with Field, who was living in the country with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants reported to the FBI that a “mutual infatuation” had developed between Field and Monroe, which caused concern among some in her inner circle, including her therapist, the files state.

“This situation caused considerable dismay among Miss Monroe’s entourage and also among the (American Communist Group in Mexico),” the file states. It includes references to an interior decorator who worked with Monroe’s analyst reporting her connection to Field to the doctor.


I like that both the FBI and the communists were dismayed. Having been the victim of a joint FBI-communist assassination would have been a much more fitting legacy for Ms. Monroe instead of that suicide story they made up to cover their actions.
posted by three blind mice at 4:12 AM on December 29, 2012


I'm glad we've come to our collective senses.

Now, about them Dixie Chicks....
posted by mule98J at 10:48 AM on December 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


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