Marilyn Monroe film footage found in Australia

CANBERRA Tue Sep 2, 2008 11:26am EDT

A photographer takes pictures at an exhibition of Marilyn Monroe property at an auction house in a file photo. An amateur film of Marilyn Monroe on the set of ''Some Like It Hot'' has surfaced in Australia almost 50 years after it was shot and is being put up for auction. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

A photographer takes pictures at an exhibition of Marilyn Monroe property at an auction house in a file photo. An amateur film of Marilyn Monroe on the set of ''Some Like It Hot'' has surfaced in Australia almost 50 years after it was shot and is being put up for auction.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An amateur film of Marilyn Monroe on the set of "Some Like It Hot" has surfaced in Australia almost 50 years after it was shot and is being put up for auction.

Auctioneer Charles Leski said the 2.5-minute-long, 8mm film shows Monroe and co-star Tony Curtis on the set ahead of shooting a beach scene in which the actress is bouncing balls to get the actor's attention.

The footage, which also shows director Billy Wilder, was taken in early 1959 by a U.S. naval officer who was invited to the set of the movie after Monroe visited his base in San Diego.

The film, in its original Kodak box, was passed on to his daughter who lives in Melbourne, Australia, when he died and she decided to put it up sale, thinking it may be of some significance to the film world.

"It's been a significant part of the family folklore for many decades but it has been sitting in her drawer for about a decade as she didn't know what to do with it or if it had some broader interest," Leski told Reuters.

Earlier this year, a 47-minute amateur film of Monroe and Clark Gable on the set of the 1961 film "The Misfits" sold in the United States for US$60,000 after it was put up for sale by the family of an actor who had a small part in the movie.

Leski said this latest find was older and likely to attract private and public interest with "Some Like It Hot" listed by the American Film Institute as the greatest American comedy film of all time.

"It is color which is very nice because the film "Some Like It Hot" is black and white," he said.

"From a documentary point of view there is still great interest in any Marilyn Monroe image, moving or still, or any recording of her voice, as she has been such an iconic presence in the 20th century. Her influence on fashion, film and comedy and many other areas still continues."

Monroe died in August 1962, aged 36, from a drugs overdose.

The lot, including a CD copy and a DVD copy together with the original film, will be offered for sale by Leski Auctions in Melbourne on September 25 with a pre-sale estimate of A$20,000 - A$30,000 ($17,000-$25,500). The purchaser also acquires full commercial rights.

Reuters/Nielsen

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