I recently discovered a letter that Monroe wrote to John Huston declining the lead female role in his 1962 film, Freud: The Secret Passion, on the basis that her analyst, Ralph Greenson forbade it. Greenson intervened with the studio in a number of her films and was very much a part of Monroe’s life, and she of his and his family’s. Monroe came to consult Greenson seven times a week at his home, later twice daily at his or her home, even living in Greenson’s house for a time. (Spoto, 1993, p. 553). After her sessions with Greenson, she often stayed at his home for champagne and dinner (p. 522). At Greenson’s behest, she befriended members of his family who drove her home or to the pharmacy to buy drugs. There was scarcely a part of Monroe’s life in which Greenson was not involved. Greenson advised her on a new house, on friends and lovers, and on film contracts, even intervening with the studio on a number of films (see Kirsner, 2000, p. 153). As is well known, Greenson was severely distraught about the death of Monroe. In a moving letter to Anna Freud that I recently discovered, Greenson wrote:
“This has been a terrible blow in many ways. I cared about her and she was my patient. She was so pathetic and she had had such a terrible life. I had hopes for her and I thought we were making progress. And now she died and I realize that all my knowledge and my desire and my strength was not enough. God knows I tried and mightily so, but I could not defeat all the destructive forces that had been stirred up in her by the terrible experiences of her past life, and even of her present life. Sometimes I feel the world wanted her to die, or at least many people in the world, particularly those who after her death so conspicuously grieved and mourned. It makes me angry. But above all I feel sad and also disappointed (Greenson to Anna Freud, August 20, 1962, Anna Freud Papers, Library of Congress).”
“Do as I say, not as I do”: Ralph Greenson, Anna Freud, and Superrich patients, by Douglas Kirsner, 2007.
I wonder if I should reconsider my previous decision, and include the Marilyn Monroe case in my thesis.
My mind is fucked. Damn children who forget everything I teach!