Marilyn's Dress: The $5.6 Million Dollar Itch

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Indiana Jones: It belongs in a museum!

No matter how bad the economy, there's always someone spending way too much money for something that a starving African baby doesn't even know has value. The other day Debbie Reynolds unloaded the dress Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch for $5.6 million. I tend to believe that there are a lot of fun things that I could do with $5.6 million. What I would do with Marilyn Monroe's dress after I wore it to a couple of parties and bars, I'm not exactly sure. My guess is that it would eventually get pretty sordid.

Every one of you have probably seen an iconic photo or film clip of Monroe wearing the dress even though there aren't likely to be many of you who have managed to sit through The Seven Year Itch lately. It's the completely inappropriate fashion choice Monroe wears out on a movie date with the married Tom Ewell, when suddenly a gift from God comes along in the form of a gust of wind from a subway grate forcing Monroe to gleefully protect her body from public exposure. You see it wasn't the dress that was so hot, it was what was under the dress, and that's no longer around to be purchased even for $5.6 million.

Film critic Gene Siskel used to own John Travolta's white disco suit from Saturday Night Fever, but really after Wild Hogs and Battlefield Earth, it's pretty hard to deny Reynolds claim that the Monroe dress is the holy grail of movie memorabilia. It makes me wonder how much Elliot Spitzer would pay for a night with a reincarnated at-her-peak Marilyn Monroe. That's got to be worth at least ten million right?

The great thing about the value of the dress is that not even Debbie would argue that the film it comes from is a classic. The Seven Year Itch is basically a vehicle to make men drool over Marilyn's perfect white sweaty skin on a hot summer day, and when you have that you don't really need things like scriptwriters or top drawer co-stars.

Not to be overly preachy or judgmental, but stuff like this makes my head swim. I'm no multi-millionaire, but something inside of me thinks that I would have some kind of moral imperative not to waste my fortune on things that have absolutely no value in a post-apocalyptic world. I'd have a hard time looking in the mirror every day had I spent close to $6 million on a dress, while inner city children slept in rat infested bedrooms. Don't tell Kim Kardashian, she'd be appalled.

I know, I know ... things are worth whatever people are willing to pay for them and it's the continued churning of money around the economy that stimulates the invisible hand to trickle that money back down to the masses, so stop complaining and start watching a Teen Cribs marathon, because more than ever it's still all about being rich.

I'm not sure who bought Monroe's dress, but I have one request. Please keep Lindsey Lohan out of it. Some things need to stay sacred.

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Brad Laidman has been a freelance writer since 2000. His work has appeared in Film Threat, Perfect Sound Forever, and Rock and Rap Confidential. His defense of The Kinks' Dave Davies so moved the legendary guitarist that Davies labeled Brad his hero and he has the email to prove it.

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