Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Munich to Monroe

Blurb for the movie version / Executive summary

Our hero, beset by nefarious forces, misses a flight to an important business meeting. As his misfortunes continue, he seeks refuge with a mysterious woman, who shows him a life-time of adventures in the space of days. Her identity: ever changing. Her reputation: not the best. Her status: presumed dead.

2024 meta-information/introduction

The main text was written in 2013 and left as a 70 to 80 percent complete draft.

Overall, it is one of the oddest texts that I have ever written, dealing with one of the oddest days that I have ever experienced (after which it segued into something completely different), and I was likely more driven by frustration than anything else at the time. To boot, the text was manifestly not completed. However, it has some personal attraction and I decided to go ahead with a belated publication.

In this, I was partially and additionally motivated by the current (2024) German strike situation, which is outrageous. (The early contents fit well in that picture. Note e.g. parts of a 2024 text on unions.)

I have done some polishing and added an addendum here-and-there to reflect subsequent events, including some re-watchings of the mentioned movies. However, my memory of details is often vague and I have not completed the missing parts of the text in more than a perfunctory manner. The perfunctorily completed includes several entries from the movie discussions that were yet to be written and a set of keywords that lacked elaboration. Some few to-dos have been outright removed.

Main/2013 text


Thursday, January 24th, I had the day (+ the following Friday) off from my current project to fly to Munich for an introductory meeting with the people on its soon to be successor. I had to rise early to be in time, and had many unknowns both in Düsseldorf, whose airport I had visited only once, some five years earlier, and in Munich, whose airport was a complete unknown.

Correspondingly, I had prepared well, including having printed maps and train schedules, checked in online the day before the flight, and taken several hours out of my Sunday to visit the Düsseldorf Airport ahead of time, to make sure that I knew were to go, and so on. I even checked the weather in advance, just to be prepared in case one or two inches of snow would bring the German “effectiveness” to its knees: There was no indication of problems with the weather.


Snow can be a problem for air travel everywhere, but here I likely drew on my experiences with railway travel in Germany, where I had repeatedly seen just those “one or two inches of snow” cause enormous problems, because the “German Railways” (Deutsche Bahn) was, again and again, “surprised” when snow fell around Christmas.

I rose roughly at six, left my apartment at seven, and was at the airport at possibly seven-thirty—well in time for my 08:25 departure.

I never made it to Munich...

What I discovered upon entering the “departures” hall were the longest queues that I have ever seen in real life, with hundreds upon hundreds of people standing like pearls on a string—and without making any visible progress.

At first I was unfazed: Something was obviously wrong, but I already had my boarding card (courtesy of that online check in) and should have been ahead of the game—and the displays with flight information showed massive cancellations for Lufthansa (and only Lufthansa), while I was to travel with Air Berlin. Apparently, then, the queues were formed by Lufthansa passengers waiting to be helped, and I should have been in the clear.

Navigating my way to the security checks, however, I found that the queues ended exactly there—and that no checks were in progress, despite the massive need. At this stage, it was already clear that I was in trouble, having no chance whatever off reaching my plane in time, if starting from the end of one of the queues. For all I know, I might have needed hours, even had checks been in progress...

As it soon turned out, the security personnel had decided to take a two-day strike with next to no notice, thereby reducing the possibilities to fly from Düsseldorf to almost zero—and causing incalculable costs to third parties (most notably the passengers) who had no influence on or interest in the obviously ongoing conflict.


Two issues makes this the more annoying:

Firstly, as I checked in the day before, there was no mention on the check-in page of any strike or other risks. In other words, either Air Berlin knew about the strike and with absurd negligence failed to inform its passenger—or the strike was only announced so shortly in advance that it must be considered entirely and utterly unconscionable and despicable. I further note that there was no mention whatever of an approaching strike during my Sunday visit, be it on displays, posters, or the PA system.

Secondly, there is a very considerable probability that the security checks do more harm than good: A hi-jacking can be prevented by other means (say, sturdier doors to the cockpit or the possibility to, in an emergency, switch the autopilot to a particular state where the pilot no longer can alter the course except to navigate in the immediate vicinity of the destination airport), while more damage to passengers and property can be reached by attacking e.g. a 400-meter ICE-train—that has no security checks at all.

I now tried to reach the customer and my employer by phone, but was reduced to leaving messages in both cases; after which I searched for a way to get more detailed information about what to do from my airline. The best option seemed to be the just-a-dozen-persons-long queue to the ticket-sales counter. Here I was told that my flight, too, was cancelled and that my only option for today was to have my boss (as the buyer of the tickets) make a claim over the Internet within 48 hours.

After leaving a new message, I now went home. Well there, I managed to reach my boss in person to discuss the situation and then went out again, figuring that since I was already up and about I could run a few errands. My original plan was to visit a large bookstore, possibly a kilometer away, and then to proceed to a nearby supermarket.


This bookstore, the once wonderful Stern-Verlag, was the partial subject of a later text, which, in a manner somewhat similar to the current page, discusses a disappointing visit to Düsseldorf some years later. The reason for the disappointment? Stern-Verlag, the intended high point, had closed.

The glories of the day continued: I arrived at the bookstore at roughly 9:15—only to discover that it opened at 09:30. I then continued onwards for a while, intending to be back again after the opening. Along the way, I changed my mind and decided to proceed a little further yet to the mall in Bilk (a neighborhood which contains several supermarkets, at least one small bookstore, and a large electronics store). The time of my arrival was very shortly before 09:30—and I made the depressing find that none of the stores there opened before 10.


A verification of this from 2024 is impossible, but the “10” claim seems odd. For German bookstores and electronics stores, this is nothing unusual, but supermarkets usually open much earlier. Chances are that I was focused on a subset of stores and formulated myself poorly.

New plan again: Drop by the in-mall McDonald’s, have two cheese burgers and a cup of coffee to get the temperature up (this incidentally being one of the coldest days of the winter) and then return to the original bookstore.

Plan foiled again: McDonald’s was still in its useless breakfast mode, which has very considerably worsened the morning service since its introduction some years ago.


By 2024, readers might lack context, but it used to be that McDonald’s served the same hamburger-centric foods throughout the day. At some point, at least in Germany, a breakfast phase was introduced, where a much inferior set of choices were served until 10 (?) A.M.

The day now felt thoroughly ruined, but I proceeded with the remaining steps of the plan and threw in a spur-of-the-moment visit at a Saturn (electronics) store reachable through a short detour on my way home. Wanting to turn the day around, I took a stroll through the DVD department and picked up a 14-movie Marilyn-Monroe box and the first season of the German sit-com “Mein Leben und Ich”.


The draft contained the claim “(more on both further below)”. As is, the former received an incomplete treatment, while the latter (with no great loss) went without treatment.

I was not long at home when my boss called, querying me about the flight cancellation: Apparently, the website of Berlin Air had refused a refund due to the flight not being cancelled. I ensured him that I had actually been informed by official staff and pointed out that even if the flight had not been cancelled, I would have had no realistic chance to reach the gate in time—in other words, we should have every chance at getting the money back.

As I was enjoying a cup of coffee and starting on my new DVDs, he called again: Apparently, he had had the time to discuss options with the new customer, and the team now wanted to hold a telephone conference at 16:00—something bordering on the pointless, but whatever the customer wants... (Oh, how I wish that German companies would actually take that attitude towards me from time to time!) Indeed, the result was what amounted to a thirty minute repetition of the original telephone-interview-and-mutual-presentation that had once landed us the customer—to be compared with the planned two-hour personal visit.

The rest of the time until the time of writing (Saturday, 26th) has been dominated by DVDs in a roughly two-day Marathon. (With the eight sitcom episodes interspersed among the movies; otherwise in the order of viewing below. Except where otherwise stated, the order of viewing also coincides with the order in the box, which does not coincide with the chronological order of release.)

The Seven Year Itch

The first (and previously only) time that I had seen this movie, in my early or mid-teens, I experienced one of my first crushes—and this was to date the only movie in which I had found Monroe to be attractive on the scale typically ascribed to her. I was, therefore, very curious how I would react upon re-visiting it.


Why Monroe has left me comparatively (romantically/sexually) cold while managing to inflame the hearts of millions of other men is an interesting question. I suspect that it lies partially with the body type, with my preference going more towards the slim (notwithstanding that several real-life crushes and girl-friends of mine have been on the chubby side). However, I am even less a fan of heavy make-up and artificial looks in general, and here Monroe often has erred.

An interesting aspect, however, is hair. While I have seen no clear pattern in real life, my “movie/tv crushes” have usually had dark hair, including Olivia Hussey (who, while comparatively unknown, has affected me more than any other actress in terms of my heart), Psi/Mercedes of the French “Once upon a time in space” cartoon (who might have been my very first crush, somewhere around age six), and, of course, Audrey Hepburn.

No, there was no spark: While I did find her physically attractive, not more so than countless others. Meanwhile, the exaggeratedly “bubble gummy” behaviour of her character had a negative effect on me (just like the same behaviour in real-life girls). However, here I first started to suspect that Monroe was underrated as an actress, seeing that her portrayal, within the limiting frame of the character, was quite skillful, with the same applying to her character’s manipulative techniques. Indeed, I also repeated the observation that many attractive women are attractive at least partially through their behaviour. (Cf. e.g. Allegra Geller/Jennifer Jason Lee in “Existenz”—bordering on being ugly, yet somehow...)

The film as a whole was not quite as good as I remembered, but still very enjoyable. In addition, the DVD extras proved to be interesting (this being one of the few disks with non-trivial extras), especially that the movie was heavily censored in comparison to the play upon which it was based—and that an actual extra-marital affair had taken place: From both my watchings, I had been left with the very different impression of a very expansive flirt, which had remained mostly innocent, treading a dangerous line without actually crossing it.


Then again, I have a history of “under-interpreting” similar events in fiction, and of failing to read between the lines when an author implies something to “sophisticated” readers while keeping children and censors in the dark. (Of course, in many cases, the opposite could be the case—that others jump to conclusions of a sexual nature, because that is where their minds or wishes take them, not because that is what the author intended, while I keep my feet on the ground.)

For instance, during my first reading of Fontane’s “Effi Briest” (also see excursion), I had no clue that an affair had taken place until the incriminating letters were discovered, leaving me severely confused and speculating that I might accidentally have skipped several chapters somewhere.


By 2024, I have watched this movie another two times. Both gave my a stronger pro-Monroe reaction, if not comparable to that of my teenaged viewing. (Even when no explicit mention is made, I have seen each movie at least once more, and, of course, encountered some of them, if comparatively few, at earlier times.)

More importantly, my impression of the movie as a whole improved with these two viewings, moving more from enjoyable comedy to something more serious in a comedic guise.

The almost dreamlike character of some events is enhanced by the casting of Monroe for the part, as many contemporary men might have fantasized about similar encounters with specifically Monroe (as opposed to a girl like Monroe or, simply, any beautiful girl).

Whether I spotted a crossing of that dangerous line, I do not remember, as I did not really pay attention to that matter.

Gentlemen prefer Blondes

A comparatively trivial musical comedy. Likely the first of Monroe’s films that I ever saw, at some time in the 1980s. An interesting point of note is that if the sexes were reversed in some scenes (notably the musical number with the Olympic team) and the movie released today, it would likely have received rapid condemnation for being sexist, exploitative of women, or similar. (While occurring without comment in a number of movies from the same age.)


One subsequent viewing has lowered my opinion further—too trivial.

While it is one of her best known movies, it might be the least worth watching of the fourteen under discussion. (The sole competitor is “River with no Return”, cf. below.)

Bus Stop

Here, at the latest, it is clear that Monroe has considerably acting talent. Parts of her facial expressions and hand movements are particularly worthy of note. A recurring theme of Monroe playing a woman who is “troubled” or “astray” (the exact sense of which will vary from movie to movie) is also clearly noticeable (while to some degree present in the two preceding movies).


The draft spoke of “mimic”, a false friend of the German “Mimik”. The replacement phrase, “facial expressions”, misses the implications of acting-by-means-of-the-face, for which no good English word occurs to me. (A similar issue exists with “hand movements” relative “Gestik”, but here the draft already used “hand movements”.)

As with many of the movies, there is a far greater differentiation between the sexes and their behaviours than in modern movies. An interesting similarity between this movie and the following is how the respective male hero wins the heart of Monroe’s character despite forcing her against her will.

The actual bus stop is important to the movie, but not so central as the name implies—neither is the setting so modern as might be thought: A fresh-of-the-farm cowboy goes to the city, scores big in the rodeo, and kidnaps the woman of his heart.


During a subsequent viewing, I was pondering an indirect parallel between Monroe and her character. To some degree, her character showed how someone who looked like Monroe, but lacked her talents, could end up. The stereotypical image of Monroe as just a big-bosomed bottle blond is very wrong: She was a very legitimate actress and singer, who also happened to be a big-bosomed bottle blond. No, she might not have matched Bette Davis resp. Ella Fitzgerald, but by more mortal standards she was quite good—and she was certainly more accomplished than most of today’s female movie stars.

(A partial explanation might be that she had problems with type casting and/or received too many parts that under-challenged her, while her premature death might have prevented this from changing over time.) Her reputation with posterity might also have been hurt by some specific “iconic” images that give an extremely superficial impression, but are recognized even by many who have never seen her in action, notably that Warhol painting and the updraft-lifting-her-skirt shot from “The Seven Year Itch”.)

River with no Return

As a first non-comedy, a highly dramatic Western. While there are both hostile Indians and white crooks, this is not a very typical Western, leaving me with the impression that the traditional elements are just a means to bring Robert Mitchum and Monroe onto the river and into a drama.


One additional watching—further watchings are unlikely. The movie is an uninspired crap fest.

The claim “first non-comedy” is, while technically true, potentially misleading, as both “The Seven Year Itch” and “Bus Stop” contain much more than comedy.

Let’s Make Love

Brilliant variation on the comedy-of-errors theme: Yves Montand plays billionaire Frenchman Clement, who learns that an off-Broadway theater is making references to him in a new play, decides to visit, is mistaken for an actor auditioning for the part of Clement—and plays along in order to get a chance to romance Monroe’s character, who has professed to disliking what she has seen of him in media. In addition, he has the noble hope of gaining her love without money affecting her.

While, in my opinion, not the best executed of the movies, it is possibly the most sympathetic and charming.


Here my impression on a further watching is very different. Yes, it has a lot of charm, but I did not really click with the film, even finding myself a little bored from time to time. (An important caveat is that impressions of movies can be affected by factors like what mood the viewer happens to be in. This might or might not be the case here.)

An interesting aspect was how Clement brought in several big names “as themselves” to tutor him, including Milton Berle. (With a few years since this second watching, I am uncertain about the exact list. I also wish to recall Bing Crosby, but could be wrong.)

Some Like It Hot

For some reason, this legendary movie has never crossed my path before. My expectations were correspondingly high and my anticipation great. Unfortunately, it did not quit match my expectations, possibly through trying to do too much: I would, for instance, have cut down the introduction a little and removed the recurrence of the gangsters at the end entirely, in order to spend more time exploring life on the road/among the girls, likely adding a few scenes with Curtis and Lemon barely avoiding escape in a humorous manner.

I might also have welcomed a bit more femininity in the cross-dressing Lemon, who was too obviously not a woman. Similarly, had Curtis been wearing less make-up pre-disguise, it would not have hurt.


Two later watchings both give a better impression, but neither reach my original expectation. Looking at “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”, I might raise a suspicion that some find cross-dressing, per se, funny, which I do not.

In the interim I have also encountered another Billy Wilder movie, “The Major and the Minor”, that has a somewhat similar theme, in that it shows a protagonist dressing up as something that she is not and falling into various odd adventures during and after a train ride: Ginger Rogers pretends to be underage in order to travel on a very limited budget. Here, too, the dressing up part does nothing, per se, and the strength of the movie is in the complications that ensue from the dressing up. (An additional complication is that both movies might fall afoul of moralizing criticism, both now and then, but in different directions. Back then, ideas like men dressing as women and, in both movies, unmarried men and women sharing narrow spaces might have been controversial. Today, the one might raise concerns of pedophilia and the other, depending on who is asked, of either trans-mania or -phobia.)


In Monroe’s last film, she plays a pure drama—and does very well. Barring her untimely death, chances are that she could have made the transition from famous-for-her-looks to respected-for-her-acting over time and without seeing her career wither with her looks. She is still over-shadowed, however, by the aging Clark Gable. (Generally, the small cast was very strong.)

The movie it self is not impressive in its first half or two-thirds, having neither much in terms of entertainment value nor in deeper values (e.g. psychological or philosophical insight). This changes as the group goes “mustanging”, however, where dramatic battles between man and horse form the background for ethical dilemmas and the question how a certain action should be judged as circumstances change or turn out to be other than what was thought.

With a similar level through-out the movie, it might have been the best in the box; as is, that honor goes to “All about Eve” (cf. below). (It could still be argued as the best of the Monroe movies, however, as her part in “All about Eve” is small.)

The titular theme of “misfits” did not strike me very deeply, however: It is true that the members of the group are, one way or another, misfits or outsiders, but not usually to an extraordinary degree. I even toyed with the idea that there might have been an underlying message of “if these people are misfits, then we are all misfits”. An interesting aspect, however, is how (at least) Gables character has become a misfit through the world changing, while he remains the same.


Writing this, I am struck with thought that “misfits” might refer to how they fit with each other, rather than with society. However, the difference and incompatibilities within the group are not larger than could be expected in any random group, maybe, excepting Monroe’s character, which deviates very clearly in both personality and looks. Indeed, while watching the movie, I contemplated how a hypothetical group of misfits could be drawn together despite incompatibilities for the single reason that no-one else wants them (something occasionally observable, e.g. among children); however, I did not feel that it matched in this particular movie.


A subsequent watching left a similar impression, if more positive in the early parts. Apart from “All about Eve” (cf. my original remarks), this is the movie under discussion that I would recommend the most strongly to others. With one reservation, I would add “by some distance”—this is not a stereotypical Monroe movie and those looking for that “big-bosomed bottle blond” might be better served elsewhere.


While quite enjoyable, this movie is lessened through not making up its mind about what to be: Initially, it deals with Rose Loomis (Monroe) maneuvering to kill her husband George (largely seen through the eyes of the main protagonist Polly Cutler and her husband). Notably, through this part, enough background information is given to establish her as having opportunistically used him, to his considerable detriment—and I reflected that in the shoes of her accomplice/lover, I would have been in great fear of being murdered, myself, a few years down the road. The attempt having failed utterly, leaving the husband alive and the lover dead, the movie switches to George trying to kill Rose, with scenes that almost make it hard to keep in mind that she was the villain and he the victim. Mission accomplished, a new switch is made to George trying to escape back to the U.S. (most of the events taking place in the Canadian parts of the Niagara Falls), trying to enlist the help of the unwilling Polly, and leading up to a desperate fight to prevent the two from going over the falls to a near certain death.

It would likely have been better to reduce these three parts to one or two and keeping the sympathies of the audience more easily focused on George. (Alternatively, choosing a radically different road, where George was temporarily painted as the bad guy, with the truth only gradually revealed to the audience and Polly. That movie, however, would have been so very different that it is hard to tell whether it would have worked better or worse than the actual movie.)

To cast an eye at whether George’s various actions were justified:

  1. The killing of the lover took place in self-defense. The actual events were not shown, but George’s own description of kill-or-be-killed seems quite plausible under the circumstance, especially with the assailant being armed with a wrench. With a very high degree of likelihood, then, not even an accusation of undue force holds. (Self-defense clauses in various legislations typically make restrictions of due, minimal, or proportional force.) Of course, without knowing the exact events this is impossible to judge with certainty: If George won by pushing his opponent into the river, while the latter was trying to do the same to him, he did not have any real choice; if he won by getting the upper hand on a flat surface and then deliberately bashed the opponents head in with the wrench, rather than just beat him unconscious, things could look differently.

    Even in the case of overreaction, however, I would see little blame on him: In the time leading up to the murder attempt, Rose had gone to considerable lengths to deliberately keep him agitated and unstable—and when faced with an immediate threat to his life in addition to that, it might have taken an inhuman self-control to act differently. Further, it can be argued that restrictions on the force allowed when defending against a would-be murderer are not conscionable to begin with (until such a time that the fight is conclusively won). If in doubt, erring on the side of too little can cost the victim his life, while erring on the side of too much merely risks the life of that would-be murderer.

  2. Not turning himself in to the police, after the fact, was definitely illegal—but not necessarily unethical. Not only is the number of miscarriages of justice very high, but the odds were stacked against him: Rose had made (untruthful) claims about his mental stability in public, he had had public outbursts provoked by her, and if he had tried to (rightfully) incriminate Rose, it would have been word against word. (Notably, the jurors would have had considerably less certain information to go by than the movie viewers, let alone George, did.) If he did not incriminate Rose (rather claiming a random assailant) his odds would conceivably have been even worse and he might have needed to fear additional attempts by her, had he been found not guilty. A particular twist is that Rose could (in both scenarios) have deliberately confessed to having a lover and with great plausibility have claimed that George found out and deliberate sought out the lover with the intent of killing. This would have cast a shadow on her own character, true, but it would have done far more damage to George.

    Correspondingly, by turning himself in, he would likely see himself in jail and Rose free to do whatever she pleased.

    Depending on the exact circumstances of jurisdiction, he might also have to contend with a trial and punishment in Canada. While these are unlikely to be worse than their U.S. counter-parts, they do bring an additional uncertainty through his automatic lesser knowledge of how the Canadian justice system works. (And in other similar cases, the question of jurisdiction could be quite crucial, say with similar events in the then East and West Germany.)

  3. Murdering Rose might be a point of considerable contention. From my point of view, it was justified (but not necessarily what I would done!):

    1. She had not only turned to murder him, but had done so in particularly perfidious manner and after irrevocably having altered his life for the considerable worse since during their marriage.


      I am uncertain how to resolve “since during their marriage”. It might be a conflation of “during their marriage” and “since their wedding”, e.g. through an initial use of the latter phrase, followed by an incomplete switch to the former; it might have some other background. Certainly, however, both her actions leading up to the murder attempt and the consequences of the murder attempt had altered his life for the worse. (The “irrevocably” might be up for some debate, but is justified if we consider factors like a wasted day of the past being lost forever, even if future days are not wasted.)

    2. There was some risk that she would try to murder him again.

    3. There was a considerable risk that she would try a similar scheme on some other man in the future.

    4. The probability that the legal system would punish her was small (cf. above).

    In addition, to the degree that the act was not justified, it was certainly highly understandable.


    In the above, I assume that he knew with sufficient certainty that Rose was behind the attempt on his life. If not, the situation is different.

  4. In the following, he tried to approach Polly in a manner that caused her some distress and danger, but there clearly was no evil intent present—indeed, both arose only because she incorrectly feared just an evil intent. The theft of the boat is another matter, but highly understandable in the circumstances—and if the boat was ultimately returned to its rightful owner, it might well be considered allowable self-defense from an ethical (if not legal) point of view. Where I do see considerable blame is the events after Polly’s discovery of him during the theft and the ensuing chase scenes, where he recklessly endangered her life (and ultimately, presumably, lost his own). While understandable actions, considering the situation and the mental stress he was under, he should definitely have put her life and safety above his own, seeing that it was only his actions that brought her into danger.

As an aside, large parts of the movie are in a somewhat Hitchcockian style—and by the addition of a soundtrack by Bernard Hermann and some clean-up in the events, it might actually have been taken for one of his movies.


Annoyingly, I spontaneously remembered next to nothing of the above, and could only fill in blanks with prompting from the text. I have seen the film on at least three occasions, once at a much earlier time (maybe, mid-1990s), once as discussed here, and once a few years back. Nevertheless, my memories are very vague. (Vague memories are, of course, a recurring theme of my 2024 polishing.)

I do remember from the last watching, however, that I was left with an “almost” feeling, that the movie was “almost” were it should be, but still fell short. Maybe, it is exactly the Hitchcock touch that is missing in a movie that tries to be a Hitchcock movie, like a Monroe impersonator who manages to evoke much of Monroe, but, ultimately, is not her.

(In another context, I would have gone with an Elvis impersonator, which might give a better and more likely example; however, that choice would have been odd in the overall context.)

Recurring aspects of the movies

The original text ended with:

Recurring themes:
poor girl/gold digger vs rich man
Rodeo + RonR / western
troubled women
random love
comedy/musical comedy
many small parts
man against nature/rivers

Presumably, I had intended to expand this to a larger analysis of the sum of the movies, likely including some additional themes or other key words added later on. At least for the time being, I will leave them as is. Most should be easily understandable or be partially covered above, e.g. that Monroe often played troubled women and had surprisingly many smaller parts for someone of her “brand recognition” and ability. (The use of “themes” is a bit misleading, as can be seen.)

Specifically “RonR” leaves me puzzled. It is likely a contraction of R-on-R, but what is behind that is not obvious to me. (A re-watching of “Bus Stop”, which contains some rodeo scenes, might give an explanation.)

The remaining movies (2024)

My review of the movies was not finished at the end of the text. (Maybe, I was not yet even at the end of the box.)

For natural reasons, I cannot recreate what I would have written back then, and I will not attempt to write something beyond the minimal here and now. (If in doubt, because I would often have to re-watch the movies for a sufficiently fresh impression, for which I lack the time.)

However, the remaining movies (not necessarily in box order!) were:

  1. “How to Marry a Millionaire”: A funny and charming comedy with a photogenic cast of ladies, and a few plot twists. For those (cf. above) who do want a more shallow Monroe, this might be the best choice.

  2. “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: Monroe is a little to the side and plays an unsympathetic character next to Ethel Merman and Donald O’Connor (i.e. the guy who stole the show in “Singing in the Rain”). Overall not that strong a movie, but interesting for the fans of Irving Berlin.

  3. “Monkey Business”: Monroe is a third to Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, who outshine her. Decent comedy, but more silly than funny in some parts. (In particular, an unfortunate scene with Grant as a pretend Indian among a bunch of children. Screwball and funny are not automatically the same.)

  4. “We’re Not Married!”: Monroe only features in one of several anthology segments, which makes the inclusion dubious. The quality is varying, but some segments are well worth watching. I particularly enjoyed the (non-Monroe) segment about the soldier looking for a last minute wedding, before he is shipped off, and its very touching ending.

    (The title refers to a frame story, in which a misunderstanding leads to several wedding ceremonies that were not legally binding, including that of the aforementioned soldier and his love, who, once the misunderstanding came to light, suddenly found themselves not married and in need to take action.)

  5. “All About Eve”: One of the all time greats, with an excellent Bette Davis. (Not that I have ever seen Bette Davis drop even to mediocre.) Monroe, again and however, only in a small part, which makes the inclusion dubious.


    However, I appreciate the inclusion: I had not previously seen the movie and had gained such an unfavorable impression from a Wikipedia-reading that I might well have avoided it, had I not found myself a coincidental owner of the DVD. (The story, in outline, borders on the insipid—but a movie is so much more than just the outline of its story. Ditto books, plays, whatnot. I have been much more careful since then.)

  6. “Don’t Bother to Knock”: A dark drama with a mentally ill Monroe-character messing with Richard Widmark. My memories are unusually vague, but my impression was positive.

2024 updates on events and later writings

I am reasonably certain that I have mentioned the strike related parts (in much less detail and based on much vaguer or, even, faulty memories) in some Wordpress texts, but I have yet to dig up the links. (TODO import and link.) Some other texts deal with other experiences with flying, including how long one must conscionably be at the airport for a safe journey. (TODO import and link.) As I note there, airports/-lines often have an unreasonable view on these matters, and, I suspect, that they would argue that I have only myself to blame for not being at the airport an hour, better two, earlier than I actually was. On this point, I would very, very strongly disagree.

(A potentially more reasonable counter would be that I should have taken the precaution of flying the evening before, but this was not my decision, as I was not a free-lance at the time.)


A notable likely “faulty memory” affecting those Wordpress texts, going by my vague memories (!) of those texts, is that the trip was for the purpose of an interview, while the interview portion was, going by the above, already completed.

My eventual stay with the project at hand proved comparatively short, making the pre-Monroe parts an even greater waste. Chances are that the missed meeting played in through a poor first impression (cf. side-note). In a great and odd coincidence, I then landed another project in Munich, and just several hundred meters from the first, which moved my overall time in Munich to a year or so.


During polishing, I strained my mind for memories of the first project and came up with surprisingly little.

Importantly, however, there was a later point of outright conflict, also indirectly relating to travel, where project management dropped a late-on-Friday, mandatory-participation, no-excuses internal schooling of some sort upon us with a day-or-so of warning. This despite the team containing several externals who were scheduled to travel back home on Friday afternoon. Both I and my (real) employer tried to get me an exemption (as did some of the others). This was in vain, but it is notable that our contract was terminated very soon afterwards.

(This was no big loss to me. The project dealt with outdated mainframe technologies, did Scrum with a Scrum master who did not know Scrum, and was ripe with bureaucracy, including that we were forced to go to Nuremberg (!) in person (!) to get various computer accesses that were needed for work. An odd attitude towards externals might also shine through in the originally intended visit—the two-hour visit is unlikely to have brought much benefit, but would have cost me an entire day of travel and did cost my employer two billable days and the cost for airplane tickets.)

Air Berlin later proved to be a very customer-hostile company, and I ultimately switched to train travel, which gave me more comfort and less trouble. (Two other factors played in strongly, namely, (a) the poor connection between the Munich Airport and Munich proper, and (b) that distances within Germany are rarely large enough to make air travel superior to train travel.) I am somewhat gratified by Air Berlin’s bankruptcy, just some years later. However, and in all fairness, the main problems above were not caused by Air Berlin but by an unethical strike among security personnel. (Still, Air Berlin’s handling of the resulting situation was both incompetent and user hostile, and I am 80-percent certain that there never was any recompense for that lost flight.)

2024 excursion on “Effi Briest”

“Effi Briest” was one of the first books that I read in German, shortly before or around the time of my move to Germany, and I might have missed something (cf. above) already for reasons of language.

More specifically, and in a parallel to the air travel and book/DVD buying theme of the main text, it was was one of two books that I bought while still in Sweden, shortly before my move to Germany, to give myself some extra training. The other was (likely) Kafka’s “Der Verschollene”.

The choice of books was somewhat random in that I had a very limited pick of (untranslated) German books, but it is interesting that both had some similarity to my own situation in life, as a young man moving to a new country and a new life: The eponymous Effi is, at the beginning of the story, a teenage girl who marries, moves far away from her parents, and (nominally) goes from girl to lady over night. The protagonist in “Der Verschollene” is a teenage boy who leaves his home country for America, travelling alone.