The reel-to-reel silent, color film taken at a private home in New Jersey was recently purchased by collector Keya Morgan for $275,000 from the person who took the film, who has asked to remain anonymous.
Morgan and the person who shot the film gave Reuters permission to use it in digital form. The copyright of the image will be put up for sale on eBay later this week, Morgan said.
Morgan, a collector of historical photos, manuscripts, autographs and documents, is also working on a documentary on the death of Monroe in August 1962.
He learned of the film during his research and tracked down the owner, who kept it as part of an archive that was moved between various homes over the years. The Monroe film had been stored in an attic for three years before Morgan tracked it down.
The actress appears happy and relaxed at a small gathering of friends that Morgan dates to 1958 or 1959, based on her appearance.
“This is the late ’50s so she is already very famous, but this is a personal side of her we’ve never seen before. People have never seen her in such a relaxed pose,” Morgan said.
At one point she is passed a cigarette and takes a puff but does not appear to inhale deeply. Later she appears to take a sniff of her own armpit and laughs about it.
The person who made the film confirmed that the cigarette contained marijuana, saying: “I got it (the pot). It was mine. It was just passed around.”
“It was not a party. It was just a get-together. You know, come over and hang out.”
– Article from Reuters.