‘Blonde’ Fact-Check: Was Marilyn Monroe Really in a Throuple With Edward G. Robinson and Charlie Chaplin?


The new Marilyn Monroe biopic on Netflix, called Blonde, is just as sleazy as you might expect. At least when it isn’t being very cruel.

But “biopic” may be a bit of a stretch. Ana de Armas plays Monroe in the new, nearly three-hour movie, which is now on Netflix and in theatres. It is based on Joyce Carol Oates’s 2000 novel, which is mostly made up of stories.

Andrew Dominik, the director, says it’s a “dream film” that’s as much about Monroe’s image as it is about her real life. It is built around a series of traumas that Monroe goes through that build on each other in a cycle that is sometimes powerful and sometimes mind-numbing.

Monroe (whose real name is Norma Jeane Mortenson) tries hard but can’t get out of the role that the rest of the world has given her. She wants to make her own choices, but she can’t seem to do them.

Monroe’s s*x life is a frequent plot point. A three-way romance between Monroe, Charles “Cass” Chaplin Jr., the son of Charlie Chaplin (played in Blonde by an almost miraculously handsome, jewel-eyed Xavier Samuel), and Edward “Eddy” G. Robinson Jr., the son of another famous actor, may have given her a glimpse of happiness (Evan Williams).

On top of that, she had embarrassing relationships with Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale), Arthur Miller (Adrien Brody), and President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson).

But that’s getting ahead of things. What is true or not true about the so-called “throuple” that Monroe had with Chaplin Jr. and Robinson Jr.? There is a neat explanation for you below.

Were Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin Jr., And Edward G. Robinson Jr., As Shown In Blonde, Really In A “Throuple”?

Everything in Blonde hits you fast and hard, and most of it is sad. Particularly sexual ones. One of the sweeter chapters (at least at the beginning) is a fling with Charles “Cass” Chaplin Jr. and Edward G. Robinson Jr., who both have the same name as their famous fathers.

Cass and Edward walk into a scene where Monroe (de Armas) is taking an acting class. In a scary way, most of the men in the movie have the same or very similar styles. Monroe has a sexual encounter with two men after they dance and flirt with each other. It’s one of the few times Monroe says “yes” for sure to what’s going on with her.

Cass, who hates his absent father Chaplin Sr., can understand why Monroe doesn’t like Hollywood. As he takes Monroe’s clothes off, he tells her, “The body is meant to be seen, admired, and wanted. Not hidden away like an ugly wound that keeps getting worse.” They make out with Edward Jr. Blonde, which got a controversial NC-17 rating and shows a lot of sexual activity.

It’s not quite hardcore porn, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. At least Monroe is having fun in her “throuple,” which is what people are calling the two of them. In a later scene, though, a Confidential magazine gossip article calls this love triangle a “threesome.” Which one makes sense: She kisses both guys in the movie, but her heart pulls her toward Cass.

What Did Monroe Do With Cass And Edward In Real Life?

The Blonde characters Charles “Cass” Chaplin Jr. and Edward G. Robinson Jr. are based on real people. Both had to deal with the long shadows of fathers they loved. But there’s no proof that Monroe slept with both of them at the same time.

USA Today quotes Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner as saying, “There is no evidence of a three-way between Chaplin Jr. and Robinson Jr.” Still, Cass and Edward Jr. can be linked to Monroe. Even in terms of love.

Monroe dated Cass Chaplin Jr. for a short time, which he wrote about in his biography of Charlie Chaplin’s father, My Father, Charlie Chaplin, which came out in 1960. Even though Monroe’s relationship with Cass and Robinson Jr. gets bad in the movie Blonde (they use naked pictures of her as blackmail after she marries DiMaggio), Cass and Monroe reportedly stayed friends for the rest of their lives.

According to her longtime friend Arthur James, the star of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” also had a tryst with Robinson Jr. E! News says that Chaplin Jr. introduced Monroe to Robinson Jr. Close IMDb users will notice that Robinson Jr. had a small part in Some Like It Hot, which starred Marilyn Monroe.

“Marilyn, Charlie, and Eddy were all depressed, and when things got bad, they would go looking for each other. But Charlie and Eddy were more likely to kill themselves than Marilyn,” James told Anthony Summers, the author of the 1985 book Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, according to E! News.

In Blonde, What Does The Rest Of Monroe’s Love Life Look Like?

Well, in Blonde, nothing good happens to Monroe. (Major spoiler alert ahead!) Cass ends up playing with her heartstrings by sending her letters pretending to be her long-lost father. This is one reason why she dies too soon from an overdose. But the movie makes Monroe’s relationship with JFK, which included a forced blowjob, look worse.

The story of Blonde is driven by Monroe’s inability to find her own way and the hope that she will meet her unknown father, no matter how hard it is to watch (and it can be excruciating!). Dominik (Killing Them Softly) uses almost every trick in the book to make you feel like you’re a victim of Monroe’s.

He quickly switches between color and black-and-white shots, uses point-of-view shots, and cameras attached to actors, and speeds up and slows down the film, among other things. The result is strange, bold, and sometimes even funny, like when digital effects are used to show Monroe’s unborn child.

Blonde may not be as interesting as Monroe’s public life and show being misunderstood, but there is something fascinating about it.

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