Reviewing Marilyn Monroe in 5 Movies

In 2022 we will be 60 years old without Marilyn Monroe. Her brief film career made her a legend, if not the greatest, among Hollywood stars. And we have the opportunity to see her in 5 of her most important films, available on Starplus and Amazon Prime Video. Shall we list them? They are not in order of preference!

Niagara Falls, 1953

After appearing in nearly 20 films, including dialogue scenes with Bette Davis in All About Eve, Marilyn Monroe has finally won a breakout role that – in my personal opinion – is her best performance in a dramatic film in Niagara Falls, 1953.

In this suspenseful drama, Marilyn is sexier than ever, with daring scenes for the time and an unsympathetic, villainous character, clearly unfaithful to her husband. Naked in bed or in the shower, the film shows nothing, but we see everything. She’s beautiful, she’s amazing, and when she sings Kiss, well, poor Jean Peters to be by her side.

At the age of 26, at the height of her beauty, Marilyn amended these shoots with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and became the big star that remains to this day.

The publicity photos of Niagara Fallas were the inspiration for Andy Warhol‘s Blue Marilyn, in 2022, the most expensive painting on the Fine Arts market.

The film is available on Starplus. I can’t recommend less.

Gentlemen Prefer the Blondes, 1953

After the mega-success of Niagara FallsMarilyn Monroe got the disputed role of Lorelei Lee, the apparent blonde opportunist after a rich husband who is crazy about diamonds. The musical, co-starring Jane Russell, is the most classic of Marilyn classics, with its pink dress and the iconic scene from Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, copied decades later.

Ironically, despite the title referring to ‘her’, the blonde, Marilyn was only chosen because she was a cheaper option than Betty Grable (who did not want to make the film) and had a salary more than 10 times less than Jane Russell‘s. The two actresses hit it off, but being next to a Marilyn in her prime wasn’t an easy challenge for anyone. We just look at her. It’s on Starplus and needs to be seen and reviewed. 60 times.

The Seven Year Itch, 1956

With the resounding success of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn amended it with two other excellent films, harder to find, How to Marry A Millionaire, There’s No Business Like The Show Business, and The River of No Return, so when Billy Wilder chose her for The Seven Year Itch, in 1956, Marilyn Monroe was already the most famous woman in the world. And, for many years, it was this classic comedy where the actress neither sings nor dances that created her most famous image: that of the flowing white Norman Norell dress.

An adaptation of the Broadway hit, the film has a foundation that is now culturally questionable. A man who has been married for seven years, alone in the city while his wife is away, fantasizes about a romance with the young woman next door. The unnamed character of Marilyn was on paper to be 22 years old and the actress was 29 at the time, already worried about “being old” and losing roles.

Filming was anything but smooth. Marilyn was late every day and forgot her lines and all this caused millions of losses (recovered at the box office). Her marriage to Joe DiMaggio was also not going well and he would have given a scandal when he saw the dress scene being captured by photographers around the world. Soon after, the two divorced.

The Seven Year Itch is on Starplus.

Some Like it Hot, 1956

Today the comedy is better known for its behind-the-scenes drama than its plot of two musicians who, to hide from mobsters who want to kill them, disguise themselves as women in a band led by the sexy SugarKane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe). Full of fun moments, it has the classic scene of the actress singing I wanna be loved by you.

Married to Arthur Miller, Marilyn was pregnant (she lost her baby during filming), dependent on medication and depressed. He was more than 3 hours late to start recording and he forgot his lines so much that, to say “It’s Me, Sugar”, it took 47 takes to get it right. From that film onwards her decline became even clearer, with the actress being found dead just 4 years later. He still made two more full-length films after Some Like It Hot, but the classic is, for many, his big farewell. It’s on Amazon Prime Video.

Today the comedy is better known for its behind-the-scenes drama than its plot of two musicians who, to hide from mobsters who want to kill them, disguise themselves as women in a band led by the sexy SugarKane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe). Full of fun moments, it has the classic scene of the actress singing I wanna be Loved by you.

Married to Arthur Miller, Marilyn was pregnant (she lost her baby during filming), dependent on medication and depressed. He was more than 3 hours late to start recording and he forgot his lines so much that, to say “It’s Me, Sugar”, it took 47 takes to get it right. From that film onwards her decline became even clearer, with the actress being found dead just 4 years later. He still made two more full-length films after Some Like It Hot, but the classic is, for many, his big farewell. It’s on Amazon Prime Video.

The Misfits, 1961

The last full-length movie by Marilyn Monroe and also by Clark Gable, who died shortly after filming ended, The Misfits was directed by John Huston and written for Marilyn by Arthur Miller. At the time, she wanted more than anything to prove herself as a dramatic actress, but in life, she never got recognition.

The production suffered not only from the actress’s now chronic and increasing delay but from Montgomery Clift‘s alcohol problems as well. The story, hard, heavy, about a woman disputed by two men, made many cruel references to Marilyn as a person, making her more depressed and insecure. To make matters worse, she who already had problems memorizing simple scenes, had to memorize long and complicated dialogues that Miller rewrote practically at the time of recording. She ended up being hospitalized for 10 days, delaying the recordings and taking “the blame” for Clark Gable‘s deteriorating health. Though innocent, she never forgave herself. The marriage to Arthur Miller, unsurprisingly, came to an end along with the film. Marilyn would die a year and a half later, before finishing Something’s Gotta Give. Because today it is known behind the scenes, some cite this as the best performance of Marilyn Monroe. It’s dense, but not “the” best.

Here it is important to see your farewell, your effort, and your unhappiness recorded on the screen. The film is on Amazon Prime Video.

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