Monday, September 12, 2011

Marilyn Monroe.

Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her performances in the films, The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) lead to better roles. Her "dumb blond" persona was in the films, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). She was also wonderful in the films:

Don't Bother to Knock(1952). A thriller film starring Marilyn Monroe and Richard Widmark, directed by Roy Ward Baker and written by Daniel Taradash.

Singer Lyn Lesley, is worried about seeing her boyfriend, airline pilot Jed Towers, just after she had sent him letter ending their relationship. Meanwhile, elevator operator Eddie introduces his niece, Nell, to Peter and Ruth Jones, so she can watch their daughter Bunny, while they can go out to dinner.

After Bunny falls asleep, Nell puts on Ruth's negligee, as well as some of her perfume and jewelry. Jed is watching Nell through the window and calls her on the phone, but their conversation is cut short by Eddie, who is checking in on Nell. Eddie orders Nell, to change her clothes and that she needs to find another boyfriend. When Eddie leaves, Nell invites Jed over. Ed is hot for Nell, but is confused by her mixed messages.

Nell is surprised, when Jed tells her that he is a pilot so she, decides to tell him that her boyfriend Philip, was also a pilot and died while flying over the Pacific. Just then Bunny, wakes up.. Nell shakes the child and tells her to go back to bed. Jed comforts Bunny, but when Bunny looks out the window, it looks as if Nell is about to push her. Jed saves the girl and the incident is seen by neighbor, Emma Ballew. Nell, takes Bunny back to bed and warns her not to make any more noise.

Meanwhile, Jed is thinking about getting back with his ex-girlfriend Lyn, but Nell asks him to stay. Jed, then sees the scars on her wrists, and Nell tells him that after Philip died, she tried to kill herself with a razor. Just then, Eddie comes back to check on Nell, and Jed hides in the bathroom. Eddie, is still angry that Nell, is still wearing Ruth's things, telling her that he had thought that she was "getting better." When Eddie orders her to change clothes, Nell loses her temper and hits him over the head with a ashtray. Nell, goes into Bunny's room while Jed helps the injured Eddie.

When Nell returns, she is confronted by the Ballews, who are wondering why Bunny, is crying. Fearing for his job, Eddie tells Jed to hide in the bathroom, but while Nell is talking with the Ballews, Jed sneaks into Bunny's room. As he is leaving, Jed does not notice that Bunny is bound and gagged. When the Ballews see Jed leave, they come to the conclusion that he had forced his way in. While the Ballews are contacting the hotel detective, Nell, is now so out of her mind that she believes Jed is Philip and locks Eddie in the closet and goes into Bunny's room. Realizing that Bunny was on the wrong bed, Jed rushes up to the room, where Nell, believing that Bunny drove Jed away, is about to hurt the girl. Wanting to check on Bunny, her mother Ruth arrives before Jed does and is attacked by Nell. Jed saves Ruth, just in time and Nell is able to get away. Will Jed be able to find Nell before she hurts any one else?

Fun Fact:

This was Anne Bancroft's first film. It was also Marilyn Monroe's 18th film and an attempt to prove to critics that she could act.

I think that you will be very impressed by Marilyn's in depth performance as a psychotic woman. A must see for Marilyn's hardcore fans.

Niagara(1953). Unlike other films noir of the time, Niagara was shot in Technicolor and was one of 20th Century Fox's biggest box office hits of the year. The drama stars Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, and Max Showalter. Although, it was not written as a star vehicle for Monroe, she would dominate the film. Along with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire.

Please click here to view Niagara movie review.

Video: First of 9.

The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). Starring Marilyn Monroe and co-starring Laurence Olivier who also served as director and producer. It was written by Terence Rattigan who based the script on his play, The Sleeping Prince. The story of the making of the film is the basis for the 2011 film, My Week with Marilyn.

The film begins in, London, June 1911 when George V, is about to be crowned king. Among those arriving are King Nicholas of Carpathia and Prince Charles.

The British government find it necessary to entertain the royals during their stay in London. Northbrook decides to take the Prince Regent out to the musical performance, The Coconut Girl. Later that evening, Prince Regent, is taken backstage to meet the cast. He is interested in Elsie Marina and invites her to dinner.

Elsie arrives at the embassy expecting a party but quickly realises the Prince's true intentions. While the Prince and Elsie are having dinner there are many interruptions. Later on, the Prince makes a pass at Elsie which she, refuses. The two eventually kiss and Elsie admits she may be falling in love, but she has had to much to drink and passes out. The Prince puts her up for the night.

The next day, Elsie overhears Nicolas plotting to overthrow his father. Promising not to tell, Elsie then meets the Queen Mother, who decides she should join them for the coronation. The Prince Regent, is very impressed with Elsie and soon realizes that he has fallen in love with her. Elsie manages to work out the differences between father and son.

The Misfits(1961). Directed by John Huston, and starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, and Eli Wallach. It was the final film appearance for both Gable and Monroe.

The Misfits takes place in Reno, Nevada, and is about a chance meeting and friendship of divorcée, Roslyn Tabor, and Gay Langland, an aging ex-cowboy, who survives by rounding up mustangs. These had once been sold as horses for children, but now the only market is selling them to slaughterhouses for dog food.

Clash by Night(1952). Is a black-and-white drama with some film noir aspects, directed by Fritz Lang and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Marilyn Monroe and Robert Ryan. The movie was based on the play by Clifford Odets, adapted by writer Alfred Hayes. This was the first film in which Monroe was credited before the movie's title.

Clash by Night


  1. I wish TCM were featuring two of my favorite MM comedies, "How to Marry a Millionaire" and "The Seven Year Itch." But I think both are 20th Century Fox films & that might be a problem. And, as far as I'm concerned, "Some Like it Hot" can't be shown enough.

  2. Eve, I agree... How to Marry a Millionaire, Seven Year Itch and Some Like it Hot are also favorites of mine. Although, I'm very glad to see the film, Niagara, as part of the Monroe TCM line up.

  3. Wonderfully in-depth article about some of Monroe's best, Dawn. I reall dislike The Prince and the Showgirl, but that is the only one. I think Monroe's performance in Don't Bother To Knock is just aces. She was considered for a role of a mentally iill young girl in Freud, the movie I just did a post about, but she was too mature and too much of a sex symbol by then to do it. She sure did a great job in Don't Bother. She is another actress who was never given a lot of credit for actual acting talent, and that was a shame. She was good.

  4. Becky, Thank you, I agree.. Monroe, really could act. The Prince and the Showgirl, also, was really not a favorite of mine, but.. I think everyone should see it once.


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