The Netflix Marilyn Monroe documentary, The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, covering the mysterious death of one of the most beautiful actresses and sex icons in U.S. history, recently hit screens, citing unheard interviews with her inner circle. Monroe was found dead of a barbiturate overdose in 1962 at the age of 36. Her untimely death broke the hearts of her fans. The glamorous Marilyn Monroe movies are what have remained with us. Who knows how many more great movies she’d have made if she hadn’t left us so early.
1) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 musical comedy in which Marilyn Monroe plays the gold-digging blonde Lorelei Lee and Jane Russell, another Hollywood sex symbol besides Monroe, plays the witty brunette Dorothy Shaw. The film jogged our memory with Marilyn’s unforgettable dance in her iconic pink dress to the jazz song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” With other jazz tunes sung in the musical, Apollo-like men doing aerobics, and a plot revolving around two women who’re exact opposites, the film set a tone for 1950s movies.
2) Some Like It Hot
With six Academy Award nominations, Some Like It Hot was considered one of the best films of all time. Due to its LGBT-related themes, such as cross-dressing, the film was produced without the approval of the Hays Code, which is a self-censorship of film content. Fortunately, the code waned in the early 1950s.
Equipped with the theme of disguise and its collaborator, dramatic irony, the film follows two musicians who flee Chicago after witnessing a mob murder. They join a jazz band, made up only of women, disguising themselves as women. One of them (played by Tony Curtis) goes too far in his disguise and pretends to be a millionaire in order to win over the band’s singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe).
3) The Seven Year Itch
Like Some Like it Hot, The Seven Year Itch was also directed by the famous director Billy Wilder. Tom Ewell accompanies Monroe in the film. The film is etched in everyone’s minds as Monroe, standing on a subway grate in her white dress that is blown upward by a passing train. This image of the stunning actress became one of the most important pop culture icons of the 20th century and made Monroe a sex symbol.
The title of the film refers to the popular belief that interest in monogamous or happy relationships wanes after seven years together. The term has been used by psychologists as the titular phase. Thus, the film follows a previously faithful husband who becomes attracted to a beautiful neighbor.
4) The Misfits
The 4th one on our list of Marilyn Monroe movies is a western film. The Misfits is based on the short story of the same name by the famous playwright Arthur Miller. The film is about a newly divorced woman who spends time with her friends in Reno and Northern Nevada. It’s the last completed film for both Monroe (as the widowed Rosyln Tabor) and Clark Gable (as old school cowboy Gay Langland), as unfortunately, Gable died in 1960 (the film was released in 1961 after his death) and Monroe in 1961.
5) How to Marry a Millionaire
Among the Marilyn Monroe movies, How to Marry a Millionaire is also about the money-grubbing gold diggers. Three women, Monroe as Pola, Betty Grable as Loco and Lauren Bacall as Schatze, rent a luxurious penthouse in New York to attract rich men and marry them.
Even if the mindset of these women is out of date in the 21st century, at the beginning of the 20th century it was quite normal, even indispensable (!), for a woman to look for a rich man in order to live a comfortable life in the economic sense. Because as you know, for a long time women didn’t have the same social and economic rights as men. So you should watch this movie if you want to get an insight into the dynamics of romantic relationships in 1950s America.
6) The Prince and the Showgirl
Based on the 1953 stage play The Sleeping Prince by Terence Rattigan, The Prince and the Showgirl is a 1957 romantic comedy starring Monroe as Elsie Marina and Laurence Olivier as Charles, the Prince Regent of Carpathia. Set in 1911 London, the film is about an American showgirl who becomes involved in a political intrigue when the Prince Regent tries to seduce her. This film mixed romance and comedy with a dash of historical elements.