Film Review of Marilyn: A Beautiful Actress, a Handsome Narrator, and a Thankful Production Company
The film industry finds different ways to acknowledge performers. Living performers may receive Academy and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Twentieth Century Fox thanked Marilyn Monroe with the posthumous documentary “Marilyn”.
Marilyn is a documentary film by writer/director Harold Medford. Responsibility for editing is by Pepe Torres. The narrator is actor Rock Hudson (Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., 1925-1985).
The documentary lasts 83 minutes. According to Turner Classic Movies, it premiered on June 5, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts. According to Internet Movie Database, Twentieth Century Fox released the film on April 18, 1963 in the United States and on July 19, 1963 in Germany. The film remains unavailable in Blu-ray, DVD or Video cassette format as of 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death (1926-1962).
Marilyn begins with a brief biography, from Marilyn’s birth on June 1, 1926 as single mother Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker’s (1902-1984) daughter Norma Jeane, through her first modeling assignments, to her almost two-decade acting, dancing, modeling, and singing career.
It is difficult to identify all the movies in which Marilyn acted since her nascent career included uncredited roles. Some film historians and movie buffs have Marilyn’s career beginning with The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), and with Green Grass of Wyoming and You Were Meant For Me (1948). Other experts and fans start with Dangerous Years (1947) and Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948).
There are 30 films upon which admirers and researchers agree as including Marilyn’s participation. The documentary focuses upon 15 films. It identifies Marilyn’s roles as yellow-frocked chorus girl Clara in A Ticket to Tomahawkand New York stage hopeful Miss Caswell in All About Eve (1950). It also includes Marilyn’s participation in:
- Love Nest (1951) as an ex-WAC;
- Don’t Bother to Knock as a nightmare babysitter, Monkey Business as a receptionist/secretary, O. Henry’s Full House as a streetwalker, and We’re Not Married! as a beauty contest winner (1952);
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as a showgirl, How to Marry a Millionaire as a myopic fortune hunter, and Niagara as an adulterous wife (1953);
- River of No Return as a saloon singer and There’s No Business Like Show Business as a stage actress (1954);
- The Seven Year Itch as a television-commercial actress (1955);
- Bus Stop as a café singer (1956).
The documentary ends with clips from Something’s Got to Give (1962). The romantic comedy never was completed. The story nevertheless was played out the following year in Move Over, Darling with Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen interpreting the roles originally intended for Marilyn, Dean Martin, and Cyd Charisse.
Marilyn is memorable in film history for compiling clips from 20th Century Fox films showcasing Marilyn’s talented dancing, emoting, and singing.
Copyright: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Derdriu