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Breaking down Marilyn Monroe's movies in order.
Who can say that the allure of Marilyn Monroe has not touched their lives in some way? The impact of her life and legacy on pop culture can not be overstated.
My mom and I love to watch old movies together, and this year we want to watch more movies that have Marilyn Monroe in them! We are not immune to her charm and beauty, so I wanted to identify how many movies she's been in, and which ones are the most notable and iconic!
It's so cool to watch her in action, as she really is captivating! Here's what I found about Marilyn Monroe's film career:
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortensen on June 1, 1926. She was placed in various foster homes and orphanages, where she endured abuse and poverty. Her mother soon suffered a mental breakdown and was placed in a psychiatric ward.
An arranged marriage when she was 16 enabled her to escape her circumstances, but her husband's disapproval of her desire to pursue a modeling career caused the breakdown of their union. She signed with a modeling agency and quickly became known as a hard-working and popular model.
Through her modeling agency, she nabbed an interview with Paramount Pictures (which declined to sign her) and then 20th Century Fox. Although her screen test was not particularly good, an executive at 20th Century Fox decided to give her a short contract to prevent her from being stolen by their competitors. They chose to give her a stage name derived from a combination of Marilyn Miller (a Broadway star from the 20s) and her mother's maiden name, Monroe.
She went on to be in 30 films before passing away at the age of 36 of an overdose.
Marilyn became an American sex symbol and a subsequent pop culture icon.
Marilyn was 36 years old when she passed away.
Marilyn would be 97 years old in 2023.
Marilyn was in 30 films. Some of her most popular movies were Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot.
Marilyn Monroe made her first appearance in this movie as a waitress named Evie.
Marilyn appears in this movie for less than 2 seconds.
This was the first feature role for Marilyn, but the movie wasn't considered successful. After Marilyn's star had risen, the movie was re-promoted with an emphasis on Marilyn to capitalize on her gained popularity.
Although the movie was generally panned, Marilyn Monroe appeared in a memorable yet short scene.
This was one of Marilyn's last uncredited roles, as she was about to get her big break.
The Asphalt Jungle was a critically acclaimed crime movie about a jewel robbery. This movie is generally considered a small breakthrough for Marilyn as the movie was a success; it gained her the respect of some film critics who started to view her as more of an actress than a model.
All About Eve was another success, although Marilyn was still relatively unknown at the time.
Another small role for Marilyn while under contract at 20th Century Fox.
Not a particularly notable role for Marilyn, as she was uncredited in the film.
Marilyn kept appearing in small roles, although her name was on the publicity poster for this one!
Marilyn's short appearance in this movie was one of the only things that made it worth watching, according to one critic.
Love Nest featured Marilyn Monroe in one of her first supporting roles.
Marilyn uses her curves to try and seduce a man with money in this film. Her sex symbol status was only beginning to blossom.
During the shooting of this film, Marilyn started getting recognized in some nude photos she did out of desperation years earlier. It created quite the scandal, but her admission that she did them to put food on her table garnered her sympathy with the American public and skyrocketed her fame.
This movie has a fun premise: 6 couples are married by a newly appointed justice of the peace starting on Christmas Eve, but his appointment doesn't actually start until January 1st. When one of the couples wants to get a divorce, he must inform the rest of the couples that they are actually not legally married.
Don't Bother to Knock is a psychological thriller that is generally regarded among Marilyn Monroe fans as featuring one of her best acting performances.
A film with relatively neutral reviews of the source material but semi-positive reviews of Marilyn's performance.
Marilyn plays a streetwalker in this anthology film.
Niagara was the first film where Marilyn received top billing. She starred as Rose, a femme fatale character. This film was one of the biggest box office hits of the year and shot Marilyn into a new level of stardom. This is the first film of a series to come cementing her as a movie star and one of the most famous women in the world.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was Marilyn's next smash hit. One of her most memorable roles, Marilyn played gold digger Lorelei Lee. One of her most iconic and often recreated scenes from the movie is where Marilyn sings Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend in her iconic pink dress and gloves.
This movie was the third home run in a row for Marilyn Monroe; it ended up being a box office hit.
River of No Return was a Western movie starring Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum.
This movie was made right after Marilyn married Joe DiMaggio and performed in Korea for American soldiers. This made her even more popular and famous. She was able to use that as leverage to secure a raise.
The Seven Year Itch is another notable Marilyn movie as while shooting a scene for the film, she decided to pose for some photographers with standing over a subway grate. The iconic image of Marilyn's white dress flying up around her is still recognizable today.
Bus Stop was a film where Marilyn impressed viewers and critics with her dedication to her role. It is considered one of her best performances in regards to her acting.
This film was particularly popular in the UK, but failed to find success in the American market.
Some Like It Hot is considered to be one of the best films ever made.
This film was part of Marilyn Monroe's contractual obligations to her studio. Her reputation at this point of being late to set and arriving disheveled complicated the filming process and hurt her professionalism. The movie was considered a disappointment in comparison to Some Like It Hot, but was actually relatively and monetarily successful.
The Misfits was considered a commercial failure at the time, but is now regarded as one of the best movies of the 1960s. It was Marilyn Monroe's final completed film. She idolized her coworker Clark Gable, who died of a heart attack 2 days after filming ended. Marilyn was reportedly unhappy with the film.
Marilyn started filming Something's Got to Give in 1962, but was fired due to her lack of punctuality and orderliness on set. The film was abandoned and then revamped and repackaged (with new cast) to become Move Over, Darling starring Doris Day and James Garner.
Marilyn Monroe's career was both long and short - it took her several movies before reaching success, which is a lesson in persistence and hope. Who knows what else Marilyn could have accomplished if she was able to live a full life? What's your favorite Marilyn Monroe film? I'll admit that I haven't seen all of these (yet!) but I do love Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!