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Old 04-30-13, 06:53 AM   #29
pacaway
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* First time viewing
* First time Marilyn movie viewing

Okay, I'm in. It can't be a big challenge right after the April one, so I'm going to go with "Chronological Marilyn". I've collected pretty much all of her movies over the years so I really should get around to watching more than the two or three I've seen up to now. I'll do them in order as best I can, except where I have to source the odd one from somewhere else. Maybe I'll find a few docs on her as well...(good conspiracy stuff, if I can find it).

May 1:
1. Norma Jean and Marilyn (1996) (my DVD) - Very disappointing start. This biopic makes Marilyn out to be a stark raving, schizophrenic lunatic. She didn't have a perfect life, or even mental state, but come on! Terrible disservice to a tragic life. I've got to be able to find a better one than this.
2. Ladies of the Chorus (1948) * (YouTube) - Marilyn's first big role. Nice little film for sure. Marilyn Sings!

May 2:
3.The Asphalt Jungle (1950) (library DVD) - Since I couldn't get my hands on a decent copy of The Marx Brothers' Love Happy, I moved on to this MGM film noir. It's a small role for her, but she is extremely noticeable here as the rising blonde bombshell.

May 3:
4.Home Town Story (1951) (my DVD) - Actually a propaganda film made for General Motors by MGM to show how wonderful it is for big corporations to make huge profits! Did you know we profit because they profit? Somehow I don't think it is proportional. Anyway, Marilyn made this movie while waiting for The Asphalt Jungle to be released. It was not released theatrically until about 12 years later, in Australia, just because Marilyn was in it. Anyway, she is only in it briefly, but again stands out from everyone else, while thwarting the advances of the Skipper from Giligan's Island.
5. Right Cross (1950) * (YouTube) - Another VERY brief appearance getting hit on by a reporter (hmmm, the Skipper was a reporter in the last movie too!). Clever double entendre about spaghetti though! Anyway, this one starred a young (was he ever young?) Ricardo Montalban as a boxer. I really liked it actually. Some good boxing sequences.

May 4:
6.
(2010) * (YouTube) - TV biography of Marilyn done by people who love/loved her. Interviews with costars and photographers, etc. Nice loving tribute.
7. All About Eve (1950) (my DVD) - The one that got Marilyn noticed and caused 20th Century Fox to offer her another contract. Again, not a lengthy part, but to outshine Bette Davis is no easy feat!
- also watched special feature: back story: All About Eve 25 min. TV doc

May 5:
8. As Young as You Feel (1951) (my DVD) - Her first part under her new Fox contract. And her screen time is about 6 minutes in a 76 minute movie! Even though she is a secretary again, she really gets to ham it up this time, sticking her tongue out at her boss and throwing a little tantrum. It was great! Nice little movie, too, about a gentleman forced to retire who impersonates the president of the parent company to get his job back. Hi-jinx ensues! No special features on this disc. Just trailers.
9. Love Nest (1951) * (my DVD) - Slight decline in exposure (only in one way though!) for Marilyn. about 4:20 of screen time, but about 30 seconds of that is in a pretty nice bathing suit (for the 50s anyway). Her role is much more insignificant than it was in the last one though... just an excuse for a little marital jealousy. Not much point to this little comedy, and if Marilyn had not been in it, I doubt it would be remembered at all today.

DNQ: Iron Man Three (2013) * (IMAX 3D) - could not come up with a connection to Marilyn, unfortunately.

May 6:
10. Let's Make It Legal (1951) * (my DVD) - Little comedy about a divorced woman being stalked and harassed by her ex husband while her conniving daughter tries manipulating everyone, including her own husband, so she doesn't have to get her lazy butt out of bed to care for her own baby. Hilarious, right?! Only 2:20 of Marilyn and no bikini this time. Extremely forgettable and a very slight part for M. Next!

May 7:
11. Clash By Night (1952) * (library DVD) - Wow! What a surprise! Fritz Lang directs this, and M gets forth billing and about 13:30 screen time! Big step up, and no forgettable comedy this time. A serious role in a serious movie. Made after signing her new 7 year deal with Fox, but she was loaned to RKO for this one. She's now making about 500 a week.

May 8:
12. We're Not Married! (1952) * (my DVD) - Cute little movie basically made up of 5 separate stories of how different couples deal with finding out their marriages aren't legal. Marilyn's segment is short (about 6 minutes or so) but cute. Some of the other couples are interesting as well.
13a. Blonde (Part 1) (2001) * (my DVD) - TV miniseries that distinctly says "Even though this story contains real people, it is a work of fiction.." Doesn't exactly instill confidence in the historical events portrayed! Anyway, I think I know enough that I can weed out the bogus stuff. Besides, it stars Poppy Montgomery as Marilyn, so it can't be all bad!

May 9:
13b. Blonde (Part 2) (2001) * (my DVD) - Second part of TV miniseries. A lot of inaccuracies for sure, but not quite as mean spirited to Marilyn as Norma Jean and Marilyn was. I loved her first dates/conversations with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. At least you could see why these men fell I love with her. Stupid how they made up relationships that never happened though. Clearly ran out of time and had to skip the Kennedy years though.
14. Don't Bother to Knock (1952) (my DVD) - This was the first MM movie I ever saw. I think it is great! It's her first starring role and she does well in a very serious role as an unstable girl given too much responsibility too soon. It's a "Marilyn Must See" as far as I'm concerned. Didn't bother to time her screen time. She's in the whole movie.

May 10:
15. O. Henry's Full House (1952) * (library DVD) - Not much Marilyn at all (about 1:20), but an extremely enjoyable movie! Five separate short stories by O. Henry are portrayed, of which MM is in the first. Each was interesting and, in a few cases, unpredictable (at least to me!).
16. Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987) * (library DVD) - Very nice documentary. Lots of great video clips and photos. Definitely recommend this one.

May 11:
17. Monkey Business (1952) (my DVD) - Very fun Howard Hawks comedy starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers. Marilyn has about 11 minutes of screen time and is adorable of course... So's the monkey!
18. Niagara (1953) (my DVD) - Oh yes! This is the one! Every time I see it, I love it more! Such a great setting too. 1950's Niagara Falls, Canada. MM gets top billing and totally carries this movie. Amazing that this is the only movie where she plays a villain, unless you count Don't Bother to Knock. Anyway, you can't go wrong if this is your first Marilyn movie either. Marilyn Sings!

May 12:
19. Love Happy (1949) * (my new DVD ripped and watched on iPod) - A Marx Brothers movie in which MM appears for about 0:40. MM aside, who is worth every one of those 40 seconds by the way, I had no idea the Marx Brothers were so funny! I will definitely watch more! (Had to watch this one out of order due to availability.)
20. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) * (library Blu-ray) - Stunning on Blu-ray! I played a bit of my DVD after for comparison, and wow!, the BD blows away the DVD by far. Help me resist the urge to replace all my MM DVDs with BD! Anyway, believe it or not, this was my first viewing of this film! No joke! It really is quite entertaining and when MM is on the screen you don't even notice Jane Russell. When Jane performs alone though, she's quite good too! Marilyn Sings!

May 13:
21. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) * (my DVD) - First movie ever in "CinemaScope" and they really took advantage of it. You can tell they were showing it off. The picture hasn't aged well though. I wonder if the Blu-ray is much better. Funny seeing Betty Grable play a dummer blonde than Marilyn!
22. River of No Return (1954) * (my DVD) - Marilyn in the gold rush days, filmed in Banff! Rafting down the Bow. Barely an hour from here. Cool! Marilyn Sings!

May 14:
23. There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) * (my DVD) - Well, it may be short on story, and Ethel Merman gets annoying quickly, but the musical numbers are fantastic! I love tap dancing and this thing is full of it! The dancing statues are great, and I'm pretty sure Dr. Who stole the idea for the weeping angel episodes! Now, my beef is waiting 28 minutes to get to Marilyn! and... Marilyn Sings!
24. The Seven Year Itch (1955) (my DVD) - Here it is! The pinnacle MM movie! "The Girl", skirt blowing over her head and everything, helps a man realize how much he loves his wife. "Maybe it's Marilyn Monroe!" he says! Clever!
- also watched special feature: back story: Seven Year Itch 25 min. TV doc

May 15:
25. Bus Stop (1956) * (my DVD) - What did I just watch? Was that really Marilyn Monroe? I heard that this was her best work acting but that is a HUGE understatement! I just can't get over how good she was in this! No wonder she was fighting with the studio for better roles. Whatever she did for that year in New York at The Actors Studio paid off here! Too bad the male lead was such an annoying moron. I wished he had been trampled by a bull half way through the movie. Not only that, but... Marilyn Sings! (poorly on purpose)

May 16:
26. My Week With Marilyn (2011) (my BD) - biopic covering the making of The Prince and the Showgirl. Amazing how much better I understand it after this month of researching.
27. The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) (my DVD) - The end results. Nice movie, but now my expectations are high after Bus Stop, but at least... Marilyn Sings! (part of one song anyway)

May 17:
28. Some Like It Hot (1959) (my BD) - The classic comedy felt by many to be the funniest movie of all time and certainly the funniest closing line ever! Jack Lemmon is a riot in this, and Tony Curtis doing his best Clark Gable is also fabulous! Marilyn definitely holds her own with these two yahoos as well! Very enjoyable to see this again. If you've not seen it run, don't walk, wherever you have to and see it now! And to top it all off.... Marilyn Sings!

May 18:
29. Let's Make Love (1960) * (my DVD) - Kind of went into this one blind. Didn't really know much about it and I had fallen behind in my reading so I really didn't know what to expect. I liked it more than I expected to. Cute little story, no real meat. Nothing new, that's for sure and a story that's been done a million times. It okay though. Some nice cameos for the time it was made, that's for sure. I was surprised to see Milton Berle suddenly on the screen, and Yves says, after being disappointed by him, "and 4 million people call you Uncle?" Anyway, having gone in blind, I was unaware that, here too... Marilyn Sings!

May 19: Star Trek Day!
DNQ: Star Trek (2009) (my BD) - If anyone can come up with a connection to MM, please let me know!
DNQ: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) * (IMAX 3D) - ditto!

May 20:
30. The Misfits (1961) * (my DVD) - I was caught off guard by the fact that this movie was shot in black and white. Nothing I had seen, heard or read up to this point gave that impression. Regardless of that, Marilyn, in her last completed film, is stunning. The story was peculiar but held my interest. Very interesting sequences involving "modern day" cowboys doing what amounts to Mustang hunting. Sad to think this was the end of the road for her.
31. Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days (2001) (my DVD) - Includes the unfinished Something's Got To Give Excellent documentary covering the tumultuous last months of Marilyn's life during the attempts to make her final movie. Treated with the utmost care, poor Marilyn's final anguish is described sympathetically by all the participants, despite the real frustrations they felt at the time. Well worth the time of anyone interested in Marilyn.

May 22:
32. Insignificance (1985) (library BD) - Totally fictional story about a scenario where MM meets, and spends the night with, Albert Einstein while she's married to Joe DiMaggio ("The Ballplayer", even on his baseball card) and filming The Seven Year Itch. It also includes Joseph MacCarthy ("The Senator") with a Marilyn fetish and on the commy warpath for AE. None of them are referred to by their real names, or any names at all really. Interesting to see "The Actress" explain the theory of relativity to AE ("The Professor"). The story really gives her intelligence. Theresa Russell looks great, but is not a convincing Monroe. Anyway, it's good enough to be in the Criterion Collection, so enough said.

May 23:
33a. Smash: Season One (2012) * (library DVD)
Disc 1
Episode 1: Pilot
Episode 2: The Callback
Episode 3: Enter Joe DiMaggio
Episode 4: The Cost of Art

May 24:
33b. Smash: Season One (2012) * (library DVD)
Disc 2
Episode 5: Let's Be Bad
Episode 6: Chemistry
Episode 7: The Workshop
Episode 8: The Coup

May 25:
33c. Smash: Season One (2012) * (library DVD)
Disc 3
Episode 09: Hell on Earth
Episode 10: Understudy
Episode 11: The Movie Star
Episode 12: Publicity
Disc 4
Episode 13: Tech
Episode 14: Previews
Episode 15: Bombshell

May 26:
34. Smash: Season Two (2013) * (on-line)
Episode 01: Broadway
Episode 02: Fallout


DONE!!!

June 03:
Bonus: Move Over, Darling (1963) * (my DVD) - Since I just got this in the mail today, I am going to add it as a bonus selection. This was the movie that Marilyn was making when she died. It was made a couple years later with a new cast, including Doris Day and James Garner. Interesting to see the different ways of presenting the material between the two actresses. A very enjoyable movie.

Quote:
First Viewings (Marilyn movies only) * : 15 BioPics/Docs: 6 Marilyn Sings!: 9

Last edited by pacaway; 04-19-17 at 08:04 AM.
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