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Movie Mom

Your Week with Marilyn — Monroe’s Best Films

posted by Nell Minow

“My Week With Marilyn” is a new film based on the memoirs by Colin Clark about his time as a third assistant director (basically a gofer) on the set of a movie she made in England with Sir Laurence Olivier.  You can have your own week with Marilyn Monroe, the most popular sex symbol in movie history, by watching some of her films.  I recommend:

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  Monroe plays a gold-digging showgirl in this colorful and energetic musical.  Her signature song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” inspired Madonna’s “Material Girl” video.

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Some Like It Hot The American Film Institute’s pick for the funniest American movie of all time is Billy Wilder’s gender-bending masterpiece about two male musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who disguise themselves as women and join an all-female band so they can hide from mobsters.  Monroe plays the band’s lead singer who has a weakness for saxophone players.  It gets better and funnier every time you see it.

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Let’s Make Love Yves Montand plays one of the wealthiest and most successful men in the world.  When he hears that a small off-Broadway musical satiric revue makes fun of him, he goes to the theater to complain.  But the director thinks he has shown up to audition and when he sees Monroe (in sheer practice tights and leotard) is in the cast, he pretends to be an actor.  She sings a sizzling version of “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”

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Bus Stop Many people think Monroe’s best performance as an actress is in this poignant story of a cowboy in love with a bar girl.  She sings a heartbreakingly (intentionally) trashy “That Old Black Magic.”

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The Seven Year Itch Monroe’s most iconic pose comes from this film about an innocent flirtation between a man who stays in New York while his family is on vacation and his free-spirited upstairs neighbor.

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The Prince and the Showgirl When Monroe wanted to be taken more seriously as an actress she formed a production company to finance this film, co-starring and directed by Sir Laurence Olivier.  It is more interesting to watch to compare their incompatible acting styles than it is to try to care about the slight story, but definitely worth seeing if you plan to watch “My Week With Marilyn.”

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How to Marry a Millionaire Monroe co-stars with Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable in this romantic comedy about three blonde models with a plan to find wealthy husbands.

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