I said it before, and I'll just reiterate, I am not too excited about the two new bio-pics about Marilyn Monroe, one of which was just released at NYFF and Mill Valley Film Festival called My Weekend With Marilyn with Michelle Williams in the lead. You can read my post regarding what I think of all of it here.
Without getting too serious or uppity about it, I know everyone is starting to Netflix the films of Marilyn Monroe so they have something to compare Michelle Williams' and later Naomi Watts' performances to. I'll be the first to say this, not all of Marilyn's films are gems of cinema. Some are quite dull, but she did work with some of the best directors in the business, among them: Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger, George Cukor, and John Huston, but no one was more of a loyal ally to her than the camera. Lame alert: Whether in black & white or technicolor, Marilyn cemented her status as the undisputed quintessential sex symbol. She's pretty much it folks, that's where the bar is, and no one since has yet raised it, and I don't expect many will. Please enjoy the following list of performances I believe to be her most seductive, sultry, pouty, finessed, plunging, fierce, and memorable. Everyone and their mother can take lessons on being a woman from them. Enjoy!
|10. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) dir. Howard Hawks|
Marilyn plays the dimwitted but lovable Lorelei Lee, a showgirl and gold digger that sets off on a cruise ship adventure with her partner in crime and fellow showgirl played by Jane Russell.
|9. The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) dir. Laurence Olivier|
The process of making the film is what My Week with Marilyn is based on. Marilyn plays again...a showgirl named Elsie who seduces Laurence Olivier's stuffy prince character.
|8. Let's Make Love (1960) George Cukor|
Marilyn sings 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy' in a tight sweater and black panty hose. Done.