Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer who became one of the most iconic and influential figures in the entertainment industry.
She starred in numerous movies during her career, leaving an indelible mark on the film industry with her unique combination of beauty, charm, and talent. Monroe’s performances have stood the test of time, and her movies are still beloved by audiences around the world.
In this article, we will explore some of the best Marilyn Monroe movies that showcase her range as an actress and her impact on the world of cinema.
Best Marilyn Monroe Movies
From her early roles in romantic comedies to her dramatic turns in more serious films, Marilyn Monroe’s movies continue to captivate audiences and inspire future generations of actors and filmmakers.
1. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Some Like It Hot is a classic American comedy film from 1959 directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.
The film is set in 1929 and follows the story of two musicians, Joe and Jerry, who witness a gangland massacre and must go into hiding.
To escape the mobsters, they dress up as women and join an all-female band, where they meet and fall in love with the band’s lead singer, Sugar Kane (played by Marilyn Monroe).
The film was a critical and commercial success and is now considered one of the greatest comedies in film history. It received six Academy Award nominations and won one for Best Costume Design.
The film’s iconic final line, spoken by Curtis, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” has become a classic quote in cinema. Some Like It Hot is known for its witty script, memorable performances, and groundbreaking portrayal of gender and sexuality, particularly in its portrayal of cross-dressing and homosexuality, which were taboo subjects at the time.
2. The Seven Year Itch (1955)
“The Seven Year Itch” is a classic American romantic comedy film released in 1955. The movie was directed by Billy Wilder and starred Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe.
The story revolves around Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell), a middle-aged publishing executive who is left alone in New York City for the summer while his wife and son go on vacation.
While his wife is away, Richard begins to have fantasies about other women, including his new neighbor, a beautiful and seductive model named “The Girl” (Marilyn Monroe).
Throughout the film, Richard struggles with his desire for “The Girl” and his loyalty to his wife. He imagines various scenarios in which he could pursue her, but ultimately decides to remain faithful to his wife.
“The Seven Year Itch” is notable for the iconic scene in which Marilyn Monroe stands over a subway grate and her white dress billows up around her. This scene has become one of the most famous moments in film history and is often parodied in popular culture.
Overall, “The Seven Year Itch” is a witty and charming film that explores the complexities of marriage and infidelity with humor and sensitivity.
3. All About Eve (1950)
“All About Eve” is a 1950 American drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. The film stars Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, and Gary Merrill.
The story follows the life of Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), a young and ambitious woman who insinuates herself into the life of Margo Channing (Bette Davis), a highly successful and respected but aging Broadway star.
As Eve becomes more involved in Margo’s life, she reveals her true nature as a ruthless and manipulative social climber, willing to do anything to achieve her goals.
The film was highly acclaimed upon its release, receiving 14 Academy Award nominations and winning six, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
The film is considered a classic of American cinema, and it has been praised for its sharp writing, excellent performances, and biting commentary on the world of theater and celebrity.
“All About Eve” is known for its memorable lines, including Margo Channing’s famous quote, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.
” The film has been highly influential in popular culture, and it has been referenced and parodied in numerous films, television shows, and other media over the years.
4. The Misfits (1961)
“The Misfits” is a 1961 American drama film directed by John Huston and written by Arthur Miller. The movie stars Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach and Thelma Ritter.
The story follows a recently divorced woman named Roslyn (played by Marilyn Monroe) who meets three cowboys – Gay (Clark Gable), Perce (Montgomery Clift), and Guido (Eli Wallach) – while on a trip to Reno, Nevada.
Roslyn starts a relationship with Gay, but things become complicated when the group decides to round up wild horses for profit.
“The Misfits” was notable for being the last completed film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe before their deaths.
The movie was not a commercial success upon release, but it has since gained a reputation as a classic American film. It is also considered a significant work for its commentary on the changing values of American society in the 1960s.
5. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is a 1953 musical comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Anita Loos, which was a huge success in the 1920s.
In the film, Monroe plays Lorelei Lee, a beautiful but ditzy showgirl who is engaged to a wealthy man. She travels to Paris with her best friend Dorothy Shaw, played by Russell, to meet her fiancé’s father and convince him that she is a respectable woman.
Along the way, they get into various hijinks and misadventures, all while singing and dancing to iconic songs like “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Monroe’s performance in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is often cited as one of her best. She showcases her comedic timing and charm, and her rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” has become an iconic moment in film history.
The movie also solidified Monroe’s status as a Hollywood icon and cemented her image as a blonde bombshell. Overall, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is a fun and entertaining movie that showcases Monroe’s talents and enduring appeal.
6.Bus Stop (1956)
Bus Stop is a 1956 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Joshua Logan and starring Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray.
The film is based on a play of the same name by William Inge and tells the story of a naive and impulsive cowboy named Bo (played by Don Murray) who falls in love with a nightclub singer named Chérie (played by Marilyn Monroe) after seeing her perform in a bar.
Bo becomes obsessed with Chérie and decides to kidnap her and take her back to his ranch in Montana, where he plans to make her his wife.
However, Chérie is not interested in Bo and resists his advances, leading to a series of comic and dramatic events as they both struggle to come to terms with their feelings for each other.
The film was a critical and commercial success and is notable for its sensitive portrayal of complex characters and relationships.
Marilyn Monroe’s performance in the film is widely regarded as one of her best, showcasing her range as an actress and her ability to convey vulnerability and emotion on screen.
The film’s themes of love, loneliness, and the search for identity have made it a beloved classic of American cinema.
7. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
“How to Marry a Millionaire” is a classic American romantic comedy film released in 1953. The movie was directed by Jean Negulesco and starred Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall.
The story revolves around three beautiful women, Schatze Page (played by Lauren Bacall), Loco Dempsey (played by Betty Grable), and Pola Debevoise (played by Marilyn Monroe).
Who move into a luxurious penthouse apartment in New York City with the goal of finding wealthy husbands.
Throughout the film, the women go to great lengths to attract the attention of eligible bachelors, including attending high society events, going on dates with older men, and even pretending to be wealthy themselves.
Along the way, they face various romantic and comedic obstacles, including misunderstandings and mistaken identities.
Despite their initial focus on finding a rich husband, the women eventually learn that money is not the most important thing in life and that true love is more valuable than any amount of wealth.
“How to Marry a Millionaire” is a fun and entertaining film that celebrates the glamour and extravagance of 1950s Hollywood while also delivering a message about the importance of love and honesty in relationships.
8.The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
“The Prince and the Showgirl” is a 1957 British-American romantic comedy film directed by and starring Laurence Olivier, and co-starring Marilyn Monroe. The film is based on the play “The Sleeping Prince” by Terence Rattigan.
The story is set in London in 1911, during the coronation of King George V. Prince Regent Charles (Laurence Olivier) of Carpathia is in London for the coronation and meets showgirl Elsie Marina (Marilyn Monroe).
Charles is immediately smitten with Elsie, and the two begin a romantic affair. However, their different social backgrounds and personalities lead to conflicts and misunderstandings.
The film received mixed reviews upon its release, but it has since gained a following among fans of Marilyn Monroe and classic Hollywood cinema.
The film’s production was famously difficult, with tensions between Olivier and Monroe, and it was also the first film produced by Monroe’s own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions.
Despite the challenges faced during production, “The Prince and the Showgirl” has become a notable film in Monroe’s career, as it showcased her comedic talents and was one of the few films in which she played a character who was not primarily a sex symbol.
The film also features an original score by Richard Addinsell, which has been praised for its romantic and evocative themes.
9. Monkey Business (1952)
“Monkey Business” is a 1952 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, and Marilyn Monroe in one of her early roles.
The film follows Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant), a research chemist who discovers a youth formula. However, after accidentally ingesting the formula himself, he begins to behave like a teenager, causing chaos and hilarity.
His wife, Edwina (Ginger Rogers), also ingests the formula and becomes a wild and flirtatious version of herself.
Marilyn Monroe appears in a supporting role as Miss Lois Laurel, a secretary who catches the eye of both Dr. Fulton and his assistant, played by Charles Coburn.
“Monkey Business” is considered a classic screwball comedy and a highlight of Hawks’ career. It was also the first film to pair Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, who would go on to make two more films together.
Marilyn Monroe’s performance was noted as a standout, and the film is considered an early example of her star power.
No products found.
No products found.
10. Niagara (1953)
“Niagara” is a 1953 film noir thriller directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, and Jean Peters. The film takes place at Niagara Falls and tells the story of a young couple, Polly and Ray, whose marriage is on the rocks.
They are staying at a hotel near Niagara Falls, where they encounter another couple, George and Rose Loomis. Polly becomes friends with Rose, but she soon discovers that their marriage is troubled and that George is a dangerous and violent man.
Monroe’s performance in “Niagara” is a departure from her usual comedic roles, as she plays a seductive and manipulative woman who is involved in a complex and suspenseful plot.
Her character, Rose, is both alluring and dangerous, and Monroe does an excellent job of conveying her character’s conflicting emotions. The movie also showcases Monroe’s beauty and sensuality, as she is often seen in figure-hugging dresses and bathing suits.
“Niagara” is considered one of Marilyn Monroe’s best dramatic performances, and it helped to establish her as a serious actress.
The movie was also praised for its stunning visuals, including its use of Niagara Falls as a backdrop. Overall, “Niagara” is a gripping and suspenseful film that showcases Monroe’s range as an actress.
11. Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)
Don’t Bother to Knock is a 1952 American film noir psychological thriller directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Marilyn Monroe and Richard Widmark.
The film tells the story of a disturbed young woman named Nell (played by Marilyn Monroe) who takes a job as a babysitter in a hotel where a pilot named Jed (played by Richard Widmark) is staying.
As the night progresses, Nell becomes increasingly unstable and starts to hallucinate, leading to a series of dangerous incidents that threaten the safety of the child and the other hotel guests.
Meanwhile, Jed becomes increasingly concerned about Nell’s behavior and tries to help her confront her demons.
The film was notable for its portrayal of mental illness and the impact it can have on individuals and those around them.
Marilyn Monroe’s performance in the film was praised for its intensity and complexity, showcasing her range as an actress beyond her usual sex symbol roles. Don’t Bother to Knock is now considered a classic of film noir and a significant early work in Marilyn Monroe’s career.
12. River of No Return (1954)
“River of No Return” is a classic American Western film released in 1954. The movie was directed by Otto Preminger and starred Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, and Rory Calhoun.
The story takes place in the late 19th century and follows a widowed farmer named Matt Calder (played by Robert Mitchum).
Who is released from prison and sets out on a dangerous journey with his young son (played by Tommy Rettig) and a saloon singer named Kay Weston (played by Marilyn Monroe).
The trio navigates the treacherous waters of the Salmon River in order to reach the town of Council, where Matt hopes to start a new life with his son. Along the way, they encounter a group of outlaws led by a man named Harry Weston (played by Rory Calhoun), who is Kay’s ex-lover.
As they make their way down the river, the group faces a series of challenges and obstacles, including dangerous rapids, attacks by Native Americans, and confrontations with Harry and his gang.
“River of No Return” is known for its stunning cinematography, which captures the rugged beauty of the American West, as well as for its thrilling action sequences and powerful performances by the cast.
The film’s theme song, sung by Marilyn Monroe, also became a popular hit at the time of the movie’s release.
13. There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954)
“There’s No Business Like Show Business” is a 1954 American musical comedy film directed by Walter Lang and starring an ensemble cast that includes Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilyn Monroe, and Johnnie Ray.
The story follows the Donahue family, a performing family that travels the country as part of a vaudeville show.
The parents, played by Ethel Merman and Dan Dailey, are determined to keep their family together and their show successful, even as their children grow up and pursue their own dreams.
The film features several memorable musical numbers, including “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Heat Wave,” and “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” The film’s score was composed by Irving Berlin, one of the most famous and prolific songwriters in American history.
Despite mixed reviews upon its release, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” has since become a beloved classic of American musical cinema, particularly for its energetic performances and catchy songs.
The film is also notable for featuring Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest major roles, as well as showcasing the talents of the other members of its talented ensemble cast.
14. Clash by Night (1952)
“Clash by Night” is a 1952 American drama film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, and Marilyn Monroe in a supporting role.
The film tells the story of Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman who returns to her hometown in California after a failed marriage.
She begins a relationship with a good-hearted fisherman named Jerry (Paul Douglas), but is also drawn to his bitter and unstable friend, Earl (Robert Ryan). Meanwhile, Mae’s younger sister, played by Marilyn Monroe, struggles with her own relationship issues.
The film deals with themes of love, betrayal, and the struggle to escape one’s past.
It was adapted from a play by Clifford Odets and was praised for its strong performances and hard-hitting drama. Barbara Stanwyck’s portrayal of Mae Doyle was particularly acclaimed, and the film is considered one of her finest performances.
Marilyn Monroe’s performance as the naive and innocent younger sister also received positive reviews and helped to further establish her career.
15. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
“The Asphalt Jungle” is a 1950 film noir directed by John Huston and starring Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, and Marilyn Monroe in a small but memorable role.
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett and tells the story of a group of criminals who plan and execute a heist in a jewelry store.
Monroe plays Angela Phinlay, the young mistress of a wealthy lawyer who becomes involved with one of the criminals. Although Monroe’s role in the film is relatively small, she delivers a memorable performance that showcases her natural charisma and sex appeal.
“The Asphalt Jungle” is considered a classic of the film noir genre and is widely regarded as one of the best heist movies ever made.
The film features a complex and multi-layered plot, excellent performances by its cast, and stylish cinematography that captures the gritty and seedy atmosphere of the criminal underworld.
Although Monroe’s role in the film is small, her presence adds to the movie’s overall allure and helps to make it a must-see for fans of classic cinema.
3 Reasons To Watch Marilyn Monroe Movies
Marilyn Monroe was an iconic figure in Hollywood history: Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic and recognizable figures in Hollywood history.
Her unique blend of beauty, talent, and charisma captured the hearts of audiences around the world, and she became a symbol of glamour and femininity that continues to inspire people today.
Her performances showcase her range as an actress: While Marilyn Monroe is often remembered for her iconic sex symbol roles, her filmography also includes many performances that showcase her range as an actress.
From her dramatic turn in “The Misfits” to her comedic performances in “Some Like It Hot” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Monroe was a versatile actress capable of bringing depth and nuance to her roles.
Her films provide a window into a bygone era: Marilyn Monroe’s films are not only entertaining, but they also provide a fascinating window into a bygone era of Hollywood and American culture.
Her films capture the spirit of the 1950s and 1960s and offer a glimpse into the social norms, attitudes, and values of the time. For movie lovers and history buffs alike, Marilyn Monroe’s films are an invaluable cultural artifact that continues to captivate audiences today.
Best Marilyn Monroe Movies – Wrap Up
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century, and her movies continue to captivate audiences to this day. Here are some of the best Marilyn Monroe movies:
“Some Like It Hot” (1959) – This classic comedy, directed by Billy Wilder, stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The film is considered one of the greatest comedies ever made and features Monroe in one of her most memorable performances.
“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953) – In this musical comedy, Marilyn Monroe stars alongside Jane Russell as two showgirls who set their sights on finding rich husbands. The film features several classic songs, including “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
“The Seven Year Itch” (1955) – Directed by Billy Wilder, this romantic comedy stars Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. The film is best known for the iconic scene in which Monroe stands over a subway grate with her white dress billowing up around her.
“Niagara” (1953) – In this thriller, Marilyn Monroe plays a femme fatale who conspires with her lover to murder her husband while on a vacation at Niagara Falls.
“Bus Stop” (1956) – This drama stars Marilyn Monroe as a saloon singer who catches the eye of a naive cowboy played by Don Murray. The film features a standout performance by Monroe and a poignant story about love and acceptance.
These are just a few of the many great Marilyn Monroe movies that have stood the test of time and continue to entertain and inspire audiences today.