Yes Monroe gives one of her greatest performances (the other being in THE MISFITS). However, after directing two different productions of the William Inge's excellent character driven play of the same title, I must say that I cannot objectively judge this wretched adaptation.
Gone is all of Inge's carefull character sketches and complex study of human nature. BUS STOP as a story has never been solely star vehicle. Cherie is but a small part of an ensemble cast. Gone in this film version is Dr. Lyman and his resurrection in the hands of the neophyte Elma. Gone too is the sexual dynamics of bus driver Carl and the lonely Grace. The setting change from Kansas to Idaho loses so much of the midwestern heart that drives Inge's central narrative.
Again, the film is worth watching for Monroe's fine star making performance, but if anyone has read, scene or produced the heart-breakingly beautiful original play, the movie adaptation just doesn't add up.