OK, finally, the six videos in the first Diamond Collection, meaning her 20th Century Fox pictures. Not all are flawless gems, but rather most are the ones she is best known for, and we get an indepth, well-detailed narrative of her aborted last movie.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Yes, the musical that put Marilyn on the map after the success of Niagara. This movie is dated, but there's also the mindset of the opposites of its two stars. Lorelei Lee will simply drool over a diamond, while Dorothy drools over big pecs. Things aren't that way today. And the classic "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" led Madonna to duplicate that scene in her "Material Girl" video. Good songs and numbers mask a so-so plot and characters. Rating: 3.5
How To Marry A Millionaire: The second Cinemascope film made, Millionaire has MM teaming up with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, out to snag rich husbands. MM is Pola, a myopic blonde who keeps bumping into walls and things without her glasses, which she is reluctant to wear because "men aren't attracted to women who wear glasses." That's what she thinks. Again, the materialistic "money is everything" theme prevalent in the 1950's. Not bad, though. (Rating: 4).
There's No Business Like Show Business: Marilyn only has a supporting role as Donald O'Connor's love interest in this one, with the really hot Latin-flavoured "Heat Wave" number a highlight. Most of the drama in this splashy but with no substance movie goes to Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, and O'Connor. Rating: 3
The Seven Year Itch: This has been my favourite MM film, not because of the skirt scene. For one thing, there's Tom Ewell's character, the married Richard Sherman, who has been happily married for seven years and has a great imagination, but not much esteem. Enter the Girl, a figure out of a dream, who tells him in a speech towards the end: "But there's another guy in the room, way over in the corner. Maybe he's kind of nervous and shy and perspiring a little. First you look past him, but then you sort of sense he's gentle and kind and worried, and he'll be tender with you. Nice and sweet. That's what's really exciting. If I were your wife, I'd be very very jealous of you." That cheered me up given my looks. Rating: 5
Bus Stop: The first film she did using Method acting, this is the film touted as the one where she could finally act, in her role as Cheri, a singer looking for respect who is initially flattered at the courtesy given by Bo, a green cowboy, who is so smitten at her, he intends to marry her, something that stuns her. She has no plans of marrying him, but unfortunately, Bo can't take no for an answer. Rating: 4
The Final Days: James Coburn narrates the events surrounding the making of Something's Got To Give, a remake of the Cary Grant/Irene Dunne comedy My Favourite Wife. The film would've been Marilyn's 21st, but due to her frequent absenteeism, an overdose, conflicts between director George Cukor and various writers, and the impatience of Fox studio heads desperate to be bailed out at the big slurping sound of cash draining at another debacle of a film also starring a temperamental actress, Cleopatra with Liz Taylor, it was alas not to be. Marilyn shines in some moments, such as the scene with the children. And the scene in the swimming pool is equal in exhibitionism as the skirt scene in The Seven Year Itch. She shows a bit of her derriere when she puts on the bathing gown, something that wouldn't have been allowed in the final cut, (read Mr. Hays). However, other scenes and outtakes show her in a drug-induced haze. Also included is the first 15-20 completed minutes of Something's Got To Give, where Marilyn totally shines in her scenes with Dean Martin and the children. I saw possibilities in this, as two months after being fired, MM had successfully negotiated a return to production for the film with a higher salary. That was on 1 August. Four days later, she was dead. (Rating: 4.5)
Overall rating: (3.5+4+3+5+4+4.5)/6=4.