12 Best Marilyn Monroe Movies You Must See

May 18, 2018
7 min read

One of the greatest American cultural icons of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe was much more than a movie star. Her popularity and cultural impact can only be compared to Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse. Monroe defined what a sex symbol means and to this day is considered one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen. From high-profile marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller to substance abuse, depression and anxiety, she went through everything in her short life of 36 years. Here is the list of top Marilyn Manroe movies you can’t miss.


12. Bus Stop (1956)

This 1956 musical comedy-drama starring Marilyn Monroe and Don Murray was directed by Joshua Fox. It tells the story of a naïve cowboy who falls in love with a beautiful singer (played by Monroe) who he wants to marry against her will. It was the first movie Monroe was a part of after studying at the Actors Studio, her performance being highly praised by critics. This movie was based on a play of the same title by William Inge.


11. Don’t Bother To Knock (1952)

Roy Ward Baker directed this film noir thriller based on the 1951 novel Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong. Monroe here plays the role of a babysitter whose suspicious behaviour makes a pilot (Richard Widmark) wonder if she is fit for the job. He is staying at the same hotel where Monroe is doing her job and he notices her from the opposite room. What follows makes up this amazing movie rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.


10. Monkey Business (1952)

Boasting of an enviable star cast, Monkey Business is a 1952 romantic comedy film directed by the legendary Howard Hawks. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and Charles Coburn in major roles. Dr Barnaby (Grant) is a scientist who has managed to make the elixir of youth, a potion which can turn adults into children. Consumption of such a potion gives rise to hilarious situations in this critically acclaimed screwball comedy.


9. River of No Return (1954)

In this Western adventure film by Otto Preminger. Marilyn Monroe stars with Robert Mitchum who plays a recently released prisoner who comes to a bar looking for his son. He had left his son in the care of a barroom singer (Monroe) whose boyfriend turns out a rogue gambler who would not hesitate to leave her within a few seconds if need be. The movie was well-received by both critics and audiences, also being showered with praises by all the famous American magazines.


8. The Prince And The Showgirl (1957)

Originally called ‘The Sleeping Princess’, this 1957 British-American comedy stars the great Lawrence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe in leading roles. Sir Olivier plays the role of a Hungarian prince who arrives at London to attend the wedding of King George V, where he is smitten by a musical performer Elsie Marina (Monroe) with whom he falls in love and invites her over for a private dinner. The movie was Monroe’s first production and was directed by Olivier himself.


7. The Misfits (1961)

Armed with a story and screenplay by the revered playwright Arthur Miller (Monroe’s then-husband), the legendary John Huston directed this 1961 drama starring Monroe, Clark Gable, Elli Wallach and Montgomery Clift. This would be the last film of both Monroe and Gable as they would pass away a month and a week later respectively after the shooting of the film ended. At the time of its release, The Misfits was a commercial failure, but as time has passed, the film has gathered positive reviews for its script and performances.

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