Known as the ‘blonde bombshell’ of the 1950s and ’60s, Marilyn Monroe was an enigma. Owing to her vivacious curves, love of figure-hugging dresses and iconic red lips, she was largely regarded as a Hollywood siren. Simultaneously, she was the embodiment of vulnerability, sweetness and hope. As such, the reasons for us yearning after the Netflix biopic Blonde on the life of Marilyn Monroe are endless.
Based on Joyce Carol Oates’s novel by the same name, the movie is being produced by none other than Brad Pitt, and stars Ana De Armas as Norma Jeane Mortenson a.k.a Marilyn Monroe, Bobby Cannavale as her ex-husband, New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio, and Adrien Brody as her third and final partner, playwright Arthur Miller. The film is being touted as a fictional portrait of the late actress and singer during the ’50s and ‘60s told through a modern lens. As we eagerly await a release date for the biopic, team Grazia is sharing our list of ways to get up to speed about Marilyn’s life before the film hits our screens.
Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates (2000)
An obvious choice which forms the basis for the Netflix biopic. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blonde is a historical fiction novel chronicling the inner life of Marilyn Monroe. Adulation of Marilyn as a celebrity pin-up has always evoked feelings of lust mixed with feelings of pity. Her glittering Hollywood career, three failed marriages, a relationship with a former president, and a tragic death at the young age of 36 are all explored in this fictional account. The legend provocatively comes alive in this heartbreaking tale of fame and fortune.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Often tipped as the best comedy of all time, Wilder’s masterpiece stars the handsomest kid in town, Tony Curtis, and the radiant Marilyn Monroe. Set against a glamorous seaside backdrop in the roaring ’20s with a bevvy of bathing beauties and sinister mafiosos to boot, the excellently timed comedy and sizzling song selection alone is worth the watch. In eluding the city’s most ruthless gangster, jazz musicians Joe and Jerry join an all-female band. Both are smitten with the band’s stunning ukulele player, Sugar Kane (Monroe), who is hoping to seduce a millionaire in Florida. Few movies can lay claim to being a romantic comedy, a buddy movie, a crime caper, and a musical all in one. Moreover, the film is a poster for tolerance, acceptance, and the possibility of transformation – making it more relevant than ever for our time. With Michael Masini set to appear as Tony Curtis in Blonde, this is essential viewing.
My Week With Marilyn (2011)
Michelle Williams’s turn as Marilyn in Simon Curtis’s My Week With Marilyn is nothing short of exquisite. The film chronicles the making of the 1957 romantic comedy The Prince and the Showgirl starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. My Week With Marylin is based on the true story of a young man named Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) and his alleged relationship with Monroe during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl. The script was constructed using two of Colin’s diary accounts, one about his time on set and the second about the time he spent with Monroe.