Image from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
  • Image from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"

Marilyn x 4

Legendary screen goddess Marilyn Monroe has her own section in our current exhibition PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet. Monroe began her screen career in the late 1940s as a sexy ingenue playing small parts in films like the Marx Brothers’ Love Happy and John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle. But soon it became clear that she was more than just a curvy beauty or a “dumb blonde.”

Monroe’s considerable comic and musical gifts came to the fore in Howard Hawks’s 1953 color bauble Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which she plays a husband-hungry showgirl, and in Billy Wilder’s 1959 gender-bending masterpiece Some Like It Hot, where she is the female foil to two red-blooded American men in drag. Though she memorably sang “That Old Black Magic” in the 1956 romantic comedy-drama Bus Stop, she also impressed critics with her dramatic talents (newly acquired at the prestigious Actors Studio). Her performance as an Ozark saloon singer garnered rave reviews. Monroe continued to hone her thespian skills through her final film, The Misfits (1961), a contemporary Western penned by her then-husband Arthur Miller.

These four films will screen in February in Morley Lecture Hall. Admission to each is $10, CMA members $7.

Sunday, February 9, 2020, 1:30 pm to 3:05 pm
Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 1:45 pm to 3:20 pm

Two gold-digging showgirls search for potential husbands during a transatlantic crossing in this iconic musical comedy. Marilyn sings “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

Friday, February 14, 2020, 6:45 pm to 8:45 pm
Sunday, February 16, 2020, 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

In this hysterical comedy classic, two 1920s Chicago jazz musicians who accidentally witness the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre dress in drag and hide out in an all-women’s orchestra.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 1:45 pm to 3:25 pm
Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:00 pm to 8:40 pm

A clueless rodeo cowboy falls for and kidnaps a saloon singer in this romantic comedy-drama that proved that Marilyn Monroe could act.

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 1:30 pm to 3:35 pm
Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 1:45 pm to 3:50 pm

Playwright Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman) penned this modern Western that proved to be the final movie of both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. In it, a Reno divorcee becomes involved with three down-and-out cowboys rounding up wild mustangs in the Nevada desert.