Forever Marilyn – Blu-ray Review

The Forever Marilyn Blu-ray set captures the beauty and natural talent of screen icon Marilyn Monroe, but the barebones housing of the discs and lack of bonus material makes the high-dollar suggested retail price a bit extreme.

All seven titles are some of Monroe’s best work and look incredible on the Blu-ray format.

The Forever Marilyn set features The Misfits, Some Like It Hot, How to Marry A Millionaire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Seven Year Itch, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and River of No Return. 

All seven of the films are also individually available on Blu-ray. Without a doubt, the Blu-ray presentation of these films is the best they have ever looked, and each film captures just how talented Monroe was.

Known for her beauty, Monroe demonstrates she can hold her own against screen tough guys Robert Mitchum, Clark Gable, and Montgomery Clift and can deliver just as many laughs Tony Curtis or Jack Lemmon. The films also show the incredible directors Monroe worked with – including John Huston, Billy Wilder and Howard Hawks.

One of Monroe’s best dramatic performances, The Misfits was directed by John Huston from a screenplay by Arthur Miller. The film sees the icon teamed with fellow screen legends Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. The plot follows a divorcée Roslyn Taber (Monroe) as she falls in love with Gay Langland (Gable), an older man who is trying to hold onto the cowboy/rancher lifestyle of the past.

Although the 1961 film seems a bit of a stretch from the normal roles Monroe took, the talented actress excels in the part and makes the film one of her most memorable performances on screen.

Director/writer Billy Wilder struck gold when he teamed Monroe with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon for the hilarious Some Like it Hot. The film features two musicians (Curtis and Lemon) on the run from the mob and forced to go in drag to hide in an all-woman band. Problems and laughs erupt when Curtis falls for Monroe.

Some Like It Hot looks great on Blu-ray, and is still funnier than most of the romantic comedies released today. The cast had incredible chemistry and Monroe manages to steal more than her share of laughs from Curtis and Lemon.

1953’s How to Marry A Millionaire sees Monroe team with the equally beautiful Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable for a comedy that follows three women who search for not just love, but love with millionaires. Naturally, the movie lets romance out shine the wallet in the end.

Monroe teams with fellow screen icon Jane Russell for the Howard Hawks’ comedy/musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The film, which is not my personal favorite of the group, follows two friends (Russell and Monroe) who work as singers and travel to Paris. While there, Lorelei (Monroe) also has to deal with her fiancé’s disapproving father along with other men taken by her beauty.

The film looks incredible on Blu-ray with lots of costuming and make-up detail popping on the screen.

Under the incredible direction of Billy Wilder, Monroe brings the laughs with Seven Year Itch. The film follows a faithful husband who is tempted by his beautiful neighbor (Monroe) while his family is away. The movie features a ton of laughs, and once again demonstrates just how natural Monroe was with the comedy genre.

There’s No Business Like Show Business sees Monroe in another great ensemble cast film that includes the incredible talents of Ethel Merman and Donald O’Connor. The film follows the family act The Five Donahues – who start to fall apart after Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky Parker (Monroe).

The film will please fans of Monroe’s comedy musicals, but doesn’t give the talented actress much character development to really shine.

Like in The Misfits, Monroe shows off her dramatic acting chops with River of No Return – where she works opposite Robert Mitchum. The film follows a farmer (Mitchum) who is forced to travel down a rushing river with his son and a saloon singer (Monroe). It isn’t the best western ever made, but keeps you entertained from start to finish. Mitchum and Monroe don’t have the chemistry she had with Gable, but the two are believable in the slow burning love story element.

Although The Misfits and Some Like It Hot are probably the best titles in the set, all seven films are worth taking the time to watch, and show just how talented Monroe was on the screen. All of the films look and sound incredible on Blu-ray, but a lack of features and the cheap housing of the discs make the set not quite worth the high price.

Diehard fans of Monroe will want to pick up the set, but casual fans might just want to pick up one or two of the titles on the individual Blu-ray release.

Visit the DVD database for more information.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.