Throughout June 2015, BFI Southbank will celebrate one of Hollywood’s most iconic actresses, Marilyn Monroe, with a season of 15 of her best-loved films including Some Like it Hot (1959), There’s No Business like Show Business (1954) and The Misfits (1961), the latter of which will play on extended run.
Sex symbol, Hollywood starlet and tragic heroine, the story of Marilyn Monroe has been pored over countless times, often resulting in her considerable acting ability being overlooked. The season will offer audiences the chance to see some of Monroe’s lesser-known early films, including We’re Not Married (1952), Clash by Night (1952), Niagara (1953) and River of No Return (1954).
Often the subject of feminist discussion, Monroe was a woman who, when she felt she being typecast as a ‘dumb blonde’ in films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955), took control of her career. She studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range, resulting in a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Bus Stop (1956) and she also formed her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, which produced The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), in which she starred alongside Laurence Olivier.
Completing the season will be John Huston’s The Misfits (1961). Written for Monroe by her husband Arthur Miller, the film gave her the fragile role that she had trained for in her time at the Actors Studio. With script revisions throughout the shoot as Monroe and Miller’s marriage broke down, this powerful and emotional drama was the final completed film for both Clark Gable and Monroe, and will play on extended run during the season.