Next Monday will mark the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s tragic death. To celebrate her life, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing a Blu-ray collection of seven of her most memorable films titled Forever Marilyn. Check out our review of the box set, which is available today.
The set includes the films Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Seven Year Itch (1955), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), The Misfits (1961), There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954), and River of No Return (1954).
While all of these are classic, the first three in this list are my favorites. The Misfits, Monroe’s last film, is an uncomfortable movie where all the main characters are broken, and the featured men cling onto Monroe’s character like pariahs. It’s a great character study, and flips a few things on their heads, including the myth of the American West and the adoration Monroe’s characters always receive. It’s also Monroe’s best acting work, although given the stories of her life at that time, I’m not sure how much of her performance was acting.
The set itself has a nice, if slim and simple, design, but there are no physical extras like a booklet. This lack of extras extends to the discs themselves, in which only The Seven Year Itch has any bonus materials worth mentioning. Most of the discs just have trailers for Marilyn Monroe movies, but The Seven Year Itch disc includes all of this:
– Audio Commentary by Author Kevin Lally (Billy Wilder Biographer)
– Isolated Score Track
– Deleted Scenes
– Still Galleries
– Theatrical Trailers
– “The Hays Code: Picture-in-Picture with Sexual Innuendo Meter”
– Marilyn Monroe Interactive Timeline
– “Monroe & Wilder: An Intersection of Genius”
– Fox Movie Channel presents “Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman”
– “Hollywood Backstories: The Seven Year Itch”
– “Fox Movietonews: ‘The Seven Year Itch’”
This is quite an impressive list for overall bonus materials for the set, but I imagine that there is still plenty of space on each Blu-ray disc to offer more extras related to each movie. Each movie has full 1080p Hi-Def video and DTS-HD Master Audio sound, and while the video upgrade may not be that impressive given how old these movies are, the sound is definitely crisp.
Marilyn Monroe was a pop culture icon before there even was such a thing. She may not have been the greatest actress, and her roles may not have been particularly memorable, but even today, it’s hard to look away from her when she’s on the screen. While I wish there had been some more bonus materials to celebrate her iconic status, Forever Marilyn is a decent tribute to her film career.