10 Great, Underrated Marilyn Monroe Movies to Watch After ‘Blonde’

Ever since Marilyn Monroe rose to fame in the 1950s, she has become the embodiment of Hollywood glamor and an icon. Her charisma and sex appeal made many fall in love with her and the person she portrayed, such as the most famous example when she sang the iconic rendition of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to the President John F Kennedy with a sultry voice.

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Monroe was known for starring in many romantic comedy films, and it was through these films that she earned her reputation as one of America’s most prominent pop icons and sex symbols. She has worked her way up the Hollywood ladder after playing minor roles All about Eveand The Asphalt Jungle to her significant but underrated roles in river of no return and The Prince and the Showgirl. Blondis now available on Netflix.


“Ladies of the Choir” (1948)

ladies of the choir is a musical romance film that follows the life of Peggy (Marilyn Monroe) and her mother, Mae Martin (Adele Jurgens), who both work as Burlesque Chorus Girls. After the burlesque star quits, the stage manager asks Mae to perform a number, but Mae allows her daughter Peggy to do it instead. Peggy gave an incredible performance and was offered the lead role.

As a member of a wealthy family, Randy Carroll (Rand Brooks) and his friends watch Peggy perform, he falls in love with her. Every night since then, Peggy has received a gift from a secret admirer who later turns out to be Randy. They soon fall in love and get married. The only problem, however, is that Randy didn’t dare to tell his mother Adele (Nana Bryant), about his future wife’s true profession, as she fears she would disapprove of their marriage. Until his mother announces that she too was a choir girl.

“All About Eve” (1950)

After appearing in the play, Matured in woodBroadway star Margo Channing (bed Davis) meets an aspiring actress named Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) in her dressing room. Eve tells Margo her life story, a story that moved her so much that it convinced her to hire Eve as her assistant. Instead of showing her gratitude, Eve shows her sneaky side and the truth about why she really stepped into Margo’s life.

Although Monroe’s role in All about Eve was small, her scene became one of the most famous in the film. Focusing on others was a challenge, but Monroe and the small scene were testament to her imminent rise to stardom.

“The Asphalt Jungle” (1950)

The Asphalt Jungle is one of Marilyn Monroe’s earliest film roles. A criminal mastermind, Erwin “Doc” Riedenschneider (Sam Jaffe) and a bookie named Cobby (Markus Laurent) hire three men: a safecracker (Antony Caruso), a driver (James Whitmore) and a rowdy (Sterling Hayden) to commit a jewel robbery.

Things don’t go as planned when one of the security guards at the jewelry store drops his revolver, which goes off and wounds Ciavelli (the safecracker) in the stomach, eventually killing him. The situation only gets worse as they become entangled in betrayal and murder. Marilyn Monroe played the role of Angela Finlay, the lover of Alonzo Emmerich (Louis Kalhern), a lawyer and fixer of the heist. Although she played a minor role, the film became a major stepping stone for Monroe’s acting career.

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“As Young As You Feel” (1951)

Acme Printing Worker, John R. Hodges (Monty Woolley), must retire at age 65 due to company policy. But instead of quitting his job, he decides to do something about it. He attempts to impersonate the president of his former employer’s parent company, Harold P. Cleveland, by dying his hair black.

He then goes on an “inspection tour” at his old place of work and complains to company president Louis McKinley about the lack of experienced and older employees (Albert Dekker), forcing him to review the retirement scheme and reinstate those who were forced to resign under the scheme. Marilyn Monroe plays a minor role of a secretary named Harriet that is interested in the McKinley presidential firm.

‘Love Nest’ (1951)

To her husband and author Jim Scott (William Lundigan) Surprise, Conny (June Haver) invested his money in a run-down apartment building in New York City. To make some money back, Jim suggested renting the vacant apartment to his old army friend Bobbie. As it turns out, Bobbie is a gorgeous ex-WAC (Women’s Army Corps) named Roberta Stevens (Marilyn Monroe). Connie’s jealousy of Bobbie sparks a fight between Jim and Connie. While Connie storms out, Jim decides to stay in the rented apartment, knowing that Bobbie is away on business. However, Bobbie returns to her apartment the next day, which angers Connie as she assumes her husband spent the night with Bobbie.

Meanwhile her confident neighbor Charley Patterson (Frank Fee), who cheats on wealthy widows, meets the wretched widow Eadie Gaynor (Leatrice Joy) and falls in love with her. Eadie loans $800 to Charley, who needs the money to fix the wiring in his apartment. Things escalate when Charley is arrested and drags him to jail because the $800 he loaned Charley was from a lady he previously cheated on. But instead of getting mad at each other, Charley tells Jim his life story, which he hoped Jim would make into a bestseller.

‘O. Henry’s Full House’ (1952)

O. Henry’s full house is a film anthology of five films, each based on a story by O Heinrich. “The Copy and the Anthem”, “The Clarion Call”, “The Last Leaf”, “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi” are told in their respective order.

The first film, “The Copy and the Anthem,” stars Charles LaughtonMarilyn Monroe and David Wayne. In the late fall season in New York City, a homeless man named Soapy (Charles Laughton) is desperate to find a winter shelter. Unable to afford anything, he makes it his mission to get arrested so the prison will serve as his temporary home. However, he is never arrested despite trying his best to break the law.

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‘Monkey Business’ (1952)

nonsense is a screwball comedy, a genre popularized during the Great Depression, in which a female character dominates the relationship and challenges her husband’s masculinity. The film follows Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant), a research chemist at the Oxley chemical company trying to develop an anti-aging elixir. One of his chimpanzees, Esther, breaks loose in his lab and unbeknownst to him, mixes up some chemicals that have the rejuvenating effects that Dr. Fulton wanted.

Fulton tests the experimental mixture on himself and is soon acting like a young person, spending the day with his boss’s secretary, Lois Laurel (Marilyn Monroe). As more and more discover the elixir’s promising effects, they consume the formula and start acting stupid and hilarious.

“River of No Return” (1954)

As a widower, Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum), is released from prison, he is determined to raise his nine-year-old son Mark (Tommy Rettig), who now remained in the care of dancehall singer Kay (Marilyn Monroe). Meanwhile, Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun), an avid gambler and fiancé of Kay’s, tells her that they must go to Council City to redeem the gold mine he won at a poker game. However, they encounter a problem in the rapids of the river near where Matt and Mark live.

When Matt refuses to give up his horse and rifle to Harry, he knocks Matt unconscious, leaving him, Mark, and his fiancé Kay in the wilderness. The three are confronted with many difficult situations which they had to escape and fortunately managed to do. Kay soon realizes she deserves a much better man than Harry and starts a new life with Matt and Mark.

“It is debatable whether the landscape or the jewelry of Marilyn Monroe is the feature of greater appeal river of no return … The mountain scenery is spectacular, but so is Miss Monroe in her own way. The client’s preference, if any, will likely depend on what they are interested in. Screenwriter Frank Fenton certainly did his best to strike a fairly even balance between nature and Miss Monroe… And that shouldn’t be taken lightly.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

“There’s No Business Like Show Business” (1954)

There’s no business like show business is a musical comedy drama film that follows the story starring Terence (Dan Daily) and Molly Donahue (Ethel Meerman), a vaudeville dream team. Their children, namely Steve (Johnnie Ray), Katie (Mitzi Gaynor) and Tim (Donald O’Connor), follow in their parents’ footsteps and eventually become The Five Donahues. However, the children mature quickly and realize that they want to do other things.

Tim falls in love with a successful actress, Vicky Parker (Marilyn Monroe) and finally he and his sister Katy join Vicky as their supporting players. However, Tim and Vicky have a fight, leading to Tim abandoning their relationship and the act. Things quickly escalate when the Donahues discover that Tim has disappeared with no indication of his whereabouts. But towards the end, Molly finds herself at the Hippodrome Theater in New York, performing in front of an audience. And to her surprise, Steve and Tim are backstage where Tim reconciles his love with Vicky. For the first time in many years, The Five Donahues are back together.

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“The Prince and the Showgirl” (1957)

The Prince and the Showgirl is a romantic comedy starring two of the biggest stars of the mid-20th century: Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. A group of royals arrive in England in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of a new king. When the prince regent of the fictional Balkan country Carpathians, Charles (Laurence Olivier), attends a performance at the theater, he develops an attraction to the American performer Elsie Marina (Marilyn Monroe). Later they get to know each other and develop sympathy for each other.

However, Elsie finds out about King Nicolas’ (Jeremy Spenser) plan to overthrow his father Charles. Unwilling to tell Charles about his son’s treacherous plan, Elsie manages to persuade King Nicolas to sign an agreement of confession, but only if Charles agrees to a general election.

READ MORE: “Blonde” Doesn’t Celebrate Marilyn Monroe, It Humiliates Her

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Sarah Ridley

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