Odyssey wrote:I have seen all of her films. She was a terrible actress. I tried and tried to find her appeal but there was simply none. She was never the lead role in a film (maybe in one or two of them) but a supporting character to a male lead, like to Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch or to Yves Montand in Let's Make Love. Only interesting ones are Niagara, Don't Bother to Knock and The Misfits to some extent. She only became legend because of her tragic death, same as James Dean.
Marilyn wasn’t a trained actress but had star quality, and she largely learnt her craft on the job. She wasn’t Bette Davis who had an extensive theatre background, or a child star like Elizabeth Taylor. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a great actress in her own right.
My all time favourite film is ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ which features one of the most iconic moments in cinema - ever. It wasn’t her first movie, but it was her first (joint) leading role and despite being teamed up with Jane Russell - an established box office draw - you can see the star quality radiate from Marilyn.
But she was also a victim of the studio system and the studio system saw a blonde bombshell they could sell to both men and women - they made Marilyn into a chick flick actress (not unlike how Julia Roberts was in the 1990s) and they deliberately paired her up with co-stars that were reasonably average looking, to allow male audiences to believe they stood a chance with her.
She was a product and her movies were products - but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good and it certainly doesn’t mean she couldn’t act.
The sad part is towards the end of her life she fought against the studio system, enrolled in drama school (after huge success) and setup her own company.
Whilst her death immortalised her, during her lifetime she was the biggest star in the world. It’s just incredibly sad that she never got to reach her full potential.
But a terrible actress? Never. One of the greatest of all time.