Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)
Marilyn Monroe as a mentally deranged babysitter? Yup. And it’s worth a looksee, if only to prove that La Monroe could actually ACT. It’s the darkside of her fragile wounded sparrow persona. A noir with an insular setting, a big city hotel, has Richard Widmark in a relaxed performance as a fellow guest who meets the star for a possible hookup…then things go very, very wrong. A witty script with some funny lines amongst a few still chilling moments of sustained suspense.
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
The movie that shot Marilyn Monroe into the pop icon stratosphere. George Axelrod’s Broadway play centered on an Everyman (Tom Ewell) in the buttoned-down ’50s who has daydreams of an extramarital affair with his nubile upstairs neighbor. In Billy Wilder’s movie, it’s all about “The Girl,” as MM is simply billed. She OWNS any frame she’s in…and the movie lags when she’s not around. But when she is, oh my, it’s sensory overload. See it and understand what having the “it” factor is all about.