Marilyn: The Untold Story
|Marilyn: The Untold Story|
|Based on||Life of Marilyn Monroe|
|Written by||Norman Mailer (novel)|
|Directed by||Jack Arnold|
|Music by||William Goldstein|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cinematography||Terry K. Meade|
|Running time||156 minutes|
|Production company||Schiller Productions Inc.|
|Original release||September 28, 1980|
Marilyn: The Untold Story is a 1980 television film, about the life of the 1950s sex symbol-movie star, Marilyn Monroe. The feature stars Catherine Hicks as Monroe; Richard Basehart as her early-career agent Johnny Hyde; Frank Converse as her second husband Joe DiMaggio; Jason Miller as her third husband Arthur Miller; Kevin Geer as her first husband James Dougherty; Viveca Lindfors as her acting coach Natasha Lytess; and Sheree North as her mother, Gladys Pearl Baker.
The movie premiered on September 28, 1980, and was greeted with positive reviews. It was the second-highest rated prime time program in the United States for the week. Catherine Hicks was praised by the critics for her portrayal of Monroe, as were others including Richard Basehart, Frank Converse, Sheree North and Jason Miller, playing fellow playwright Arthur Miller.
The movie begins with a young Marilyn (then Norma Jeane), as an orphan in California. The feature progresses with the young girl growing up and superstar dreams fill her head, and she eventually marries, starts modelling, divorces, signs a contract with 20th Century Fox, and changes her moniker to Marilyn Monroe. The movie also takes a view of her personal life; with her husbands, baseball-star Joe DiMaggio, and with playwright Arthur Miller. As with her personal life, the movie shows a great deal of Monroe's life in the public eye, showing her rise to stardom, her career peak, and her tragic final years. The film ends with the mysterious death of Monroe.
- Catherine Hicks as Marilyn Monroe
- Richard Basehart as Johnny Hyde
- Frank Converse as Joe DiMaggio
- Jason Miller as Arthur Miller
- John Ireland as John Huston
- Viveca Lindfors as Natasha Lytess
- Sheree North as Gladys Pearl Baker
- Kevin Geer as James Dougherty
- Tracey Gold as Young Norma Jeane
- Priscilla Morrill as Louella Parsons
- John Christy Ewing as Lawyer
- Bill Vint as Montgomery Clift
- Larry Pennell as Clark Gable
- Heath Jobes as Tom Ewell
- Howard Caine as Billy Wilder
Harry Bartron as Reporter
Awards and nominations
|1981||33rd Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Art Direction for a Limited Series or Movie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie||Nominated|
John Flynn later recalled:
I quit about two-thirds of the way through, because [producer] Schiller kept interfering with the production, changing my camera set-ups, changing the wardrobe. Schiller is a very bright guy, but he drove me up the wall with his constant meddling, to the point where I literally had my hands around his neck one day. So I left and Schiller brought in Jack Arnold to finish the picture. I shot all the footage with Richard Basehart, Catherine Hicks and John Ireland, who was terrific as director John Huston. I cast this picture very carefully. Sheree North was outstanding as Marilyn’s crazy mother. Jocelyn Brando (Marlon’s sister) had a small part as Marilyn’s grandmother, and she made the most of it. Catherine Hicks was good, but she was kind of an imitation of Marilyn Monroe. I begged Bonnie Bedelia to take the part of Marilyn, but she turned it down. She was a great actress and an absolute knockout back then. I thought Bonnie would have been brilliant as Marilyn. Even Schiller agreed to cast her, but Bonnie wouldn’t do it.
Sheree North, who portrayed Marilyn's mother Gladys in the movie, was under contract to 20th Century Fox at the same time as Marilyn Monroe, and said she coached Catherine Hicks on playing Marilyn.
- Hal Erickson (2007). "Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 5, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- (October 1, 1980). NBC Again Tops Week's Rating Race, Reno Gazette-Journal (23.4 rating, or 18.2 million homes)
- Harvey F. Chartrand (2005). "Interview with John Flynn". Shock Cinema. pp. 26-29+46.
- Hicks, Catherine (February 23, 2021). "Catherine Hicks looks back at her Emmy nominated performance as Marilyn Monroe in 1980's Marilyn: The Untold Story". Retrieved July 27, 2021.
- Witbeck, Charles (August 21, 1980). "Sheree North Ready for Sitcom". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 29.