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Let the bus pass and then run in the other direction...
on August 27, 2012
`Bus Stop' is one of those films that is largely considered the highlight of Marilyn Monroe's career. She personally viewed this performance as her best and thought that it legitimized her as a serious actress. While she was denied an Oscar nomination for her work (sadly, she never received one) maybe people feel that it was a serious snub looking back. With that thought in mind, I decided to indulge last night and what I found was something far different than I expected.
I hated this movie.
My hatred for this film really doesn't have much to do with Miss Monroe, outside of her sliding accent, but her presence cannot overshadow the film's most eye-rolling of flaws. Between the script and the ludicrous performance by Don Murray, this film sinks to a serious new low.
The film tells the story of a brash young cowboy who ventures into Phoenix to compete in the rodeo and find himself a woman. He catches a glimpse of Cherie, a young café singer with bigger dreams, and decides that she is going to be his bride. He then bombards her with his company and forces her into his marriage plans even though she constantly puts up protest. He then becomes a bully, yelling and screaming and accusing her of trying to trick him and he kidnaps her in an attempt to get her to his farm. All the while, his older cowboy friend tells him he's wrong but really does nothing about it. In fact, no one does anything about it while he's chasing her through the nightclub she works at or physically assaulting her at a bus stop, IN FRONT OF MANY PEOPLE. It's such a bizarre film and the sad thing is that it is supposed to be taken seriously. This isn't a comedy and none of this is played for laughs.
It's just stupid.
Murray gives a one-note disaster of a performance, hooting and hollering and acting like a buffoon throughout the entirety of the film until he has a sudden about face and actually delivers a sincere conclusion. Until that moment, his performance can be described in one word; gross. How he received an Oscar nomination for this is beyond me. Monroe is decent here. She gets the emotional depth of the character, but her accent work is semi-atrocious, and it certainly gets worse and worse as the film moves along. I much preferred her in `The Misfits' and `Some Like it Hot' where she matched her emotional developments with an effortlessness that she loses here while she struggles to make her accept stick. Arthur O'Connell is fine, but he's completely overshadowed by his abrasive screen-partner.
Overall, this is a mess. It doesn't say much of anything and it doesn't offer much of anything either, outside of a sultry introduction shot of Monroe in a windowsill.