A documentary about the life and career of 1950s sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. Included are interviews with friends, cast and crew who worked with her, clips from her films and some scenes that were cut from her earliest movies and not seen for many years.
The GOODTIMES video pictured here of THE LEGEND OF MARILYN MONROE was also issued with a different cover: red background and Monroe in a gold lamé gown cut to the navel.
Both tapes are recorded at LP speed, which slightly diminishes video quality. Both have linear audio tracks (not Hi-Fi), and this limits sound fidelity somewhat. The 16mm broadcast film they were dubbed from has no edit breaks, but it is well-used, with scratch lines and dirt apparent, also the image is overly dark in spots.
The biggest flaw, and the reason I've rated this product only one star, is the show is missing a full nineteen minutes. After title cards we are thrown into the story at the point where Norma Jean seeks work as a model. This is clearly NOT where the documentary begins. Just as abruptly some time later, narrator John Huston proclaims Monroe has died and the words THE END appear, edited in. Again, there had to have been more after that moment.
IMDb lists THE LEGEND OF MARILYN MONROE (TV-1966) as running 53 minutes, accurate for a 1960s television hour. And this tape does indeed clock in at only 34 minutes, as I was disappointed to discover when playing the one I purchased here.
Its too incomplete to be worth buying, in hindsight.
This documentary deserves five stars! However, I rented the digital video, and that did not include the additional footage that other reviewers, who purchased the DVD, had mentioned. So, the lack of a five star rating is attributable to the extra footage not being included. Additionally, the sound quality is poor. I'm not sure if that's because my ears have been spoiled with current sound technology or what, but some things were difficult to hear, if not inaudible, over heavy static. (I'm only 23, so don't blame age! lol)
The documentary itself included footage from her movies, interviews with friends, co-workers, photos, etc. Lots of "behind the scenes" type footage from her films and various other appearances. That the director of the documentary coincidentally directed for her first major movie and then, her last, the Misfits, lends a poignant and intimate tone to the film. This documentary also provides a unique perspective of early Los Angeles and the film industry. As a Los Angeles native, this footage is mesmerizing!
All things considered, this documentary was a little unnerving. Many have speculated as to the cause of death, whether she overdosed intentionally or accidentally, or as the movie puts it, "she was a woman who lived life on the edge, but did she leap or did she jump?" Either scenario is equally tragic, and the film documents the plausibility of each.
Whether she lept or fell to her fate will remain unknown, just as who the real woman behind "Marilyn Monroe," will also, remain a mystery. The saddest part is that it seems the world didn't much care who she "really" was at all, and it seems apparent that she was more than aware of this unfortunate truth. :(
"The Legend of Marilyn Monroe" is a wonderful and warm documentary narrated by her director of the two pictures "The Asphalt Jungle" and "The Misfits". I recommend this documentary if you are new to Marilyn and her life on and off the screen. Others may find this documentary a repetion of earlier documentaries they have seen of Marilyn. The new here is that John Huston tells us about his personal experience with her.
The documentary seemed to be well done, but the sound quality was so bad, it was hard to understand alot of what was being said. The images could have been alot sharper as well. I'm sure I would have enjoyed watching it, had it not been such a poor print.
I rented this documentary because I didn't live in the Marilyn Monroe era and therefore I had no knowledge of her story. This documentary really helped me understand her story more. I only wished the documentary was longer so it could have had more depth.
movie was interesting. i wasnt really impressed with the actress michelle but i am not a huge marilyn fan, just wanted to see what all the talk was about. very sad that she led such an emotionally tortured life