Forever Marilyn: Four Film Marilyn Monroe Collection
Forever Marilyn: Four Film Marilyn Monroe Collection
(Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, How to Marry a Millionaire)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Marilyn dazzles in high definition with this essential Blu-ray hits package.
Three essential Marilyn Monroe titles (Billy Wilder's 'Some Like It Hot' & 'The Seven Year Itch' as well as Howard Hawks' 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) sit head and shoulders above the other (dated ensemble comedy 'How to Marry a Millionaire) in 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray mini collection.
The picture quality on these widescreen, high contrast colour (except 'Some Like It Hot' which is in monochrome) is fantastic, with vastly improved amounts of detail visible in high definition. The extras are largely rehashed from previous DVDs but die-hards will want to upgrade for the quality of the prints alone.
As newbies to the charms of Marilyn (many of whom may come off the back of Michelle Williams' delicious take on the blonde bombshell in 'My Week With Marilyn'), this set offers a solid introduction.
It would've been nice to have seen a few other Fox titles 'The Misfits' and 'Monkey Business' gracing the set instead of the stilted relationships comedy 'How to Marry a Millionaire' but for the price you can't argue.
Some Like it Hot
Marilyn plays the lead singer of an all-girl band joined by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, who are posing as women to hide from the mob. Wilder's rat-a-tat-tat dialogue never misfires right up until the brilliant closing line. This is the definitive Monroe title.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell co-star as showgirls who set a course for love and laughter on board a luxury liner sailing to France. Howard Hawks at his most lavish, 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' offers an unforgettable rendition of 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend'
The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn plays a seductive starlet who tests the wedding vows of a married man (Tom Ewell) when she moves into the apartment above him. Another Wilder title and his first real stab at directing comedy, 'The Seven Year Itch' is a classic but a dated one that feels stagey particularly because a Ewell's poor screen performance and his character's need to speak his thoughts out loud. Wilder wanted to cast Walter Matthau instead - imagine that! Monroe, however, is remarkable.
How to Marry a Millionaire
Marilyn, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall play three Manhattan models who concoct a wild scheme to meet the men of their dreams. There's too much going on and too few memorable scenes in this breezy but hollow comedy. A great cast, including a tired William Powell, offer some salvation but it's not enough to save Jean Negulesco's very 50s film from mediocrity.
Other film news
Veteran actor and frequent Oscars host Billy Crystal is heading to TV: the 'City Slickers' star will front a TV sitcom for network FX entitled 'The Comedians'.
Oscar winning film Ang Lee has just backed out from directing his first television show - a TV pilot for the FX network called 'Tyrant'.
The stars were shining a little dimmer at this year's Cannes Film Festival after a massive jewellery theft robbed the celebs of their jewels.
Britain's premiere film lot Pinewood Studios, the home to James Bond and Harry Potter, has lost a Â£200m planning permission bid for a Hollywood-style expansion across 100 acres of green belt land.
The last time Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson appeared in a film together it was a massive studio production that went on to break box office records. Now the 'Avengers Assemble' stars are reteaming for an independent feature.
Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie has undergone a double mastectomy after genetic tests revealed that she held a high risk of developing breast cancer.
'TV Burp' star Harry Hill's film debut has started shooting with himself in the lead and Matt Lucas as his twin brother alongside Sheridan Smith, 'Inbetweeners' star Simon Bird and Oscar winners Jim Broadbent and veteran actress Julie Walters.
'Jurassic Park 4' was due to begin production on June 24th for a release date almost exactly a year later, but studio Universal has pushed it back.
When it comes to optical effects in the movies, few have had a career as iconic as Ray Harryhausen, the special effects pioneer who recently died at 92.
The bank holiday weekend saw not one but two tentpole franchises get the sequel green lights from their studios: 'Men in Black 4' and 'Mission Impossible 5' are on the cards at Sony and Paramount.
In somewhat unexpected casting news, TV star Kelsey Grammer (best known as classy radio psychologist Dr Frasier Crane from 'Frasier' and 'Cheers'), has been cast as the lead villain in 'Transformers 4'.
First came the news that Michael Fassbender was onboard, and now it's been confirmed that Oscar winner Natalie Portman will be joining him for a new film version of 'MacBeth'.
Marvel/Disney knew they were on to a winner with the third film in the 'Iron Man' franchise but the Robert Downey Jr headliner has exceeded numerous box office estimates by beating 'Avengers Assemble' in its opening weekend figures.
20th Century Fox has finally secured the film rights to the Frank Loesser musical 'Guys and Dolls' after years in legal hell, and now the studio are hoping to bag Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the lead roles.
Cult sports comedy 'Dodgeball' is getting the sequel treatment, with original star Ben Stiller's production company onboard alongside distributor 20th Century Fox.
Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon and her husband Jim Toth were arrested and jailed in the early hours of Friday morning, it was confirmed recently.
The official list of nominations for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival have been revealed with a complete lack of British filmmakers/films in the running for the major awards of The Grand Prize and Un Certain Regard honours.
When Disney attended CinemaCon, the news that all the fans and industry types wanted to know about was what was happening with their newly acquired LucasFilm properties - namely the 'Star Wars' franchise.
Bestselling author Stephen King has stated that heâd be "happy" if Warner's planned film prequel to his 1977 horror novel 'The Shining' "didnât happen".
Check out the full list of winners from the 2013 MTV Movie Awards here: