Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 150 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The title of this made-for-TV biopic is faintly risible: is there anything about Marilyn Monroe that we don't know by now? Pleasingly enough, the story is told in a straightforward, nonexploitive manner (the affair with JFK warrants no more than a throwaway line). Emmy-nominated Catherine Hicks plays Marilyn, nee Norma Jean Baker. We follow her progress from orphanages and foster homes to her first 20th Century-Fox contract at age 20. Considered "washed up" before her career has gotten off the ground, Marilyn is rescued both professionally and emotionally by her agent/lover Johnny Hyde (Richard Basehart). She rises to full stardom and is the center of attention of two "ideal" marriages, first to baseball player Joe DiMaggio, then to Arthur Miller (neither of whom are depicted on screen). But Marilyn remains a lonely, tragic figure, a victim as much of her own demons as of Hollywood's exploitation mill. Based loosely on Norman Mailer's highly suspect biography of the actress, Marilyn: The Untold Story premiered on September 28, 1980.



actor, agent [representative], career, fame, Hollywood, marriage, orphan, sex-symbol