×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days

A thorough and unsympathetic look at Marilyn Monroe's last days on a movie set, "Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days" winningly opens and closes the book on the star's final chapter without the usual theatrics associated with the loss of a young talent.

With:
Narrator: James Coburn. Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Wally Cox, Phil Silvers, Tom Tyron, Alexandra Heilweil, Robert Christopher Morley, John McGiver, Grady Sutton, Eloise Hardt.

A thorough and unsympathetic look at Marilyn Monroe’s last days on a movie set, “Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days” winningly opens and closes the book on the star’s final chapter without the usual theatrics associated with the loss of a young talent. Anecdotes from the cast and crew that worked on “Something’s Got to Give,” intended to be her big return to 20th Century Fox in 1962, are almost universally filtered through a sense of their professional loss, how Monroe’s cocktails of sleeping pills ‘n’ champagne and broken affairs constantly put the production in peril. History has been overly kind to Monroe, and “The Final Days” displays her physical beauty as much as it gets into the heads of those around her in Hollywood.

Biggest treat is the 37-minute version of “Something,” cobbled-together from 500 minutes of film. (Pic was a remake of the 1940 romantic comedy “My Favorite Wife” that starred Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.) Dean Martin stars as the father of two who gets a judge to declare his wife (Monroe) legally dead after she has been missing for five years, lost at sea in a yachting accident.

That action granted, he marries Cyd Charisse — and Monroe walks back into their life after being rescued from a deserted island by a submarine crew. Scene involving Charisse and Steve Allen, as her psychiatrist, discussing sex are the funniest; most famous are Monroe’s oft-seen skinny-dipping segment, now extended to reveal more dorsal nudity than in previous airings.

“The Final Days” traces the evolution of “Something’s Got to Give,” from Fox brass getting the idea for the remake up through its days over budget and over schedule. Intriguingly, “Something” was being shot simultaneously with “Cleopatra,” and collectively the two were nearly bankrupting the studio (though eyes were only occasionally cast toward “Something’s” troubles).

There is a bounty of rare footage and luminous stories about Monroe, who would have turned 75 years old today. It’s not a damning portrait, but one associate after another chips away at her iconic stature with talk of her flaws, most commonly her tardiness. It’s hard to tell if she was loved or tolerated, and theories concerning her ways with powerful men exposes her mental and emotional constitution in a way that hasn’t been discussed that much before.

Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days

AMC, Fri., June 1; 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed in various locations by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Van Ness Films, Foxstar Prods., Fox Television Studios and American Movie Classics. Executive producers, Kevin Burns, David Sehring; supervising producer, Michael Stevens, producer and director, Patti Ivins; writer, Monica Bider; editor, Tori Rodman. 2 HOURS.
Something's Got to Give: The Restoration
Produced by Henry Weinstein; director, George Cukor; writers, Nunally Johnson, Walter Bernstein, based on a screenplay by Bella and Sam Spewack.

Crew: Something's Got to Give: The Restoration
Director of photography, Franz Planer; editor, Tori Rodman; music, Johnny Mercer.

Cast: Narrator: James Coburn. Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Wally Cox, Phil Silvers, Tom Tyron, Alexandra Heilweil, Robert Christopher Morley, John McGiver, Grady Sutton, Eloise Hardt.

More TV

  • rachel brosnahan Variety Cover Story

    Rachel Brosnahan Signs First-Look Deal With Amazon Studios

    Rachel Brosnahan is deepening her relationship with Amazon. The “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” star has signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, under which she and her Scrap Paper Pictures production company will develop TV series exclusively for Amazon’s streaming platform. Brosnahan has won several awards for her performance as Midge Maisel, including an Emmy Award [...]

  • Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton

    'Yellowstone' Season 2 Premiere Ratings More Than Double in Delayed Viewing

    The Season 2 premiere of “Yellowstone” more than doubled its Live+Same Day numbers in Live+3. According to Nielsen data, the premiere last Wednesday rose to a 0.98 rating in adults 18-49 and just over 5 million total viewers after three days of playback. That is up 115% in the demo and 109% in viewers from [...]

  • Malaka

    Conecta Fiction 2019: 10 Takeaways

    MADRID  —  The 3rd Conecta Fiction, Europe’s biggest Latin American TV co-production forum, wrapped last week in Pamplona after four days of dealing, debate and gastronomic delectation. Following 10 Takeaways from an intense and buoyant event, driven by the unfaltering growth of high-end production in Spain and most of Latin America: 1.PLATFORM PIVOT  The writing [...]

  • THE L WORD GENERATION Q Cast

    'L Word' Follow Up at Showtime Adds Four Series Regulars

    The upcoming “L Word” sequel series at Showtime is rounding out its main cast. Arienne Mandi, Leo Sheng, Jacqueline Toboni, and Rosanny Zayas have all been cast in series regular roles. They join returning original series stars and executive producers Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, and Leisha Hailey. Mandi will play Dani Nùñez, described as a [...]

  • Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule

    Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule: When Are Your Favorite Shows Taking Over San Diego?

    This year’s San Diego Comic-Con has a feast of TV show panels and special screenings for fans. To keep you updated on the happenings this year, Variety is compiling a master list of the experiences for the July 17 to July 21 pop culture convention. Warner Bros. Television Studios was the first to announce its schedule, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content