In preparation for portraying Marilyn Monroe, Michelle Williams did her homework. She watched the icon's movies, sought out obscure You Tube videos, and pored over the star's notebooks, poetry, doodles, and letters -- even thank-you notes! Here are her five favorite Monroe films -- and while they're not all masterpieces, each one shows why Monroe's reputation as an actress and sex symbol has survived long after her death -- a "probable suicide" -- at 36 in 1962.
THE MISFITS "It was Marilyn's only opportunity to play a dramatic role. It's a very strange movie. I don't know why I love it as much as I do -- maybe, because the collaboration Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Eli Wallach, and Montgomery Clift seems cosmic, even if it doesn't jive entirely."
SOME LIKE IT HOT “There is such a thing as perfection. The entire movie is sublime. And that last line: 'Well, nobody's perfect.'"
THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL "The movie meanders quite a bit, and is much longer than it needs to be, and suffers from a kind of stiffness -- except for Marilyn! It's one of her greatest performances. Her comic timing in the drawing room scenes -- nothing about making it was easy, it didn't come naturally, but her touch is so light you feel like it's some thing happening for the first time. She does some of her best work in this stodgy, dry film."
RIVER OF NO RETURN "Don't watch it for the filmmaking but I just love her musical numbers."
ALL ABOUT EVE "She's very young. It's one of her first roles. What I love about it is that you can see her developing 'Marilyn Monroe,' this character, and you can see also how talented she really was. She was starting with something. She doubted herself endlessly, and relied on acting coaches and never felt her value as an actress. Maybe that was one of the things that made her so good was that she was always striving. It's a raw performance at the beginning of the evolution, you can see the beginnings, her face doesn't have the same agility that it does later on, but you can see the brush strokes of it."
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