Marilyn Monroe Retrospective
August 3–September 20

August marks the 50th anniversary of screen icon Marilyn Monroe's tragic death. To celebrate the motion picture legacy of this outsized pop cultural figure, AFI Silver presents a selection of her best films, tracing her rise from scene-stealing bit player to full-fledged star.

 AFI Member passes will be accepted at all films in the Marilyn Monroe series.


His wife and kid shipped off to Maine for the summer, paperback publisher Tom Ewell sticks it out in the hot city, resolving to concentrate on work and resist the temptations other Manhattan husbands are busy giving in to. Then Marilyn Monroe moves in upstairs. And walks over a subway grate in that summer dress. Billy Wilder's film emphasizes Ewell's longing and fantasies; George Axelrod's original play, a smash hit in its day, notably went all the way with the material. Wilder in 1976: "I wish I had the property now."

DIR/SCR/PROD Billy Wilder; SCR George Axelrod; PROD Charles Feldman. US, 1955, b&w, 105 min. NOT RATED


Fri, Aug 3, 5:10; Mon, Aug 6, 7:10

#1 on AFI's 100 Years…100 Laughs
#22 on AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies

"Nobody's perfect," but Billy Wilder's boundary-breaking comedy just may be. Speakeasy musicians Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis happen to be in the wrong Chicago garage on St. Valentine's Day, 1929. To hide from the mob, they join Marilyn Monroe's all-girl band — dressed in drag. With George Raft, Pat O'Brien and Joe E. Brown as the smitten zillionaire who delivers the immortal closer.

DIR/SCR/PROD Billy Wilder; SCR I. A. L. Diamond. US, 1959, b&w, 120 min. NOT RATED


Fri, Aug 3, 7:20; Sat, Aug 4, 1:00; Sun, Aug 5, 4:00


This psychologically charged film noir features Monroe as the lonely girl in room 809, a mentally disturbed babysitter who should not be trusted with anyone's child. In one of her first starring roles, Monroe brings a delicate frailness to her deranged femme fatale. Pilot Richard Widmark, newly dumped by lounge singer Anne Bancroft (in her screen debut), gets wrapped up in the disastrous delusions of the troubled babysitter, who mistakes him for her dead beau. Directed by future horror staple Roy Ward Baker and written by Daniel Taradash (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY) this film boasts a script filled with complexity and tart noir slang.

DIR Roy Ward Baker; SCR Daniel Taradash, from the novel by Charlotte Armstrong; PROD Julian Blaustein. US, 1952, b&w, 76 min. NOT RATED


Fri, Aug 10, 5:10; Sun, Aug 12, 11:00 a.m.


"Niagara and Marilyn Monroe, the two most electrifying sights in the world!"

Don't be fooled by the glorious Technicolor cinematography; NIAGARA is a racy film noir featuring stunning scenery, juicy dialogue and Marilyn Monroe as the quintessential femme fatale. Against the spectacular backdrop of Niagara Falls, Monroe plots to off her psychoneurotic husband (Joseph Cotten) while wreaking havoc on the honeymoon of the couple in the cabin next door (Jean Peters and Casey Adams.) A secret affair, a case of mistaken identity and a kidnapping culminate in a tragic boat race to the edge of the falls.

DIR Henry Hathaway; SCR/PROD Charles Brackett; SCR Walter Reisch, Richard L. Breen. US, 1953, color, 92 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Aug 11, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Aug 13, 7:00


Howard Hawks' madcap 1952 comedy was a throwback to the screwball style of the 1930s that his own films TWENTIETH CENTURY, BRINGING UP BABY and HIS GIRL FRIDAY had helped define. With an accidental assist from a lab chimp, brilliant but absentminded professor Cary Grant ingests a serum that restores youthful vitality by reversing the aging process. Grant rediscovers his vim and vigor; his wife Ginger Rogers, overmedicated on the stuff, regresses to full-on childhood. Supporting players Charles Coburn as Grant's taskmaster boss and Marilyn Monroe — already the picture of youth — as Coburn's non-typing secretary round out the picture.

DIR Howard Hawks; SCR Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, I. A. L. Diamond, Harry Segall; PROD Sol C. Siegel. US, 1952, b&w, 97 min. NOT RATED


Fri, Aug 17, 5:15; Sat, Aug 18, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Aug 20, 5:00; Wed, Aug 22, 5:00


In Howard Hawks' wicked musical romp, best friend lounge singers Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, "Two Little Girls from Little Rock," are on a cruise ship bound for Europe. Russell is on the prowl for a handsome hunk; Monroe is engaged to marry fiancé Tommy Noonan once they reach Paris, but tends to get distracted at the sight of bling. Getting an eyeful of diamond magnate Charles Coburn's rocks has her singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in the famous, and famously referenced, showstopping number. The movie version adds songs by Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson to the stage musical's originals by Jule Styne and Leo Robin.

DIR Howard Hawks; SCR Charles Lederer, from the musical by Joseph Fields and the novel by Anita Loos; PROD Sol C. Siegel. US, 1953, color, 91 min. NOT RATED Aug. 23 show presented in digital format.


Sat, Aug 18, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, Aug 19, 11:05 a.m.; Tue, Aug 21, 4:45; Thu, Aug 23, 5:00


Perhaps best known today as the film-within-a-film in last fall's MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL stars Monroe as the ditsy Elsie, an American performer at the Coconut Girl club, who catches the eye of the regent of Carpathia (Laurence Olivier) and ends up saving Europe from the brink of war. Featuring cinematography by the legendary Jack Cardiff, this effervescent comedy succeeds on the strength of the charm of its two leads, in spite of the behind-the-scenes drama that plagued the production.

DIR/PROD Laurence Olivier; SCR Terence Rattigan, from his play "The Sleeping Prince." US/UK, 1957, color, 115 min. NOT RATED


Fri, Aug 24, 1:30; Sun, Aug 26, 10:55 a.m.


Hapless New York bachelors face a triple-threat when three models (Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable) pool their money to rent a posh Manhattan penthouse to use as their bachelorette launching pad for snagging themselves millionaire husbands. Convinced that men don't make passes at "girls who wear glasses," Monroe attempts to jump through hoops to impress her millionaire-beau. But what starts out as a simple plan for economic survival turns the women into hopeless romantics. Adapted for the screen by Broadway playwright Nunnally Johnson, this was the first-ever film to be photographed in CinemaScope.

DIR Jean Negulesco; SCR/PROD Nunnally Johnson, from the plays "The Greeks Had a Word for It" by Zoe Akins and "Loco" by Dale Eunson and Katherine Albert. US, 1953, color, 95 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Aug 25, 10:55 a.m.; Sun, Aug 26, 4:30


Rancher Don Murray does his best to lasso Miss Monroe for himself in Joshua Logan's dramatic adaptation of William Inge's Tony-nominated Broadway play. Monroe plays a lonely cafe singer who dreams of traveling to Los Angeles to become a star. When obnoxious and naïve Murray arrives in town for a rodeo, he becomes determined to make Monroe his wife and take her back to his ranch in Montana to play house. Murray coerces Monroe to board a bus to his hometown, but when a snowstorm forces them to spend the night at a diner along the way, everyone's true feelings are revealed.

DIR Joshua Logan; SCR George Axelrod, from the play by William Inge; PROD Buddy Adler. US, 1956, color, 96 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Sep 1, 11:05 a.m.; Mon, Sep 3, 11:05 a.m.


"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" says Bette Davis' screen apotheosis, A-list actress Margo Channing. But it's she who gets bumped by her duplicitous protegée Anne Baxter as the ambitious Eve Harrington, a young starlet who models herself on Davis only to supplant her in a win-at-all-costs rise to stardom. George Sanders is the sardonic theater critic who's seen it all; Marilyn Monroe shines in a small but head-turning role as his on-the-make date. Fourteen Oscar nominations (a record not matched until TITANIC, 47 years later) and six wins, including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay for Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

DIR/SCR Joseph L. Mankiewicz; PROD Darryl F. Zanuck. US, 1950, b&w, 138 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Sep 1, 11:10 a.m.; Mon, Sep 3, 6:45; Thu, Sep 6, 6:45


Disillusioned after 10 years of living in the big city, Barbara Stanwyck returns to the small California fishing village where she was raised. Looking to escape the pain of a tumultuous affair with a married politician back east, Stanwyck decides to settle down with an honest, hard-working fisherman (Paul Douglas). But history is doomed to repeat itself as she falls into another affair, this time with her husband's best friend, the brooding Robert Ryan. Fritz Lang (METROPOLIS) directs this steamy noir melodrama, which gave Marilyn Monroe a chance to play against type as a gritty working class girl and future sister-in-law to Stanwyck.

DIR Fritz Lang; SCR Alfred Hayes, based on the play by Clifford Odets; PROD Harriet Parsons. US, 1952, b&w, 105 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Sep 8, 12:30; Mon, Sep 10, 4:40; Tue, Sep 11, 4:40; Wed, Sep 12, 4:40; Thu, Sep 13, 4:40


The ultimate heist film and the template for all that came after — from the assembly of the team to the painstakingly chronicled break-in to the telltale slip up. John Huston's expertly orchestrated urban crime story is one of the rare films noir to attract Oscar recognition, garnering four nominations. Crooked lawyer Louis Calhern, desperate to keep nubile mistress Marilyn Monroe, employs just-out-of-jail Sam Jaffe and small timers Anthony Caruso, James Whitmore and Sterling Hayden for a big score. Everything goes right — until everything starts to go wrong.

DIR/SCR John Huston; SCR Ben Maddow, from the novel by W. R. Burnett; PROD Arthur Hornblow, Jr. US, 1950, b&w, 112 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Sep 15, 11:05 a.m.; Tue, Sep 18, 4:30; Thu, Sep 20, 4:30


John Huston and Arthur Miller's poignant modern Western was the last film of two silver screen icons: "the king of Hollywood" Clark Gable and legendary bombshell Marilyn Monroe. Sad-eyed divorcée Monroe is courted by three men's men — aging cowboy individualist Gable, injured rodeo rider Montgomery Clift and widowed WWII pilot Eli Wallach. Miller's densely metaphorical and ahead-of-its-time screenplay was intended as a vehicle for his wife Monroe; their marriage disintegrated before the film began shooting. DIR John Huston; SCR Arthur Miller; PROD Frank E. Taylor. US, 1961, b&w, 124 min. NOT RATED


Sun, Sep 16, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Sep 17, 7:00