Shelley Winters, who appears in this thinly veiled biography of Marilyn Monroe's life, in fact lived, and was very good friends with Monroe for a time when the pair were budding young actresses. See more »
'The Sex Symbol' is mainly about Connie Stevens on a pink telephone calling for help after hours, while drinking large amounts of gin or vodka, and being told not to take any pills (too.)
She goes around screaming "I'm a STAR!" in a plastic-desperate way in almost every scene in the movie.
This may be worth watching for William Smith, as Buck Wischnewski (his resume says "Butch" but Stevens calls him "Buck" in the film), the DiMaggio stand-in, and for Don Murray, if only because he played the lead opposite Marilyn Monroe's own in one of her best films, 'Bus Stop'.
Ms. Stevens was made for light material, like Cricket Blake in 'Hawaiian Eye', because she was breezy and chic, very much a part of the period of the early 60's. She was also convincing as Lucy in 'Parrish' with Troy Donahue and Claudette Colbert. But since she has no real dramatic technique, she doesn't even vaguely suggest Marilyn, and neither does the film: that's why the thoroughly mediocre script hits you over the heads with !THE SENATOR! and makes sure you know Buck is a football player(!!!), obviously not too big a stretch from baseball...
I had to watch it while working on a survey of Smith's work, which has always got something remarkably original in it(he's unusually quiet here, though), otherwise I would never have been able to get through this one. He's got another one with Stevens called 'Scorchy' (1976)which I rather dread but can't avoid--who knows? maybe it will work at least some better than this garish mess.
Anyone would be better off to take a look at 'The Goddess'with Kim Stanley,which was already in 1958, in Paddy Chayefsky's script, capable of capturing the essence of Monroe when she was still alive--she hadn't even made 'Some Like It Hot' yet, much less 'The Misfits' and the Kennedys.
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