5 user 2 critic

Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980)

Would love to see this movie again. I remember it as a kid.


Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Converse ...
Kevin Geer ...
Priscilla Morrill ...
John Christy Ewing ...
Heath Jobes ...
Tom Ewell


The story of how Norma Jean, once an orphan in Hollywood, becomes Marilyn Monroe, the movie star and celebrity. The movie begins with her as a child and ends with the mysterious way she dies. Throughout the movie, we see the highlights and lowlights of her career, including the parts of her private life not widely known. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her image was perfection.....her life was a personal hell


Biography | Drama





Release Date:

28 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marilyn Monroe - Eine wahre Geschichte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Larry Pennell again portrayed Clark Gable in "Goodbye Norma Jean" in the fifth season of "Quantum Leap". See more »


Joe DiMaggio is shown at an Old Timers game batting left-handed. DiMaggio was a right-handed hitter. See more »

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User Reviews

Marilyn, Mailer, and Miller
7 June 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Lawrence Schiller's retelling of The Life (and Death) of Marilyn Monroe is, for its time, one of the better trips down a well-traveled road. By 1980, when "The ABC Sunday Night Movie" aired this highly touted biography, there were dozens of stories about Ms. Monroe. New and re-printed books were joined by acclaimed writer Norman Mailer's 1973 "Marilyn" biography. Monroe films were, thanks to television airings, seen by more people than ever before. And, Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" became a radio standard. Marilyn Monroe was more popular than ever.

Mr. Mailer's book (and others) helped create the mythology of Monroe. Every new project needed some startling new revelation - so, by 1980, truth became fiction. Wisely, "Marilyn: The Untold Story" sticks to factual situations - thankfully, there are no orgies with either Kennedys or aliens - like Mailer's book, the movie speculates Monroe's troubled life was the result poor parenting, particularly at fault is her father. So, Monroe's absent father is the villain (by the way, the cold-hearted man Monroe contacts during the running time is likely telling the truth); so, she intermittently tries to replace, or contact, "Daddy".

Catherine Hicks, in sheer slips and tight outfits, is a sufficiently sexy Marilyn. But, her characterization, like the film, is uneven. Opening scenes, with young Tracey Gould (as Norma Jean) and schizophrenic Sheree North (as Gladys Baker) are enjoyable; and, Ms. Hicks does well with hunky Kevin Geer (as James Dougherty). It's also nice to see Hicks portray, albeit too briefly, a more realistic Monroe during the "Actor's Studio" scenes (with handsome fellow-traveler James Hayden, as David); Monroe used her "sex symbol persona" when the cameras weren't running, but not constantly (when sober).

The teleplay is hit or miss until the movie covers Monroe's work on "The Misfits" (1962). Hang in for some truly amazing scenes recreating Monroe (Hicks), Clark Gable (Larry Pennell), Montgomery Clift (Bill Vint), John Huston (John Ireland), and Arthur Miller (Jason Miller) as they work out Monroe's last released feature film. You may think you're watching some lost "behind-the-scenes" color footage from the original black-and-white film. This interesting portion is, of course, punctuated by a hokey ending… Gable guilt, freeze-frame, and "Goodbye, Norma Jean…" with Billy Preston and Syreeta.

****** Marilyn: The Untold Story (9/28/80) Lawrence Schiller ~ Catherine Hicks, Jason Miller, Frank Converse, Richard Basehart

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I want to buy this movie!!!! loriwade
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Catherine Hicks will be at Chiller Theatre (NYC area) May 2-4, 2008 trimtab
You can now see it on YouTube johnseason
Movie Available ryantbo28
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