First of two 1980 TV movies about Marilyn Monroe, with this one detailing her days as an aspiring actress through her love affair with high-powered agent, Johnny Hyde, to the brink of stardom on the eve of his sudden death. Written by
Johnny tells Marilyn that "Billy Haines" designed her new bedroom and dressing room, a reference to William Haines, who was originally a star in silent pictures. After refusing to agree to an arranged marriage to cover up his homosexuality, Haines quit acting and became a very popular interior designer instead. See more »
this tv-movie could be a modern first - run major release, even tho it's 21 years old. Connie Forslund is a veteran bit part player who portrays arguably the greatest "bit part" player of all time. What Cosmic irony there was in Monroe's last serious role, "the Misfits"! Her talents as an actress were well known before she married arthur miller; yet, the hollywood image of "blonde bimbo" for many a year stuck to almost any curvaceous woman to visit hollywood, regardless of talent or potential, especially one who was as audacious in posing & yet as empathic and eager to please as norma jean baker. Very interesting, even sensitive, how Forslund/Monroe gives her real name - she pronounces it like it were a resumé...
if you haven't yet grasped her inner bio, this is a good place to start. This sympathetic portrayal is sublime in showing the combination of intelligence, wit, honesty, & vulnerability in a young woman, who GAVE far more than she ever GOT. It cuts through the usual pinup mentality, of both the art of the woman, and anyone who would appreciate the Artist (Lloyd Bridges as her agent/protector is excellent at showing us how) - and the person she was. With the subsequent roles of Mr Bridges up against his earlier ones (i think he was in over 160 pictures, High Noon undoubtedly being his finest) & his recent passing, this revealing biopic is even more touching, if not also illuminating, regarding not only the players, but also the gritty business they must play at. One begging question... did Ms Forslund play herself out of any other roles? She is so good in this i believe, that i wonder if she hasn't also been touched by the "curse of the y-chromosome" (vis - á - vis the male stupor-inducing/casting couch syndrome), because this extremely talented actress, like MM, hasn't scored anymore major parts since this stage of her career - to the theater-going public's loss, and perhaps great sadness....
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