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Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996)

This film follows Norma Jean from her simple, ambitious youth to her superstar pinnacle and back down. She moves from lover to lover in order to further her career. She finds fame but never happiness, only knowing seduction but not love.




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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Jean Dougherty
Eddie Jordan
Arthur Miller
Joe DiMaggio
Fred Karger
Darryl Zanuck
Billy Wilder
Dana Goldstone ...
Lee Strasberg
Mozelle Hyde
Natasha Lytess
Milton Krasner
Commissary Photographer


In this film, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino portray two sides of the woman America loved, but who struggled to love herself: Marilyn Monroe. To the world, Marilyn was a vivacious superstar, the epitome of sexuality, sensuality and frolicsome amusement. Every man wanted her - every woman wanted to be her. But behind the enticing smile, beneath the tight-fitting dresses, there was a dark secret - one Marilyn could not bury in the past... the child inside named Norma Jean. Everything Norma Jean dreams of, Marilyn achieves. Every man she struggles to resist, Marilyn succumbs to. And while Marilyn climbs the ladder to success, Norma Jean was beneath it, almost willing her to fall. Written by HBO Home Video

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Marilyn Monroe was our fantasy. Norma Jean was her reality.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and nudity, some substance abuse and strong language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

18 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norma Jean and Marilyn  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The underwear underneath Marilyn Monroe's dress while filming The Seven Year Itch (1955) are Victoria's Secret panties. The brand Victoria's Secret was not started until 1978. See more »


Johnny Hyde: How can you be so cold?
Marilyn Monroe: Because you let me.
See more »


References Call Northside 777 (1948) See more »


Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
Written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin
Performed by Mira Sorvino
See more »

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User Reviews

Judd eats Sorvino's lunch
25 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

This film used a bit of gimmick casting; having one actress play the young and hungry starlet Norma Jean, and another playing 'Marilyn; after she had achieved fame and wealth. Add to that Marianne Davis, who plays Norma Jean when she was a frightened young girl being moved from place to place.

The movie is not entirely successful, because Sorvino plays Marilyn as her flighty image of the films rather than a logical continuation of the Norma Jean persona, making her death occur with a whimper rather than a grand crash. But it is very definitely worthwhile for seeing Ashley Judd play Norma Jean to the hilt as a woman whose delicate features overlay a soul of chromium steel, determined never to repeat the humiliations of her girlhood. It was an entirely different angle on Norma Jean/Marilyn to see her arrive late (!) for an audition and blithely push her way past other starlets to catch the attention of the producer; or watch her, in a fantasy sequence, run over her former hapless self in a car. I was sorry when 'Norma Jean's half' of the movie was over, and pleased to see her return briefly at the end.

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