6.1/10
2,235
41 user 3 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book),
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A private eye shadows a female serial killer of men all over the U.S. without her knowing as he, strangely enough, occasionally acts as her guardian angel.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

Aspiring actress Norma Jean Baker lives in squalor in the early '40s as she works at the munitions plant and dreams of being a movie star. Abused as a child and an adult, she lacks ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Buchanan
Stars: Misty Rowe, Terence Locke, Patch Mackenzie
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After being jilted by her boyfriend, a talk show talent scout writes a column on the relationship habits of men which gains her national fame.

Director: Tony Goldwyn
Stars: Ashley Judd, Greg Kinnear, Hugh Jackman
Marilyn: The Untold Story (TV Movie 1980)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Directors: Jack Arnold, John Flynn, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Catherine Hicks, Richard Basehart, Frank Converse
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman framed for her husband's murder suspects he is still alive; as she has already been tried for the crime, she can't be re-prosecuted if she finds and kills him.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
Normal Life (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Chris is young idealistic cop who falls in love and gets married to Pam, a beautiful but emotionally unstable woman who suffers from alcoholism and drug addiction. While Chris is trying ... See full summary »

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: Ashley Judd, Luke Perry, Bruce A. Young
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ruby, a young woman, arrives in a Florida resort town during the off season to make a fresh start. She gets work as a sales clerk in a souvineer shop run by Mildred Chambers. She dates, and... See full summary »

Director: Victor Nunez
Stars: Ashley Judd, Todd Field, Bentley Mitchum
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Police hunting for a serial killer are helped when a victim manages to escape for the first time.

Director: Gary Fleder
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the ... See full summary »

Director: Wonsuk Chin
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Mira Sorvino, Jeffrey Wright
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »

Director: Martha Coolidge
Stars: Halle Berry, Brent Spiner, Klaus Maria Brandauer
De-Lovely (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

Director: Irwin Winkler
Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce
Trespass (2011)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Gigandet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Eddie Jordan
...
...
...
...
Fred Karger
...
...
Dana Goldstone ...
...
Mozelle Hyde
...
Natasha Lytess
...
Milton Krasner
...
Commissary Photographer
...
Preacher
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Norma Jean and Marilyn  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

Norma Jean and Marilyn wear earrings for pierced earlobes. The real Marilyn Monroe did not have pierced earlobes, and wore clip earrings. See more »

Quotes

Marilyn Monroe: Oh, no, Johnny, you need your rest.
Johnny Hyde: I'll get my rest when I'm dead, which is going to be sooner rather than later. You know that, Marilyn.
See more »

Connections

References Raintree County (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Be Loved by You
Written by Bert Kalmar, Herbert Stothart and Harry Ruby
Performed by Mira Sorvino
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

More to it than you might think

I feel a need to defend this movie, at least against the charges that it doesn't present accurate characterizations of Marilyn Monroe. First of all, for someone to decide that Mira Sorvino plays Marilyn as an extension of her screen persona and not as she "really was" is specious at best. The way public figures behave off-camera isn't exactly something we as an audience can make a decision on. You don't know what happens behind those closed doors. That's why they're closed, so you can't see what's going on.

But, really, that's beside the point. Whether or not Marilyn was truly like Sorvino plays her isn't really an issue. The surreal qualities of Norma Jean & Marilyn give ample indication that the filmmakers had no intention to go out and make a straightforward biopic. What they have in mind here is more complex. As heavy-handed as it may be, the symbolism is the real focus of the movie. Marilyn Monroe had two identities, and Sorvino and Ashley Judd go to great pains to illustrate in no uncertain terms that these two identities were in conflict with one another. The very different characterizations aren't saying that Marilyn was two different people. They are simply a case of filmmakers taking dramatic license to exaggerate something for the sake of making it clearer: Norma Jean Dougherty reinvented herself in her mind as someone who could get what she couldn't get herself. Try not to think of this film as a study of Monroe's outward change from Norma Jean to Marilyn. Think of it as more of a look inside her head, as an analysis of all the motives and frustrations bouncing around in her mind, and ultimately serving to identify her more than any physical appearances could ever do. It doesn't matter whether or not she really saw the word "Bourbon" and read it as "Bonbon." As the film lays it out, this is her image of herself, and in reflex, everyone else's image of her.

And then there are those who will complain that it isn't right to speculate on someone's image of herself. But you can't ask a film to stick completely to facts. Conjecture is what makes nonfiction interesting. And it is what makes Norma Jean & Marilyn interesting.

On the acting and in response to those who see the film as "soapy" and "campy": Life is a soap opera. Most of us are able to keep that at bay and live life as a perfectly reasonable chain of events. But desperate people historically are not able to do that. Drama is what they have, and drama is how they can get results. Marilyn, as the film puts it (and remember, you need to always look at a film like this on its own merits, especially when it doesn't portray itself as factual, which this one emphatically does not) is one of these desperate people, and the script respects that as a mean to that untimely end. Mira Sorvino's performance understands this. Yes, it's pretty wooden at first, but by the time she sings Happy Birthday to President Kennedy, hopped up on her crutch of barbituates and alcohol, her Marilyn has become fully realized in the downward spiral that will eventually take her life. Coupled with Ashley Judd's commanding performance as the girl who can only get what she wants by becoming someone else, and Sorvino's performance makes a full, tragic character, keeping to that perception of Marilyn Monroe as the eternal blonde bombshell legend.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Crap jimbojone22
How many of you have been waiting for this to finally come out on DVD? Jezabella
Wrong Facts Monztra
This is for JOS87 disco_diamond
Based On A Book evil_cupcake
A great movie to see... marilynmonroe96
Discuss Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?