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Goodbye, Norma Jean (1976)

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 »


Larry Buchanan




Cast overview, first billed only:
Misty Rowe ... Norma Jean Baker
Terence Locke Terence Locke ... Ralph Johnson
Patch Mackenzie ... Ruth Latimer
Preston Hanson Preston Hanson ... Hal James
Marty Zagon Marty Zagon ... Irving Oblach
Andre Philippe Andre Philippe ... Sam Dunn
Adele Claire Adele Claire ... Beverly
Sal Ponti ... Randy Palmer
Paula Mitchell Paula Mitchell ... Cynthia Palmer
Jean Sarah Frost Jean Sarah Frost ... Ethel
Lilyan McBride Lilyan McBride ... House Mother
Burr Middleton Burr Middleton ... Sleasy Photographer
Stuart Lancaster ... George
Ivy Bethune Ivy Bethune ... Ruby Kirshner
Robert Gribbin ... Terry (as Robert Gribbon)


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 self-confidence, but photographer Ralph Johnson takes some publicity shots and convinces her to try for her dream, and supports her as she's bounced from casting couches to sleazy photo shoots. She befriends once-powerful producer Hal James, who tries to steer her toward her dream of stardom, to where she will eventually be known as Marilyn Monroe. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was soon to become the greatest sex symbol the world has ever known. See more »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In casting the role of Marilyn Monroe, director Larry Buchanan conducted a "National Marilyn Monroe Lookalike Contest" which was won by unknown 21-year-old Alexis Pederson. After reading the script Pederson turned down the role and instead it was offered to Misty Rowe, who took it. See more »


Referenced in 'Halloween' Unmasked 2000 (1999) See more »

User Reviews

You did know there was a sequel, right?
19 September 2003 | by judex-1See all my reviews

Rather surprised not to see "Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn" listed as a Larry Buchanan movie, or mentioned here. "GSM" is the sequel Buchanan mainly edited together in 1989. Two actresses are credited for the title role, Misty Rowe as "Norma Jean Baker", and Paula Lane as "Marilyn Munroe". The big problem is that all Misty's scenes are from the first film, (I vaguely recall some possible redubbing of scenes, but it has been years), and there isn't a whole lot of credible resemblance between the actresses. While "Goodbye, Norma Jean" showed a bit of flair, reminiscent of Buchanan's "Art" film, "Strawberries Need Rain", I'm afraid that this overblown cut-and-paste job, is definitely the work of the man who gave us "Zontar, The Thing From Venus". It kind of started the whole trend of "sequels that use as little new footage as possible", later a hallmark of the dreadful "Silent Night, Deadly Night" series. Over half of "Goodbye, Norma Jean" gets repeated here, and not even the filmstocks match. As often happens with his work, Buchanan was both ahead, and behind, the times simultaneously.


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Australia | USA



Release Date:

February 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Marilyn See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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