6.1/10
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41 user 4 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:

Tim Fywell

Writers:

Anthony Summers (book), Jill Isaacs
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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Stephan Elliott
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashley Judd ... Norma Jean Dougherty
Mira Sorvino ... Marilyn Monroe
Josh Charles ... Eddie Jordan
Ron Rifkin ... Johnny Hyde
David Dukes ... Arthur Miller
Peter Dobson ... Joe DiMaggio
Taylor Nichols ... Fred Karger
John Rubinstein ... Darryl Zanuck
Allan Corduner ... Billy Wilder
Dana Goldstone Dana Goldstone ... Lee Strasberg
Micole Mercurio ... Mozelle Hyde
Lindsay Crouse ... Natasha Lytess
John Apicella ... Milton Krasner
Robert Alan Beuth ... Commissary Photographer
Frank Birney ... Preacher
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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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Marilyn Monroe was our fantasy. Norma Jean was her reality. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Norma Jean and Marilyn See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Home Box Office (HBO) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The film's title misspells Norma Jean(e)'s name by omitting the "e" at the end of her name. This might have to do with the fact that her name was incorrectly misspelled on her birth certificate which omitted the "e". Nonetheless all official documents throughout Marilyn's life have her listed as either Norma Jeane Baker, Dougherty, or Mortenson (her mother's second husband's last name). Ironically, however, during the film, when Norma Jeane slips Ted Lewis a napkin with her name name and phone number on it, we see that she has correctly spelled her name with the "e" at the end of it. 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 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Not entirely truthful but reasonably entertaining
23 July 2007 | by hall895See all my reviews

If you're looking to see the "true story" of Marilyn Monroe's life you're probably better off skipping this movie. Norma Jean & Marilyn takes great liberties with the facts in trying to spice up the drama. There are plenty of half-truths and flat-out non-truths littered throughout. But if you can get past that you may find that this still manages to be a reasonably worthwhile movie. It's not an accurate biographical account of Marilyn Monroe's life, it's a dramatization. And not a bad dramatization at that.

This is a movie with a gimmick in that there are two Marilyn Monroes. Ashley Judd plays the icon in her younger days as unknown Norma Jean. Mira Sorvino takes over when Hollywood transforms Norma Jean into Marilyn Monroe. But we have not heard the last of Norma Jean as Judd continues to pop up now and again as an inner voice so to speak, sometimes to encourage and sometimes to berate and ridicule Sorvino's Marilyn. The point being that young Norma Jean desperately wanted to be a star and refuses to allow Marilyn to screw things up. Suffice to say these constant appearances by her younger self do not help Marilyn's state of mind as her life begins to spiral out of control towards her inevitable sad end. The two lead actresses perform their roles well. Judd is pitch-perfect as the desperate, driven Norma Jean. Sorvino is pretty much stuck doing a Marilyn Monroe impersonation but she makes the best of what she has to work with. As presented here the character may come off as a bit too much of a dumb blonde bimbo to really ring true. Surely, for all the myriad issues she had, the real Monroe was brighter than she's given credit for here. But it's hard to blame Sorvino, she can only portray the character as it was written. All in all it's a fairly gripping, if not entirely truthful, drama. And having two actresses play the famed icon at different points in her life adds a unique twist. This is clearly no work of genius but if you're looking for a reasonably entertaining movie you could do a lot worse.


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