Film series to feature Marilyn Monroe in February

Ogunquit Performing Arts will present a film series featuring Marilyn Monroe on  Sundays during February.
Ogunquit Performing Arts will present a film series featuring Marilyn Monroe on Sundays during February.
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OGUNQUIT - Ogunquit Performing Arts will present a series of films featuring Marilyn Monroe on Sundays at 2 p.m. during February at the Dunaway Center. Admission is free as is parking and popcorn.

The Marilyn Monroe Film Series will showcase the best of Marilyn Monroe. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962), Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage. Famous for playing comedic characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's sexual revolution.

Monroe was a top-billed actress for only a decade, but her films grossed $200 million (equivalent to $2 billion in 2020) by the time of her death in 1962. Long after her death, Monroe remains a major icon of pop culture.

Feb. 6: 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'

Directed by Howard Hawks, this 1953 American musical comedy stars Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and Charles Coburn with music written by Hoagy Carmichael and Jule Styne.

Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) is a beautiful showgirl engaged to be married to the wealthy Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan), much to the disapproval of Gus' rich father, Esmond Sr., who thinks that Lorelei is just after his money. When Lorelei goes on a cruise accompanied only by her best friend, Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell), Esmond Sr. hires Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid), a private detective, to follow her and report any questionable behavior that would disqualify her from the marriage. The film features several musical numbers by Russell and Monroe, including Marilyn's show-stopping performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Feb. 13: 'Niagara'

This film noir production, starring Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters, tells the story of an ordinary couple on an overdue vacation who witness the distressing and suspicious actions of another couple staying in a neighboring tourist cabin overlooking Niagara Falls. Ray and Polly Cutler, on a delayed honeymoon, become unwillingly involved in the troubled and volatile marriage of George and Rose Loomis. The incredible film scenery lends itself to this plot filled with illicit love and murder!

Feb. 20: 'Some Like It Hot'

Filmed in 1959 and rated one of the all-time best films, this screwball comedy stars not only Marilyn Monroe but Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Joe E. Brown, and George Raft. After witnessing a Mafia murder in Chicago, slick saxophone player Joe (Tony Curtis) and his long-suffering buddy, Jerry (Jack Lemmon), improvise a quick plan to escape from Chicago with their lives. Disguising themselves as women, they join an all-female jazz band and hop a train bound for sunny Florida. They remind themselves while vying for the attention of Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), that they are posing as women and cannot pursue her. The film initially met with mixed reviews due to the notoriety of the cross dressing at the time, although it won four Academy Awards. Some Like it Hot was Monroe’s final comedic film performance.

Feb. 27: 'The Misfits'

The film tells the dramatic story of the relationships among a group of people in the western Nevada desert in 1960: a newly divorced woman (Marilyn Monroe), her friendly landlady (Thelma Ritter), an over-the-hill cowboy (Clark Gable) with whom she falls in love, the cowboy's tow truck-driving and plane-flying friend (Eli Wallach), and their rodeo-riding, bronc-busting friend (Montgomery Clift).

Adapted by Arthur Miller from his own short story of the same name, (as a vehicle for his then-wife Marilyn Monroe), the making of The Misfits was troublesome on several accounts, not the least of which was the breakdown of their marriage. Nonetheless, the film received critical acclaim for its script and performances,and many critics now consider it to be a masterpiece. Unhappily, this was the last film for both Gable and Monroe. Gable became ill two days after filming and died ten days later; Monroe died of a drug overdose 18 months later.

Seating in the Dunaway Center is socially distanced; masks are required.

Film cancellations due to weather will be posted on the website by 12 noon on the Sunday. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Film series to feature Marilyn Monroe in February