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Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection DVD

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Released to mark the 40th anniversary of her death in 1962, The Diamond Collection brings together all of Marilyn Monroe's films for 20th Century Fox. This handsome box set stands as a salutary reminder of the considerable achievements of an actress who still reigns supreme as the greatest screen goddess of them all. The uninitiated might be surprised at the versatility of someone whose legend is founded so much on her image as a sex symbol. In particular, her touching performance as the abused second-rate bar singer Cherie in Bus Stop (1956) is a rounded study of a woman still capable of dreaming when life has done everything to dull her. The box set as a whole offers plenty of evidence that while she certainly specialised in a unique and complex variation on the blonde bombshell stereotype--embodied in her timeless performances as Lorelei Lee (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and short-sighted Pola in How to Marry a Millionaire, both 1953--she could certainly diversify. The documentary, Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days, provides a sympathetic take on the troubles and behaviour which led to her being sacked from her final picture, Something's Got to Give. The presentation of the restored footage from that movie is less successful, though, as the glimpses of Monroe's incandescent screen presence, belying her illness and depression, leave a palpable sadness in their wake. Better by far to focus on her earlier work. Whatever the role, her luminous beauty and statuesque figure, combined with an unselfconsciously joyful sexuality and an on-screen vulnerability, were always at their best under the careful guidance of directors like Billy Wilder and Otto Preminger. These qualities continue to give her an enduring appeal. On the DVD: The Diamond Collection has been digitally restored using, for the most part, the original negatives, making this a sumptuous package for any Monroe fan. Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes are both presented in standard 4:3 ratio but the rest--filmed in Cinemascope and presented here in letterbox format--are certainly better-served by widescreen viewing. The colours, like Monroe, come alive. The sound quality is crisp and Monroe's singing--she had limited but genuine musical talent--has polished up well. Multiple extras include before-and-after restoration comparisons, trailers from various countries, stills and posters, and newsreel footage. Eleven discs of Marilyn in one box, this is a veritable feast indeed. --Piers Ford

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  • Average Rating for Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection [1951] - 4 out of 5


    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • Marilyn Monroe - The Diamond Collection [1951]
    Joanne

    Having never watched a Marilyn film before and having her put down as a "one-trick" pony that is a dumb blonde, I was taken aback with the acting ability of this lady. The quality of the films are excellent and the ten films give you an excellent insight into what an astounding actress Marilyn was. The documentary disc is a bonus and gives a real insight into how Marilyn really was on set and viewing her final uncomplete film.

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