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10 Iconic Marilyn Monroe Movies You Can Watch Right Now

From 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' to 'Some Like it Hot' treat yourself to a Marilyn Monroe-athon

In the six decades since her untimely death, Marilyn Monroe and her tragic tale of fame and loss have reached mythic proportions. As one of the most captivating stars to ever grace the silver screen, she is both an icon and a lightning rod — a woman whose bombshell-with-a broken-heart persona is as relevant today as it was more than a half-century ago.

Monroe is endlessly fascinating, and she’s never too far from the news, whether there’s a controversial biopic about her, an auction of her personal belongings or a modern-day celebrity wearing her dress. No one else inspires this much cultural conversation so long after her passing, and there’s no better way to honor her than by watching her films and seeing what a brightly shining star she truly was.

There’s a Marilyn for every mood, and we’ve gathered some of our favorite Marilyn Monroe movies you can stream right now. And whether you grew up watching her classics, or are seeing her on your screen for the very first time, she is sure to capture your heart.

1. Musical Marilyn: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

It doesn’t get more glamorous than Monroe singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” while dolled up and surrounded by suitors (in a scene that’s been referenced by everyone from Madonna to Miss Piggy). In this gloriously Technicolor comedy, Monroe and Jane Russell make a perfect blonde/brunette pair, as showgirl pals looking for love and money at sea. The musical numbers are a true feast for the eyes (and ears), and the combination of glamorous and flattering 1950s fashions and slapstick humor makes it one of Monroe’s finest showcases.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is available to stream on The Criterion Channel and other services.

2. Comedic Marilyn: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time, Some Like It Hot features Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane, a ukulele player who becomes part of some truly hilarious hijinks once Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, both in drag, join her all-female band.

Watching Monroe — in all her ultra-feminine movie star glory — interact with Lemmon and Curtis is pure joy, and her effervescent smile lights up the black-and-white screen.

Some Like It Hot you can stream on Max and other services.

3. Marilyn in the windswept dress: The Seven Year Itch (1955)

In The Seven Year Itch, the film that gave us the legendary image of Monroe standing over a breezy subway grate in her white halter dress (designed by William Travilla and sold at auction for $4.6 million), Monroe is credited as “The Girl.” As the upstairs neighbor to the protagonist, Monroe is presented as object of male fantasy. However, as Vulture put it, she’s also “a ray of sunshine cutting through the fog of the film. She’s bubbly, gorgeous, and captivating.” No matter what role she’s in, we can’t help but love her.

The Seven Year Itch is available to stream on Tubi and other services.

4. Femme fatale Marilyn: Niagara (1953)

If you want to see Monroe’s “bad girl” side, Niagara is the one to watch. In this visually vibrant but thematically dark film, she plays a femme fatale plotting to murder her husband. The movie marked one of Monroe’s first leading roles, and her star profile only grew from there — she starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes later the same year.

Niagara is available to stream on the The Criterion Channel and other services.

5. Mysterious Marilyn: Don’t Bother To Knock (1952)

Don’t Bother To Knock may not be one of Monroe’s best-known movies, but many people consider it among her finest performances. In this tense thriller, she plays a young babysitter who may not be who she says she is. Monroe expertly shifts between seductiveness and vulnerability, and the part of a woman battling her demons while using her feminine wiles feels particularly apt to the actress’ real-life struggles.

Don’t Bother To Knock is available to stream on The Criterion Channel and other services.

6. Dramatic Marilyn: Bus Stop (1956)

Bus Stop is known for being a departure from Marilyn’s more glammed-up comic roles. Playing a nightclub singer who gets entangled with a naive cowboy, Monroe challenged herself with this part, using an Ozark accent and wearing more understated costumes and less makeup than she did in previous roles. Critics took note, and applauded her from breaking away from her established onscreen persona.

Bus Stop is available to stream on The Criterion Channel and other services.

7. Marilyn the model: How To Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Monroe stars alongside fellow Hollywood icons Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall in this splashy comedy. The trio of fabulous ladies play fashion models on the hunt for wealthy men. The movie perfectly captures mid-century New York, and it features the rare but precious sight of Monroe in glasses. Much like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, it’s just the sort of escapist rom-com that’s ideal for a girl’s night in.

How To Marry a Millionaire is available to stream on The Criterion Channel and other services.

8. Marilyn’s final film: The Misfits (1961)

The Misfits was the final completed film for both Monroe and leading man/heartthrob Clark Gable. Written by Arthur Miller, Monroe’s then-husband, the Western drama’s production was difficult, as the actress struggled with drinking and prescription drug use, as well as the ongoing dissolution of her marriage. While the initial release of The Misfits was a box office failure, today it’s considered a great, if troubled, classic that gave viewers a last look at one of Hollywood’s brightest stars.

Related: Marilyn Monroe Husbands: A Look at the Hollywood Icon’s Three Marriages

The Misfits is available to stream on The Roku Channel and other services.

9. A Marilyn biopic: My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Actress Michelle Williams plays Monroe in this film that’s set during the making of The Prince and the Showgirl, a 1957 film in which Marilyn starred with Laurence Olivier (played here by Kenneth Branagh). The period piece is based on a book by Colin Clark, a British writer and filmmaker who worked as a naive assistant on The Prince and the Showgirl. My Week With Marilyn shows some of the drama that went on behind the scenes, like Monroe showing up to set late and frequently forgetting her lines.

My Week With Marilyn is available to stream on Max and other services

10. Marilyn the writer: Love, Marilyn (2012)

There are a lot of documentaries about Marilyn Monroe out there, and most of them veer toward sensationalizing the tragic side of her life. Not so with Love, Marilyn, a film that looks at a collection of the star’s writings — discovered 50 years after her death — using archival footage and readings by actresses like Uma Thurman, Marisa Tomei and Glenn Close. The documentary gives us a deeper perspective on Monroe using her own words.

Love, Marilyn is available to rent from Amazon and other services.  

Marilyn movie night!

Marilyn Monroe’s screen presence remains just as potent now as it was over half a century ago, and any of these choices would make for a fabulous movie night. Get into the spirit of things by swiping on some red lipstick or toasting to Marilyn with a glass of champagne, and it’s sure to be a delightfully glam affair.

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