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Is Marilyn Monroe Our Greatest Sex Symbol?

Updated on November 11, 2017

Marilyn: brains and beauty

In a word, yes. In all of movie history no woman has defined sex appeal like Marilyn Monroe. There have been numerous actresses that have captivated audiences but none have had the impact like Marilyn. She oozed a raw sexuality that has yet to be duplicated by any other actress. There have been numerous pretenders and imitators but no one comes close to to Marilyn.

It is a testament to her appeal that she is as well known today as she was during her sex symbol years in the 1950's and 1960's.

Ask anyone today who is the ultimate sex symbol and the vast majority would reply "Marilyn".

She was cast in many of her roles as the "dumb blonde" but she was anything but.Like many women of that era she was completely objectified on screen and off but her talent could not be denied either. She was obviously a dream to look at but she wanted very much to be taken seriously as an actress.

She had marvelous comedic timing. You could see that in many of her roles particularly "Some Like it Hot". Some of her most famous roles, as well as her most beautiful were in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "Niagra", "How to Marry a Millionaire" and "The Seven Year Itch".

She may have been the greatest sex symbol but that never stopped her from being well-read. She was always seeking to improve her craft. In many respects she was both brains and beauty.

Her sex appeal was apparent with her natural curves supposedly an eye-popping 37-23-37 .

I think one reason I believe she is considered our greatest sex symbol is that she died in her prime. Unlike many aging actresses, she died while still beautiful and desirable. People will only remember the sultry screen siren.

Photo credit: Fotopedia

Marilyn Monroe Movies

Which is your favorite Marilyn movie?

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Marilyn Monroe Movies on Blu Ray

Forever Marilyn Collection [Blu-ray]
Forever Marilyn Collection [Blu-ray]

This is the collection I own. It contains:

Disc 1: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Disc 2: How to Marry a Millionaire

Disc 3: River of No Return

Disc 4: There's No Business Like Show Business

Book 2:

Disc 5: The Seven Year Itch

Disc 6: Some Like it Hot

Disc 7: The Misfits

The blu-ray conversion is pretty good. Probably not worth the upgrade if you already have the DVD collection.


On the Set of Seven Year Itch

This is without question my favorite photo of Marilyn. Of all the thousands of photos I like this one for its beauty and simplicity. She seemed so calm and lovely. Just a woman doing her job enjoying the day, it seems. It was captured on the set of 'Seven Year Itch' which I always thought funny as sexy as the part she played in the picture, it does not come across in this photos

Marilyn Monroe on Being a Sex Symbol

"I don't mind being glamorous and sexual. But it is a burden"

Few women had more control of their sexuality than Marilyn. She could turn it on and off on dime. And there were many instances she did so. Stories were told of her walking down the sidewalk with a friend and asking if they wanted her to "turn her on" referring to Marilyn. She did and instantly went from someone not noticed to the biggest movie star in the world.

Smoldering Scene in Niagara

There can be little doubt of Marilyn's sex appeal in this clip from the movie "Niagara". Dressed in a figure hugging red dress she simply smolders on the screen.

The Famous Marilyn Subway Dress Scene

This is the famous scene where Marilyn's dress get blown up around her thighs as she stands over a grate that blows up air as the subway passes. The scene is one of the most iconic in all of movie history. The dress even has its place in history as well as you can find plenty of women wearing it for Halloween and costume parties.

Interestingly the scene got her in hot water with her then husband Joe DiMaggio. He did not enjoy seeing his wife being objectified by the onlookers for the scene.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Trailer

Her famous "Diamonds are Girls Best Friend" singing routine with the luscious Jane Russell, Marilyn showed her talent at singing and dancing as well as showing off her amazing curves. This is a wonderful movie full of her comedic talents. I particularly enjoy seeing the different outfits the producers have Marilyn wear in the movie.

Monroe, Grable and Bacall in How to Marry a Milionaire

Three of the most glamorous women of their time. Stylish with amazing sex appeal, Monroe, Bacall and Grable light up the screen in this light comedy. The modelling scene is a particular favorite.

'My Week With Marilyn' Trailer

A glorious movie starring Michell Williams as the iconic Monroe. This great actress nails the part of Monroe. She shows her vulnerability in a heart wrenching manner. One of my favorite movies.

My Week With Marilyn

My Week with Marilyn [Blu-ray]
My Week with Marilyn [Blu-ray]

Michelle Williams totally nails the part of Marilyn. This movie is set against the backdrop of "The Prince and the Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier. The movie is based on the memoir of Colin Clark who became the confidant of the wildly insecure Monroe while the movie was being filmed. Excellent acting. Williams was spectacular.


Marilyn and Chanel No. 5

"What do you wear to bed?" Marilyn responded, "CHANEL No 5."

Marilyn Monroe Chanel No. 5

Marilyn Monroe Chanel No. 5
Marilyn Monroe Chanel No. 5

Many people consider dress flying up around Marilyn's thighs in the movie "The Seven Year Itch" to be the sexiest image of this actress. I find it to be the most iconic. I find this advertisement for Chanel No. 5 to be more alluring.

Do you have a favorite Marilyn Monroe movie?

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    • ShariSmith profile image

      ShariSmith 5 years ago

      here's my top 4: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Some Like It Hot (1959) and Let's Make Love (1960)

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Nice lens! Marilyn Monroe rocks.

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      If not the best, she is near the top.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 5 years ago from Upstate, NY

      FYI - You have a typo in the module title (Niagra).