Marilyn (1953 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wolf Rilla|
|Produced by||Ernest G. Roy|
|Written by||Wolf Rilla|
|Story by||Peter Jones (play Marion)|
|Music by||Wilfred Burns|
|Edited by||Peter Seabourne|
|Distributed by||Butcher's Film Service (UK)|
Astor Pictures (US)
August 1955 (US)
Drifter mechanic Tom Price (Reed) lusts after seductive Marilyn (Dorne), the young wife of ill-tempered garage owner George Saunders (Dwyer). Assuming (correctly) that Marilyn is fooling around with his employee, Saunders angrily confronts him. Defending himself, Tom accidentally kills his boss. Marilyn helps him to cover up the crime - the inquest verdict is "accidental death" - and they begin a new life together.
Several months later the couple are running a just-getting-by "American bar". Wealthy businessman Nicky Everton (Mayne) agrees to lend the couple some money, believing that Marilyn will offer her affections as repayment. Everton later changes his mind as he feels they won't be happy in the longer term; and Price also walks out, frustrated by her erratic behaviour and in particular her lack of lasting commitment to him. Throughout all this, Rosie, Marilyn's maid, has kept the dark secret of Saunders' death to herself, until she is taken for granted once too often by her self-centred boss. Marilyn is left alone with her hopes and fears.
Marilyn was selected by film historians Steve Chibnall and Brian McFarlane as one of the 15 most meritorious British B films made between World War II and 1970. The authors note that it is "symptomatic of a transatlantic turn in the British 'B'" and praise its depiction of a "pervasive sense of dissatisfaction with things as they are".