Marilyn (1953 film)

Marilyn, released in the United States as Roadhouse Girl, is a 1953 British film noir directed by Wolf Rilla starring Sandra Dorne and Maxwell Reed.[1]

Theatrical release poster
Directed byWolf Rilla
Produced byErnest G. Roy
Written byWolf Rilla
Story byPeter Jones (play Marion)
StarringSandra Dorne
Maxwell Reed
Music byWilfred Burns
CinematographyGeoffrey Faithfull
Edited byPeter Seabourne
Distributed byButcher's Film Service (UK)
Astor Pictures (US)
Release date
1953 (UK)
August 1955 (US)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


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.


Critical reception

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".[2]


  1. Roadhouse Girl at the BFI Database
  2. Steve Chibnall & Brian McFarlane, The British 'B' Film, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2009, pp. 268–70.

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