Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

The 50’s weren’t’ known for being accepting of female sexuality. That’s why this film, where Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russel play two showgirls, was such a big hit. As these two lady entertainers travel across Europe they get themselves into some troublesome situations. Monroe plays a ‘dumb blond’ character, but her dance moves are what really put her on the map as an actress.

Bus Stop (1956)

In this film, Monroe plays a singer in a nightclub who leads on a young man. The film got mixed reviews, not necessarily because of the plot, but because her singing and acting was seen as mediocre. Hollywood never really gave Monroe a real chance at becoming a successful actress after this. Her films were more known for showcasing females in lead roles and defying the gender stereotypes at the time.

Some Like it Hot (1959)

Sex, cross-dressing, and displays of homosexuality were the taboo topics that this movie brought forth to society. At a time when people ignored ‘uncomfortable’ topics, Monroe openly displayed them in this groundbreaking film. Her way of questioning societal norms via comedy made the film widely popular, but also very controversial.