Netflix’s ‘Blonde’ recreates certain events in Marilyn Monroe’s life through a heavily fictionalized lens. The film combines the many ups and downs in her life, all of which served as great fodder for the media and the public who ravenously consumed every little detail of her private life. It takes a very brutal and unforgiving look into her story, which, at times, comes off as extremely disturbing and makes one think about all the pain and sorrow that hides in the shadows of a spotlight. If you are looking for more stories that explore such themes, then we have compiled a great list for you. Here are the movies similar to ‘Blonde’ that you can watch on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and other streaming services.
8. Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980)
While ‘Blonde’ relies more on its fictional elements to present the devastating story of Marilyn Monroe, ‘Marilyn: The Untold Story’ is more straightforward in its portrayal of the events in the superstar’s life. For starters, it acknowledges the people in her life with their real names and does not fabricate too many things so as to make the audience wonder about every single aspect of Monroe’s life. Starting from her childhood, it begins with her first marriage and the early years in which she worked as a model and created an image for herself that would later define her presence on the screen. The focus is on her meteoric rise in Hollywood and how she left behind Norma Jeane to become the Marilyn Monroe, who everyone came to love and admire.
7. This Year’s Blonde (1980)
This made-for-television film is based on the novel ‘Moviola’ by Garson Kanin and offers a look into Marilyn Monroe’s relationship with her agent, Johnny Hyde. It charts the story from the beginning of Monroe’s career when she was still Norma Jeane, trying to find out who she needed to be in order to carve a place for herself in Hollywood. Exploring her personal and professional equation with Hyde, the film, though fictional in a lot of aspects, gives the audience a look into something that ‘Blonde’ doesn’t explore.
6. Norma Jean and Marilyn (1996)
One of the main things that ‘Blonde’ establishes about its protagonist is that who she was in real life and who she became in front of the screen were two very different people. Often, we see Norma Jeane struggling to bring out Marilyn, and at one point, pleading with her onscreen persona not to abandon her. ‘Norma Jean and Marilyn’ takes it a step further by presenting both as different people, played by Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. Instead of exploring Monroe’s relationships with other people, this film looks into her own complexities and the struggles within herself.
5. Frances (1982)
Starring Jessica Lange in the lead role, ‘Frances’ follows the story of Frances Farmer. Starting from her childhood, the film focuses on her troubled upbringing, especially her relationship with her mother, which further paves the way for a difficult future. While her short-lived career in Hollywood is also explored, the story mainly revolves around her deteriorating mental health, especially as she refuses to indulge in the publicity stunts that are expected of her. It is a tragic story that makes the audience think about the price of fame, especially for young actresses.
4. Judy (2019)
Hollywood and fame have ruined the lives of a lot of talented people, and Judy Garland’s tragic story is also owed to the same. Rising to stardom with her role in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Judy becomes a Hollywood sensation. This is also when she is forced to take amphetamines and suffers mental and physical abuse at a very young age. ‘Judy’, starring Renee Zellweger in her Oscar-winning role, picks up the story in her 40s, exploring her later years, as she tries to revive her career.
3. Frida (2002)
Frida Kahlo is a celebrated cultural figure now, but while she was alive, she lived quite a turbulent life. ‘Frida’ stars Salma Hayek in the lead role and begins in 1925, with a serious accident that altered the course of Kahlo’s life. It explores the early years of her artistic growth, her complicated marriage with Diego Rivera, as well as her political views that often put her in difficult situations. At its core, the story highlights Kahlo’s indomitable spirit and how, despite all the struggles, she lived her life on her own terms.
2. Spencer (2021)
Much like Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana has been a cultural icon who was loved by the people but fell victim to the constant and invasive media scrutiny, which eventually claimed her life. While she was adored by the masses, her personal life was always in upheaval and caused a lot of pain and heartbreak for her. In ‘Spencer’, we find Diana in the Christmas of 1991 when her marriage with Prince (now King) Charles has grown cold and she considers divorce. Focusing on the events that transpired in those few days, the film gives us a sense of the incredible pressure that Diana had been living under and how trapped she felt in the royal family.
1. My Week With Marilyn (2011)
Starring Michelle Williams in the role of Marilyn Monroe, ‘My Week With Marilyn’ follows the story of a young Colin Clark who gets to meet the Hollywood actress when she arrives in London during the filming of ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’. The story is captured from the perspective of a young man who is starstruck by Monroe’s persona and the romanticism she invoked in people. This is also around the time when her marriage with Arthur Miller had started to lose its charm and focuses on the ebb and flow of her unpredictable behavior. It captures her in moments of intimate happiness, and is a much easier watch, though still heartbreaking, as compared to ‘Blonde’.