Waiting for stardom: Marilyn Monroe in Dangerous Years

Question: What's the title of the first movie Marilyn Monroe appeared in, and when was it released?


Answer: This is the sort of question that looks so simple it's not worth answering, but like so many other things in life, it's more complicated than it looks. The very first film Marilyn Monroe shot was The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947), a Betty Grable musical about the women's suffrage movement; Monroe's bit part was cut out. Monroe's role in Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!, a comedy about mule training, was also a bit; it was uncredited and of her three scenes, two were deleted before the film's release. She can be seen paddling a canoe with the also-uncredited Colleen Townsend, but you really need to be looking. Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! opened on March 3, 1948, four months after the juvenile-delinquent drama Dangerous Years, which opened Dec. 17, 1947. In it, Monroe played a waitress named Evie; it was a small role, but it was a real role. Though Dangerous Years was shot after Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!, it was completed first. No one really took any notice of Monroe until 1950, when she appeared as both a mercenary little gangster's moll in John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle and as a sweet-but-dumb aspiring starlet in All About Eve.