Plot: What’s it about?
It isn’t always easy to chase down love, as a young cowboy named Beau (Don Murray) soon discovers. While in Phoenix, Beau happens to cross paths with Cherie (Marilyn Monroe), a beautiful cafe singer and the rest, as they say, was history. He falls head over heels in love with her and is determined to make her his wife, but it won’t be that simple this time. She runs away to Los Angeles, but of course, he manages to track her down and soon enough, his plan continues. After he fails to make her join him by her own accord, he then pretty much kidnaps her and forces her to board a bus, which is headed toward Montana. As time passes, the bus soon pulls over a spell at a small diner, Gracie’s and soon, it is learned the road is blocked ahead. This means the band of bus riders have to spend the night in the area and of course, it seems like everyone knows that Cherie has been brought along against her wishes. But Beau is convinced his actions were right and that sooner or later, Cherie will realize they were destined to be together.
I’ve now waded through most of Fox’s The Diamond Collection discs, but I by no means tired of seeing Marilyn, not by a long shot. Bus Stop was the next installment in the series and as usual, Marilyn proves to be the center of attention. But in this case, she proves that she has more than just good looks, as she turns in a dynamic performance. If you doubt her skills as a real actress, then spin this disc and those doubts will dissolve, as she is excellent here. In addition, most of the other performances are also terrific and the direction is solid also, not much to complain about with Bus Stop. I’m sure some small flaws could be picked on, but since the film is so effective on the other planes, I see no reason to be that particular in this review. The story is not the most original one you’ll see, but enough new elements are tossed in, so it never seems recycled. Bus Stop has humor, drama, romance, and more and in truth, stands as one of my personal favorites. I could watch this film all the time and never tire of it, that’s how lovable the whole picture is. I highly recommend this disc and film, but if you’re a Marilyn fanatic, then just pick up the entire Diamond Collection, the releases are well worth the cost.
As I mentioned above, this is where Marilyn really shows her chops as an actress, which has to impress viewers. I know she is best known for her looks and charm, but she always had potential as a real actress, which came to fruition here. You could see sparks in other performances, but in Bus Stop, Marilyn proved she was worthy of her star status once and for all. All the classic Marilyn elements are found here, such as her sense of humor and of course, stunning beauty, but she turns in a wonderful performance all around, very good indeed. Her turn here never ceases to amaze me, as it is such a treat to see her live up to her full potential. You can also see Marilyn in such films as The Asphalt Jungle, The Misfits, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Clash by Night, The Prince and The Showgirl, and The Seven Year Itch. The cast also includes Don Murray (I Am The Cheese, The Viking Queen), Betty Field (Butterfield 8, Tomorrow the World), Eileen Heckart (The First Wives Club, Heartbreak Ridge), Hope Lange (Death Wish, Blue Velvet), and Arthur O’Connell (The Poseidon Adventure, Anatomy of a Murder).
Video: How does it look?
Bus Stop is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The case claims the transfer is 1.85:1, but have no fears, as the image is shown in the proper form here. As has been the case with all the films in The Diamond Collection, Bus Stop has been remastered and restored, so it looks better than ever. The included restoration comparison is a real eye opener, to be sure. The print used looks very clean and shows minimal wear, so fans will be very pleased indeed. The colors look bright and much richer than ever before, while flesh tones are warm and natural, just as they should be. The contrast is even and consistent, both in terms of black levels and detail presence. I commend Fox for giving this film the treatment it deserves, as I am sure many others will be doing, once they’ve seen this release.
Audio: How does it sound?
This movie doesn’t have much in terms of powerful audio, but the included 4.0 surround track affords it an enjoyable experience. The speakers all see some attention with this mix, but don’t expect a reference level track, just a more than adequate one. The materials have little in terms of age related flaws, so the elements can surface in terrific form here, which they do. The music sounds immersive in this presentation, while sound effects also come through very nicely, no real complaints in those areas. No issues with dialogue either, all the vocals are in proper order and I heard no instances of harshness or thinness. This disc also includes additional tracks in English (stereo) and French (mono), as well as subtitles in Spanish and English.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc houses a restoration comparison, a selection lobby cards, a post card illustration, and of course, the film’s theatrical trailer.