In order to develop her acting skills, and tackle meatier, dramatic roles for her new production company, Marilyn Monroe joined the Actors Studio in 1955. Having made a favorable impression on teacher Lee Strasberg, Marilyn went on to make what many consider her greatest film, " Bus Stop." And she threw herself into the role of Cherie, a second rate lounge singer in a rural truck stop. As Bo, the brusque, rodeo cowboy who spends the entire film in pursuit of her, Don Murray makes an auspicious film debut. "Bus Stop" benefits greatly from a terrific supporting cast comprised of seasoned character actors like Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field and Eileen Heckart.
The plot is based on two plays by William Inge, who had scored a huge success the year before with "Picnic." But "Bus Stop" is no "Picnic!" The sameness of the storyline, Bo's consistent, obnoxious behavior, and Marilyn's overdone Southern drawl begin to grate somewhat after the first hour. Yet there are many wonderful and poignant moments, and the effective location photography, and live rodeo footage make "Bus Stop" a very watchable film.
20th Century Fox's new Blu-ray features a widescreen print presented in the original aspect ratio. The picture quality is very good, but not outstanding. It is inconceivable that,in presenting a key Marilyn Monroe film like "Bus Stop," the studio included no extras at all save for a few theatrical trailers. Although this version does offer the finest overall quality currently available for this title, the new edition is a bit of a disappointment.