Mississippi has several ties to Hollywood. Movies such as O Brother, Where Art Thou, The Client, The Help, and many more have been filmed in The Magnolia State.
We’re Not Married” was not filmed in Mississippi. However, the storyline did take place in the Hospitality State. This 1952 anthology romantic comedy stars the iconic Marilyn Monroe as Annabel Jones, whose character is crowned Miss Mississippi in the film.
Born in 1926 as Norma Jeane Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe reached superstar status by the 1950s. As a California native and lifelong resident, Monroe isn’t typically associated with Mississippi, especially small-town Mississippi — Senatobia, to be exact.
In the film, Monroe portrays Miss Senatobia, who is competing for the Miss Mississippi title. The city of Senatobia is now a small yet bustling community located only 30 minutes south of Memphis, Tennessee. Located in Tate County, along Interstate 55, it currently has a population of about 7,000 people, so you can imagine how small this northern Mississippi city was in 1952!
We’re Not Married is a romantic comedy about an elderly Justice of the Peace, Mr. Bush. When Mr. Bush is appointed, he starts marrying couples on Christmas Eve. However, his appointment takes effect on the first of January. Later, this issue became known when one of the six couples he married filed for divorce. The remaining five couples are informed that they are not really married to avoid a bigger scandal. The film then shows how the other couples react to the news.
Jeff and Annabel Norris, played by Monroe, are among the five remaining couples. Monroe’s character, who is already Mrs. Senatobia, had been planning to enter the Mrs. Mississippi contest, but at the news of their “non-marriage,” her husband sees that she loses her title because he is tired of caring for their child. In true Marylin Monroe style, with Mississippi spirit, Annabel turns around and enters the Miss Mississippi contest, competing as Miss Senatobia, and unsurprisingly wins the crown and title of Miss Mississippi.
Watch as Marilyn Monroe is crowned Miss Mississippi here.
Along with Monroe, the film includes a star-studded cast, including Ginger Rogers, Fred Allen, Victor Moore, Eve Arden, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eddie Bracker, Mitzi Gaynor, and more. We Were Never Married was released by 20th Century Fox and directed by Edmund Goulding.
In the end, Annabel’s husband is pleased his now fiancé won Miss Mississippi, and they reunite.
Marilyn Monroe’s fictional stint as Miss Mississippi is one of the many films that led to her success, as she continued to charm audiences on and off the big screen.