Picks and Pans Review: Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair

updated 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/09/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

USA (Wed., Aug. 4, 9 p.m. ET)

C+

The USA press release describes this sordid film as a "fictional account of the alleged romance" between movie star Marilyn Monroe (played by Melody Anderson) and then Attorney General Robert Kennedy (James F. Kelly). "Fictional" is a good word. But others spring to mind, such as fanciful, feverish and degrading.

No scandal is left unmongered. We see FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover (Richard Dysart) in bed with another man. Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (Thomas Wagner) orders a hit on RFK, but mobster Sam Giancana (Raymond Serra) overrules him because, he says, the Mafia is working with the White House.

The overheated charade culminates on the night of Marilyn's death in 1962 in a scene right out of the Marx Brothers as various groups of men scramble furtively around Monroe's properly, hiding from one another, each trying to recover the movie star's tell-all diary.

This history-as-soap-opera has a certain lurid fascination. But in the process it trivializes and cheapens two famous, much-adored figures who can no longer defend themselves.

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