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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Movie Review: "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953)

Eh.

I'm having a really blah day and a ton of homework, and so despite the fact I watched a few interesting movies recently, I'm going to be lazy and give you a short review today. Sorry :(

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The poster:Well, Lauren's the star of this, but the poster is obviously in Marilyn's favor. (Wonder why... hmm..)

The plot:
In this classic comedy, three New York models (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) set up an apartment with a mission: They plan to use their looks, charm and talent to catch and marry a trio of millionaires. The gold-digging dames' outrageous man-hunting scheme does attract wealthy candidates, but, love and money don't appear to coexist; all three women must choose between the extremes. [from Netflix]

The starring players:
  • Lauren Bacall as Schatze Page
  • Betty Grable as Loco Dempsey
  • Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise
  • William Powell as J.D Hanley
The verdict:
★★★ 1/2

It's uncommon to find a film with three female leads, but here's one for you. And it's a batch of three popular blonds, as well - Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Grable. Betty and Lauren were still popular but had had their prime in the 40's; as for Marilyn, she was at the peak of her popularity and riding high. It's really Lauren's film but Marilyn gets top billing (and the film poster is obviously in her favor). My favorite was Betty Grable, though. Her character is stupidly sweet and a riot to watch. Lauren Bacall is equally endearing as Schatze and the same goes for Marilyn who surprisingly ditched her usually seductive appearance for glasses. Love the witty script (at one point when Lauren is trying to convince her aging beau that the age difference doesn't matter, she points out she finds old guys attractive, like Roosevelt and Churchill and "that old what's his fella in The African Queen," in a cheeky reference to Bogie... another is a nod to Harry James, Betty's trumpeter husband at the time). Was nominated for Best Costume Design and it makes sense, the costumes are lavish and gorgeous and any fashion fan would want to watch. Catch William Powell in the role of the aging beau. Very splashy and not the greatest movie ever but a fun a rom-com out of Old Hollywood and Betty, Lauren, and Marilyn make it all worth it.

The bottom line:
Fun, splashy entertaining film - the three leads and William Powell, in addition to a witty script, makes it worthwhile.

Some photos:




Some trivia:
  • One of the first movies to have its score recorded in a stereo.
  • Betty Grable received top billing in the credits, but Marilyn Monroe was promoted the most in trailers and posters; whereas the real star of the film was Lauren Bacall.
A movie tidbit:



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 Happy Sunday! :) 

11 comments:

Dani said...

I'm tempted to go watch this movie, as they're showing it in a theater near my house. Well, it's not that near, but at least it's in the same city I live in, and you know how rare it is to be able to watch a classic in the theater...
Anyhow, good luck with all the homework. I did some homework myself today, so I'm actually feeling quite productive :)

KimWilson said...

The wardrobe is great. I think all three ladies are really funny in this. And, yes, it was strange watching Marilyn with glasses!

Martin Turnbull said...

I remember reading about the making of this movie in Bacall's autobiog. She talked about how it was to make the movie with MM and what she was like. By the end of production, she said she felt that MM had come to trust her but then of course the filming finished and that was the end of that. That was probably what MM's life was like.

Rianna said...

Oh, wow, you should definitely go catch it!! It's so rare to see classic films in a movie theater with a bunch of other people. TCM is conducting a nationwide reshowing of Casablanca sometime this month (I think) for its 70th anniversary, but there isn't anyone near where I live. Oh well. The point is: you ought to see it! :)

Rianna said...

I agree with you on everything. This was a really witty movie I thought, and the costumes are gorgeous. I'm not a MM fan but I enjoyed her in this.

Rianna said...

I've read Lauren's autobiography too. I agree; Marilyn's life seems to have been a string of abrupt relationships and friendships, I think things would've ended better for her if someone was with her long term. Or if she had let someone be with her. I'm not a fan of hers but I understand she had a fragile personality due to a terrible childhood.

Kristen said...

Love your blog and the post! I saw How to Marry a Millionaire for my Month with Marilyn on my own blog and while I didn't care for it, any movie starring both Lauren Bacall and Marilyn is tops in my book!

StanwyckFan said...

Hello, Rianna. I tagged you for a blog award. Read the rules here : http://theswingmood.blogspot.com/2012/03/awards-awards-awards.html

<3

Rianna said...

Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you like my blog/post! :)

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