Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953).

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Romantic/comedy. Director: Jean Negulesco. Produced and written by Nunnally Johnson. Music by Alfred Newman. Cinematography: Joseph MacDonald. Costumes: Travilla. Cast: Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, William Powell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell, Alexander D'Arcy, and Fred Clark.

The story begins when, high fashion model Schatze Page, leases a luxury New York City apartment owned by Freddie Denmark, a businessman "on the lam" from the Internal Revenue Service. She quickly calls her friend calls, Pola Debevoise, to tell her that they rented the apartment.

Pola, arrives and convinces Schatze to also invite her friend Loco Dempsey, to come live with them. Loco Instructed to bring lunch, arrives with several bags of groceries and Tom Brookman, who paid for her food. Schatze, immediately kicks him out (not knowing that he is rich), tells the girls" that a man met at the cold cuts counter is not the kind of man they want to get hooked up with."

Over hot dogs and champagne, Schatze tells Loco that she and Pola have taken the apartment in order to find rich husbands and that after divorcing a "gas pump jockey," she now wants to live in luxury. Thinking Schatze's scheme is the smartest thing they ever heard, Loco and Pola agree.

After three months, none of the girls have become engaged and Schatze has to sell the furniture to pay the rent.

One afternoon, Loco comes home with another gentleman helping her with her boxes. J. D. invites the women to a reception that night, where the girls meet promising looking men.

Afterward, the women accompany their dates to a fancy restaurant. Pola is escorted by J. Stewart Merrill, "Arab" who brags about his money, while Loco is accompanied by Waldo Brewster, a rich businessman who complains about his wife. Now all the girls have to do is use all their talents to trap and marry 3 millionaires.


Marilyn, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall all make wonderful gold-diggers, that you cant help but love. In this movie with all it's cute twists and turns, which make it worth watching, on a Sunday afternoon.


This film was the final box-office success in Betty Grable's 26 year movie career. Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe, then on her way to major stardom, became friends during filming with Betty Grable, who said to her "Honey, I've have mine. Go get yours."

When Lauren Bacall's character, Schatze, says, "I've always liked older men... Look at that old fellow what's-his-name in The African Queen. Absolutely crazy about him." She is referring to Bacall's real-life husband, Humphrey Bogart.

When Betty Grable listens to her then-husband Harry James on the radio in Maine, the song playing is "You'll Never Know," which then becomes the love theme for Miss Grable and Rory Calhoun. The Oscar-winning song of 1943 (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Mack Gordon) had been sung by Alice Faye in two musicals, Hello Frisco, Hello and Four Jills in a Jeep, and then sung by Betty Grable in Diamond Horseshoe, and also sung by Ginger Rogers in Dreamboat.

Before becoming a major Hollywood success, Lauren Bacall worked as a model for several years of her teenage life while auditioning for roles on Broadway. The modeling she did is exactly like that of her character Ms. Paige, showing pieces for clients.

In one scene the three women are talking to each other about who they would like to marry. Marilyn Monroe's character says she wouldn't mind marring Mr. Cadillac. Lauren Bacall's character replies "No such person, I checked". There was a Mr. Cadillac. He was the French governor of Canada (founded the city of Detroit and in 1710 was named the governor of Louisiana). The Cadillac was named for him and his surname lives on in the form of his descendants.

Signed to Twentieth Century-Fox since October 35, 1939, Betty Grable informed the studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck during production that she would not commit to the remaining three years of her latest contract. On June 3, 1953, a studio press release announced the official split. Returning only once to Fox, Betty would star in How to Be Very, Very Popular, a vehicle in which Marilyn refused to appear and was replaced by Sheree North. Two unfulfilled proposals to have Miss Grable film again at Fox were the mother role (subsequently played by Ginger Rogers) in Teenage Rebel and then in 1964, another mom part in a project ultimately canceled named "High Heels."

This film's plot is similar to The Greeks Had a Word for Them, in which 15-year-old Betty Grable showed up briefly as a hatcheck girl, and also to Moon Over Miami, one of Miss Grable's most popular Technicolor vehicles.

The on-screen orchestra at the beginning plays music that was composed by Alfred Newman for the 1931 film Street Scene. The music was also used in 20th Century-Fox's I Wake Up Screaming, also with Betty Grable, and in Gentleman's Agreement.

While Betty Grable received top billing as the credits rolled -- a contractual promise made to her by Twentieth Century-Fox -- Marilyn Monroe was promoted to first place in the trailer and poster art.

Now on Blu-Ray. Includes: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes How To Marry A Millionaire River Of No Return There's No Business Like Show Business The Seven Year Itch Some Like It Hot The Misfits.
David Wayne (January 30, 1914 – February 9, 1995) was an American actor with a career spanning nearly 50 years. Wayne's first major Broadway role was Og the leprechaun in Finian's Rainbow, for which he won the Theatre World Award and the first ever Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

While appearing in the play, he and co-star Albert Sharpe were recruited by producer David O. Selznick to play Irish characters in the film Portrait of Jennie (1948).

It was in 1948 as well that Wayne became one of those fortunate 50 applicants (out of approximately 700) granted membership in New York's newly formed Actors Studio.

He was awarded a second Tony for Best Actor in a Play for The Teahouse of the August Moon and was nominated as Best Actor in a Musical for The Happy Time.

He originated the role of Ensign Pulver in the classic stage comedy Mister Roberts and also appeared in Say, Darling, After the Fall, and Incident at Vichy.

Later in films, Wayne was most often was cast as a supporting player, such as the charming cad opposite Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in Adam's Rib (1949).

He portrayed the child killer, originally played by Peter Lorre, in the remake of M (1951), a chance to see him in a rare leading role, even rarer as an evil character.

He costarred in The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, and Celeste Holm.

Wayne also appeared in four films with Marilyn Monroe (more than any other actor): As Young as You Feel (1951), We're Not Married (1952), O. Henry's Full House (1952) (although he was not in the same scene as Monroe) and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953).

Wayne appeared in the late 1950s on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom and the Twilight Zone episode Escape Clause. He starred as Darius Woodley in two 1961 episodes of NBC's The Outlaws television series with Barton MacLane. Wayne was also noted for his portrayal of Dr. Charles Dutton in the 1971 film version of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain.

He also played the Mad Hatter, one of the recurring villains in the 1960s TV series Batman. In 1964, he guest-starred in the series finale, "Pay Now, Die Later", of CBS's drama, Mr. Broadway, starring Craig Stevens as public relations specialist Mike Bell. In the story line, Wayne's character, the wealthy John Zeck, hires Bell to prepare Zeck's obituary before his death.

1951 In the 1960s, Wayne was a radio host on NBC's magazine program Monitor. Wayne appeared as Uncle Timothy Jamison in the NBC sitcom, The Brian Keith Show. He co-starred with Jim Hutton in the 1970s television series Ellery Queen (as Queen's widowed father).

 From 1978 to 1979, Wayne played Digger Barnes on the CBS hit drama Dallas. He left that show to star in the television series House Calls with Lynn Redgrave and later Sharon Gless in the role of Dr. Weatherby, Keenan Wynn replaced him as Digger Barnes. He played "Big Daddy"—Blanche's father on The Golden Girls—after the death in 1986 of Murray Hamilton, the first actor to play that part.

 In 1975, Wayne starred on Gunsmoke in the episode "I have Promises to Keep" as a controversial reverend who brought a church to Indian territory with ambitions of a school. The episode addresses many emotions of the post Civil War period where the horrors of the Indian wars were fresh. Met with a vengeful townspeople the reverend is confronted by an unsupportive town. While coming back from delivering a prisoner in a nearby town, US Deputy Marshal Festus Hagen (played by Ken Curtis) gets involved and defends the reverend's mission. Wayne is in a lead role in this episode, considered one of his best performances.


  1. Dawn,
    I watched this film again recently. I do like it a lot, more so than most of Monroe's campy romps during that period.

    I was trying to go through photos and do scans to put onto my new laptop and I came across a publicity still from this film so it's fun that you covered it with such an informative review here.

    Good stuff! I hope you're doing well. It's great to have you back doing what you love and entertaining us.

  2. Another great movie, after Bacall's movies with Bogart this is one of my favs. David Wayne was so charming in any role he played, I always enjoy it when he is in a movie. Great post.

  3. Nice to see three female leads working so well together. Loved that Marilyn's character tried to hide wearing glasses.

  4. Dawn, This is one of my 'go-to' movies when I'm in need of a serious 'chick flick' fix. Love the Bacall/Cameron Mitchell dynamic and Marilyn's character's fetching habit of bumping into walls, etc., when not wearing her glasses. Like Betty and Rory together, too (and always laugh with glee at Fred Clark's well-deserved fate on the George Washington Bridge). William Powell, as always, adds great class.

  5. Page, Thank you.. I agree, it is one of her best films.

    To tell you the truth, I thought that their would be more pictures of this film to chose from to add to my post..

    As far as I know.. all is well. Thank you, for being there for me, during my cancer scare. You do not know how much it meant to me. :)

    Alyssa LM, Thank you. I enjoyed David Wayne, performance in this film, he was so cute..

    Kim, I'm all for "girl power". I do not think I have seen anyone as blind as Marilyn's character. Too funny!!

    The Lady Eve, After watching a week of.. "Boardwalk Empire".. I need a serious "chick flick" fix.

    Fred Clark's well-deserved fate on the George Washington Bridge, is priceless.. I scratched my head.. every-time he stood up for his wife and still acted like such a cad..

    I loved how Betty, called a "bobble" a "bubble".

  6. I almost watched this movie recently on Netflix. I chose How to Steal A Million w/Audrey Hepburn instead.

    Thanks for this post, I'm going to have to sit down and watch this now.


  7. Mighty B, It is a fun movie.. I know that you are going to enjoy it.

  8. Bought memories back attractive
    Marilyn. Studio attempted use rivalary among. Betty n Marilyn they concurred it was. Marilyn turn
    to "Shine" dress incidentally. Madonna wore same dress as Marilyn.
    Hairstyle during Oscars 1991 acting
    as Jayne. Paradox thanks for showing real beauty. Marilyn Monroe
    not belittling Madonna. Type years,
    1989-1993 image of Marilyn other
    blondes. Thanks for honest truth!


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