How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

by guest writer,

A comedy just in time for Christmas sounds good, doesn’t it? The plot of How to Marry a Millionaire develops around three women of modest background posing as wealthy. Renting a Manhattan penthouse, the three begin their hunt for rich husbands and Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall) sets out as their leader. Jean Negulesco goes straight to the point deconstructing the characters to pieces just to show their true intentions.

Schatze is driven away from her ‘target’, a wealthy older gentleman (William Powell) and finds herself subconsciously attracted to the poverty-stricken Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell). Pola Debevoise (Marilyn Manroe) is bewitched by an international playboy, but eventually settles for a tax evasionist runaway, Freddie Denmark (David Wayne). The third key character, Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable), starts an affair with a married executive and ends up by falling in love with a handsome, but poor forest ranger, Eben (Rory Calhoun). Nunnaly Johnson’s screenplay adapted after two plays never disappoints the viewer, being sharp and funny at all times and the colours are beautiful used in the film bringing out the elegant costumes worn by the three leading ladies.

photo: still from the film, Twentieth Century Fox


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