Liz and Marilyn: Black and White in Colour: “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953) ★★★★★


There are three excellent tips every young woman must have if they wish to marry a millionaire: to rent a luxury apartment in the heart of New York; have twenty-five dollars available in their empty pockets for a big start; and beautiful dresses that will support them in their hunt for a rich man. And in case you find it difficult to execute your plan, then you must certainly watch Jean Negulesco’s HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE which is still considered as one of the best courses provided by the most dazzling and charming stars of the Golden Screen, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.

And begins the hunt for a rich husband with Page Schatze (Lauren Bacall) who quickly comes to an agreement with a realtor to rent one of the expensive apartments at Brookman’s building. Shortly after, Pola Debevoicse (Marilyn Monroe), who does not have a penny joins Page, and invites another friend with platinum blonde hair, Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable) with the only money she has for the rest of her life, twenty-five dollars. And it appears that all what they needed is that exact amount that will put a great foundation to their plan where they are about to catch a big fish. However, the only fish they catch is the true feelings towards men whose pockets are empty as those three ladies, or not?

As the film unfolds, we find out that Page already was unsuccessfully married, but this time she is confident using her mind not the heart when it comes to marriage again. Pola is not that sharp, almost blind, but unorthodoxly beautiful lady, who hides from her beau that she wears optical glasses. Loco is also not that smart, but quite funny and sensitive young lady who is willing to fall in love any time. And now imagine, how far Page can go if she has such exotic girlfriends? But believe it or not, in this laughter charged film, with sharp and hilarious dialogues, the trio will manage to conquer your heart with a blink of an eye.

It’s quite hard to name the amount of time I have watched How to Marry a Millionaire, however, ever time when I get back to watch it again, I feel like it was the first time. After so many years, The CinemaScope’s piece of art still manages to shine like never before. Despite having three ladies who want to marry a millionaire, one thing you learn for sure, love is not something you can buy for either 1 or for a million dollars. And Negulesco’s film is living proof of that. However, my only complaint about this movie is writing such a silly character for Marilyn Monroe, who certainly was much better than that. But as long as she did not mind, why should we? After all, she became part of one of the best classic comedies ever made, a comedy that always worth watching as much as you want. And that of course, is what you can call as ‘a great achievement’.

Schedule: Sunday, November 15 at 4:15 PM TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

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