Classic Cinema Spotlight: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)


Time are tough these days and they were even tough in the 1950's. Well, to some anyway and especially to three specific young woman named Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall), Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable), and Pola Debevoise (Marilyn Monroe). To see their way out of their financial troubles and have a life of leisure and luxury, they banded together to seek out wealthy husbands.

How to Marry a Millionaire

The setting-Manhattan of course! Schatze has a clever plan to rent out a luxurious apartment in the city in the hopes that they can find themselves in the company of rich single men. 

Betty Grable

I don't have to tell you that halarity ensues at every turn they make. Loco attracts a married but wealthy man, Pola bumps into everything around her because she thinks men won't find her attractive with glasses on, and poor Schatze who has given up on the idea of marrying for love due to a bad past experience.

I love these three ladies on screen together. I also LOVE how each is wearing fashions suited for their character's personalities. For example, Schatze is the brains behind the "marrying a rich man" game and she wears more mature and demure outfits like dresses buttoned to the top. She looks far more sophisticated than Loco and Pola. I just love how they did that. The fashion in this film is iconic as well as Ms. Grable's million dollar gams.

Marilyn Monroe

Another aspect of this film aside of all the funny things that happen to these ladies as they try to land rich husbands is the secondary cast made up of a group of men that I adore as actors.

You have David Wayne as Freddie Denmark whose penthouse the girls have rented and who is on run from the IRS. Then you have Loco's gentlemen friend named Waldo Brewster played by Fred Clark and J.D. Hanley played by the great William Powell in one of his final Hollywood film roles.

My favorite scene is the one I posted above with Pola and Freddie Denmark finding themselves sitting together on a plane. Pola who always shied away from wearing her glasses is told by Freddie how wonderful she looks in them. I adore that moment when she finally accepts herself as the cutie with glasses that she is!

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  1. This is one of the best movies of the 1950s, hands down!!! Much like Gentlemen Prefer blondes, I could happily watch it a hundred times and never tire of it (if for no other reason - and there are plenty - that the fab fashions!).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. AnonymousMay 12, 2014

      I agree! I think I learned to sway from the fashion show scene!

  2. HTMAM has got to be a definite laugh out loud sweet as can be film. And these gals are spectacular in it. :) I love the funny line Schatze remarks how adorable the older man in The African Queen is....haha!!

  3. Glad you ladies enjoy this film as well!!! xox

  4. Love, love, love this film! Great combination of actresses and gorgeous 50s fashions. How can you go wrong? Great lines too, especially from Lauren Bacall. One of my favs, "Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband. " Funny, and often true :)


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