Wednesday, January 11, 2006

How To Marry A Millionaire

Movie review of the week, How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). Lauren Bacall, Bette Grable and Marilyn Munroe, portray three models who hope to snare a big fish in the marriage mart. It is delightfully un-PC.

In the beginning of the movie Bacall has a wonderful line about why she wants to get married again after being burned by an ex, "of course I want to get married again it's the only thing in life." You'd never hear a strong female lead say that today. Bacall's character, Schatze is strong too. She's been burned by men who've lied and run out on her and she determines that she's going to look out not only for herself but a pal, Pola (Munroe). Schatze really has the best throw away lines in Millionaire. She gets in a jab at her real husband Humphrey Bogart.

"I've always liked older men... Look at that old fellow what's-his-name in The African Queen. Absolutely crazy about him."

Munroe, as Pola, is a fabulous ditz. She never wears her glasses, so as not to be perceived as unattractive, and forever is running into walls. She is very aptly called a "strudel" in admiring approbation by a wormy little man she eventually falls for. Pola brings into the scheme a friend Loco, played by Grable.

Loco is even ditzier than Pola. She goes off with a married man to his lodge in Maine, only to find out that it is a ski lodge and not a fraternal lodge where she can snare an unmarried man. Which brings us to my favorite exchange:

Pola: "You mean marry him?"

Schatze: "If you don't you haven't caught him, he's caught you."

Which pretty much sums it up right there, eh? Of course all three end up marrying for love and Schatze ends up with the richest man she could dream up. There is a notable role by William Powell as a fish Schazte tries to land. It was so odd seeing him without Myrna Loy at his side as the effervescent Nora. Guess it's time to order The Thin Man on Netflix.

No comments: