I don't like Marilyn Monroe. Never have. Don't know why, but she just bugs me. There is however, one and one film only where I find her charming and fun, and that is "How to Marry a Millionaire". Besides the fact that I can stomach Marilyn in this picture, it also stars Betty Grable and my absolute favorite, Lauren Bacall.
The introduction to this film is unique. It begins with the band playing the score for this film that lasts several minutes. I like it and never fast forward it because it kind of sets the mood. Next you see a gorgeous skyline of New York in the 1950's.
Lauren is a fashion model and rents out a high end apartment in New York to rake in the rich men. She brings along her other fashion model friends (Betty and Marilyn) in the hopes that one of them will snag a man.
The rules are no men who aren't dressed to the nine allowed in, and try to find a rich one by frequenting Bergdorf's. The rule is broken immediately when Betty brings a "poor" guy in with the groceries that he payed for. Little do they know this guy is loaded.
Time goes by and none of the girls can land a millionaire.
Marilyn meets a shady guy with an eye patch, Betty befriends an older married man, and Lauren keeps getting asked out by the "poor" guy where she replies, "The answer is still no!"
Betty goes to the mountains with the old married guy hoping she will meet some other rich men. She meets a hottie (played by Rory Calhoun) and falls in love. But does he have money?
Marilyn meets a man on the airplane who ends up owning the apartment they are renting, and is on the lamb. He wears glasses and so does she, although she never wears them around men and is blind as a bat. They fall in love and wear their glasses proud.
Lauren has got her target on a rich cattle tycoon (played by William Powell) and is determined to marry him for his cash. She even lies about her age saying she is 40! But he doesn't believe her. Meanwhile, the "poor" guy won't get off her back and she ends up going on a few dates with him. William and Lauren are set to marry. The plan is going to work!
The other girls come back with their recently married poor husbands and are happy. Lauren isn't sure what to do... She makes the right decision and marries the "poor" guy and she finally learns her lesson in the end.
The costumes and Technicolor are grand in this picture. Marilyn got all the press for this film because she was in the height of her career. Betty got top billing due to her contract, and this was officially her last film because she broke her contract and retired soon after. Lauren was the star of this film if you ask me, but I am biased.