|How to Marry a Millionaire|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jean Negulesco|
|Produced by||Nunnally Johnson|
|Screenplay by||Nunnally Johnson|
|Based on||The Greeks Had a Word for It|
by Zoë Akins
by Dale Eunson
|Starring|| Marilyn Monroe |
|Music by|| Cyril J. Mockridge (composer)|
Alfred Newman (direction)
|Edited by||Louis R. Loeffler|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$8 million|
How to Marry a Millionaire is a 1953 American romantic comedy film directed by Jean Negulesco and written and produced by Nunnally Johnson. The screenplay was based on the plays The Greeks Had a Word for It (1930) by Zoë Akins and Loco (1946) by Dale Eunson and Katherine Albert.
The film stars Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall as three gold diggers, along with William Powell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, and Cameron Mitchell as their wealthy marks. Although Grable received top billing in the screen credits, Monroe's name was listed first in all advertising, including the trailer.
Made by 20th Century Fox, How to Marry a Millionaire was the studio's first film to be shot in the new CinemaScope wide-screen sound process, although it was the second CinemaScope film released by Fox after the biblical epic film The Robe (also 1953).
How to Marry a Millionaire was also the first 1960s color and CinemaScope film ever to be shown on prime-time network television, though panned-and-scanned, when it was presented as the first film on NBC Saturday Night at the Movies on September 23, 1961.
The soundtrack to How to Marry a Millionaire was released on CD by Film Score Monthly on March 15, 2001.
Resourceful Schatze Page, spunky Loco Dempsey, and ditzy Pola Debevoise rent a luxurious Sutton Place penthouse in New York City from Freddie Denmark, who is avoiding the IRS by living in Europe. The women plan to use the apartment to attract rich men and marry them. When money is tight, Schatze pawns some of Freddie's furniture, without his knowledge. To their dismay, as winter approaches, the furnishings continue to be sold off as they have no luck.
One day, Loco carries in some groceries, assisted by Tom Brookman. Tom is very interested in Schatze, but she dismisses him, thinking he is poor. She tries repeatedly to brush him off as she sets her sights on the charming, classy widower J.D. Hanley, whose worth is irreproachably large. All the while she is stalking the older J.D., Tom, who is actually very wealthy, keeps after her. After every single one of their dates, she tells him she never wants to see him again as she refuses to marry a poor man again.
Meanwhile, Loco becomes acquainted with a grumpy businessman, Walter Brewster. He is married, but she agrees to go with him to his lodge in Maine, mistakenly thinking she is going to meet a bunch of Elks Club members. When they arrive, Loco is disappointed to find that the businessman was hoping to have an affair with her and set them up in a dingy lodge instead of the glamorous one she was expecting. She attempts to leave, but has to stay due to the train not running till the next day and comes down with the measles. After Loco recovers, Walter (Clark) comes down with the measles and has to stay in the lodge until cured. He is nursed back to health with the help of Loco.
Loco meets Evan Salem, who she thinks owns most of the surrounding land. She has no trouble transferring her affections to the handsome outdoorsman and they become engaged. When she finds out that he is just a forest ranger, she is very disappointed, but Loco realizes that she loves him and is willing to overlook his financial shortcomings.
The third member of the group, Pola, has myopia, but hates to wear her glasses in the presence of men; as she puts it, "Men aren't attentive to girls who wear glasses." She falls for a phony Arab oil tycoon, J. Stewart Merrill, not knowing he is actually a crooked speculator. Luckily, when she takes a plane from LaGuardia Airport to meet him, she ends up on the wrong plane. A man sits next to her, also wearing glasses, who thinks she is "quite a strudel" and encourages her to put hers on. It turns out that he is the mysterious Freddie Denmark on his way to Kansas City to find the crooked accountant who got him into trouble with the IRS. He does not have much luck when he tracks the man down, but he and Pola fall in love and get married.
Loco and Pola are reunited with Schatze just before her wedding to J.D. Schatze finds herself unable to go through with the wedding and confesses to J.D. that she is in love with Tom. He understands and agrees to call off the wedding. Tom is among the wedding attendees and the two reconcile and marry, with Schatze still not knowing he is rich.
Afterwards, the three happy couples end up at a greasy spoon, dining on hamburgers. Schatze jokingly asks Evan and Freddie about their financial prospects, which are slim. When she finally gets around to Tom, he casually admits a net worth of around $200 million, and lists an array of holdings, which none of the others appear to take seriously. He then calls for the check, pulls out an enormous wad of money, and pays with a $1,000 bill, telling the chef to keep the change. The three astonished women faint dead away onto the floor. Tom then proposes the men drink a toast to their unconscious wives.
How to Marry a Millionaire was the first film ever to be filmed in the new CinemaScope wide-screen process, but it was the second CinemaScope film released by Fox, after the biblical epic The Robe .
20th Century Fox started production on The Robe before it began production on How to Marry a Millionaire, although production on the latter was completed first. The studio chose to present The Robe as its first CinemaScope production in late September or early October 1953 because it saw this film as being more family-friendly and attracting a larger audience to introduce its widescreen process.
The film's cinematography was by Joseph MacDonald. The costume design was by Travilla.
Between scenes, the cinematography has some iconic color views of mid-20th century New York City: Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the United Nations Building, and Brooklyn Bridge in the opening sequence following the credits. Other iconic views include the Empire State Building, the lights of Times Square at night and the George Washington Bridge.
A song extolling the virtues of New York follows the Gershwin-like music used for the title credits, after an elaborate 5 minute pre-credit sequence showcasing a 70-piece orchestra conducted by Alfred Newman before the curtain goes up.
The score for How To Marry a Millionaire was one of the first recorded for film in stereo and was composed and directed by Alfred Newman, with incidental music of Cyril Mockridge and orchestrated by Edward B. Powell.The album was released on CD by Film Score Monthly on March 15, 2001, as part of Film Score Monthly's series Golden Age Classics.
How to Marry a Millionaire premiered at the Fox Wilshire Theatre (now the Saban Theatre), in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 1953.The film was a box office success earning $8 million worldwide and $7.5 million domestically, making it Fox's second highest-grossing film of that year (with The Robe being the first), and was the fourth highest-grossing film of 1953, whereas Monroe's previous feature Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was the ninth.
|Academy Awards||Best Costume Design – Color||Charles LeMaire and William Travilla||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Film from any Source||How to Marry a Millionaire||Nominated|
|Writers Guild of America Awards||Best Written American Comedy||Nunnally Johnson||Nominated|
In 1957, the film was adapted into a sitcom of the same name. The series stars Barbara Eden (as Loco Jones), Merry Anders (Michelle "Mike" Page), Lori Nelson (Greta Lindquist) and as Nelson's later replacement, Lisa Gaye as Gwen Kirby. How to Marry a Millionaire aired in syndication for a total of two seasons.
In 2000, the 20th Century Fox Television produced a made-for-TV remake called How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale . Instead of three women looking to marry a millionaire man, the film depicts three men looking to marry a millionaire woman. The film starred John Stamos, Joshua Malina and Shemar Moore.
In 2007, Nicole Kidman bought the rights to How to Marry a Millionaire under her production company Blossom Films, and is set to produce and possibly star in a remake.
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer. Famous for playing comedic "blonde bombshell" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's changing attitudes towards sexuality. She was a top-billed actress for only a decade, but her films grossed $200 million by the time of her death in 1962. Long after her death, she has continued to be a major icon of pop culture.
Elizabeth Ruth Grable was an American actress, pin-up girl, dancer, model, and singer. Her 42 films during the 1930s and 1940s grossed more than $100 million, for 10 consecutive years (1942–1951) she reigned in the Quigley Poll's Top 10 box office stars. The U.S. Treasury Department in 1946 and 1947 listed her as the highest-salaried American woman; she earned more than $3 million during her career.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 American musical comedy film based on the 1949 stage musical of the same name. It was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, with Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Taylor Holmes and Norma Varden in supporting roles.
The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 American romantic comedy film based on a 1952 three-act play with the same name by George Axelrod. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, and stars Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, reprising his Broadway role from the play. It contains one of the most notable images of the 20th century – Monroe standing on a subway grate as her white dress is blown upwards by a passing train. The titular phrase, which refers to declining interest in a monogamous relationship after seven years of marriage, has been used by psychologists.
Niagara is an American 1953 film noir thriller film directed by Henry Hathaway, produced by Charles Brackett, and written by Brackett, Richard L. Breen and Walter Reisch. The film stars Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters and Max Showalter. It was one of 20th Century Fox's biggest box office hits of the year.
Something's Got to Give is an unfinished 1962 American feature film, directed by George Cukor for 20th Century Fox and starring Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. A remake of My Favorite Wife (1940), a screwball comedy starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, it was Monroe's last work, but from the beginning its production was disrupted by her personal troubles, and after her death on August 4, 1962, the film was abandoned. Most of its completed footage remained unseen for many years.
River of No Return is a 1954 American Western film directed by Otto Preminger and starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe. The screenplay by Frank Fenton is based on a story by Louis Lantz, who borrowed his premise from the 1948 Italian film Bicycle Thieves. It was made in Technicolor and CinemaScope and released by 20th Century Fox.
Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business is a 1954 20th Century-Fox musical-comedy-drama film directed by Walter Lang. It stars an ensemble cast, consisting of Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor, Mitzi Gaynor, Marilyn Monroe, Johnnie Ray, and Hugh O'Brian.
"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is a jazz song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Leo Robin.
The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that is responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. The film was released by 20th Century Fox and was the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope. Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien's original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses.
We're Not Married! is a 1952 American anthology romantic comedy film directed by Edmund Goulding. It was released by 20th Century Fox.
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef is a 1953 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Robert D. Webb. The screenplay by A.I. Bezzerides was inspired by Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The film was the third motion picture made in CinemaScope, coming after The Robe and How to Marry a Millionaire.
Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962) was an American actress who appeared in 29 films between 1946 and 1961. After a brief career in modeling she signed short-term film contracts, first with 20th Century Fox, then Columbia Pictures, and appeared in minor roles for the first few years of her career. In 1950, she made minor appearances in two critically acclaimed films, The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. The parts in the two films were against many of the roles into which she was typecast, that of the dumb blonde. Margot A. Henriksen, her biographer with the American National Biography, considers the typecast "an unfair stereotype that bothered her throughout her career".
How to Marry a Millionaire is an American sitcom that aired in syndication and on the NTA Film Network, from October 7, 1957, to August 20, 1959. The series is based on the 1953 film of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall.
How to Be Very, Very Popular is a 1955 comedy film written, produced and directed by Nunnally Johnson. The film starred Betty Grable in her final movie role and introduced Sheree North.
Marilyn is a 1963 documentary film based on the life of the 1950s actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. The film, directed by Harold Medford, was released by 20th Century Fox, and was narrated by Rock Hudson.
Princess of the Nile is a 1954 American adventure film starring Debra Paget.
This is a complete filmography of Betty Grable, an American actress, dancer, and singer. As a major contract star for 20th Century-Fox during the 1940s and 1950s, she starred in a succession of musicals and romantic comedies.
Harry Brand was an American press agent. Described as "the mastermind who made Shirley Temple the most famous child star in history, Betty Grable a GI Joe pinup girl and Marilyn Monroe a sex goddess," Brand was the head of publicity at 20th Century Fox from 1935 until 1962.
Katherine Albert was an American screenwriter, playwright, and TV writer.
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