How to Marry a Millionaire

I came home from work and watched “How to Marry a Millionaire,” the movie from 1953 starring Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall.  It was the first movie to be filmed in CinemaScope, and the result is that sometimes the actors seemed to be too far apart in some scenes.  I thought show of the shots of New York must have looked impressive on the screen back in 1953.  It was curious that the movie opens with an orchestra playing, as if it is going to take the audience six minutes to get to their seats.  Lauren Bacall makes a reference to Humphrey Bogart.  Betty Grable was not the most brilliant actress of the time.  Marilyn is supposed to be nearsighted.  One thing about David Wayne that I noticed at the end was that he reminded me of Roger Ebert.  With a plot involving three women seeking to marry rich men, you would expect some unexpected twists in the story and characters.  The final scene is foolish and hard to believe.  The movie was not the hilarious, memorable that “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was.  It felt like a movie that was competing with television with its color, wide screen, and parade of stars.  It was one of the highest-grossing films of 1953.  Betty Grable was the top movie star in Hollywood in 1943, but by 1953, her career was in decline.  Lauren Bacall proved in this movie that she could be successful in a comedy, although she had already done an amusing scene in “The Big Sleep.”  In my lifetime, I recalled seeing her only in “Murder on the Orient Express.”  She was also in an episode of The Sopranos.  I was amazed that she lived for such a long time, until she was nearly 90 years old.  That was just four years ago.  As far as Marilyn Monroe’s movies in color went, I’ll always go back to see “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch.”  “How to Marry a Millionaire” wasn’t one of Marilyn Monroe’s best pictures.  I read that Nicole Kidman bought the rights to the story and is working on a remake I would be slightly surprised if it turns out to be a good movie.  It seems that Marilyn is popular among all sorts of people even today.  I see a lot of people wearing Marilyn shirts.  Some of the people who died on September 27 include Babe Zaharias (1956), Robert Montgomery (1981), Donald O’Connor (2003), and George Blanda (2010).  Today is a birthday for Shaun Cassidy (60) and Meat Loaf (71).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 27, “Hair” opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London in 1968, continuing for 1997 performances, until the collapse of the theatre in July 1973 forced the closure of the production.  In 1986, Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” reached Number One on the Billboard album chart.  In 2003, Donald O’Connor died of heart failure at age 78 at the Motion Picture & Television Country and House and Hospital in Woodland Hills.

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