How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)

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This likeable piece of romantic fluff oozes 1950’s glamour as Monroe, Gable and Bacall hatch a plan to bag themselves rich husbands.

The sexual politics can be described as “quaint” at best; the whole concept of gangs of fashion models roaming the land, marriage being their only purpose in life seems extremely silly in this day and age. This is the kind of film that’s best enjoyed for what it is rather than trying to analyse it too closely, the witty banter between glamorous starlets, charming characters and romance being more the point as these initially cynical hustlers learn that there is more to life than money. Each of the characters have obviously been carefully created to appeal to different parts of the male demographic; Lauren Bacall’s sassy and charismatic ice queen, Marilyn Monroe’s vulnerable and innocent ditz and Betty Grable’s down to earth girl next door are all very appealing.

Add fine support from the ever charming and debonair William Powell and some great lines, mostly delivered by Bacall – there’s even a sly reference to her real-life relationship with “that old feller in The African Queen” – and it’s an enjoyably nostalgic experience.

6/10

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