How to Marry a Millionaire

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Pola (Marilyn Monroe), Schatze (Lauren Bacall), and Loco (Betty Grable) are all gorgeous models and of course, they want to find the right man to settle down with. But these ladies don’t want to fall in love by any means, they just want to find some rich men and make sure they’ll have resources at their fingertips. Yes, these three lovelies are looking to gold-dig their way into a rich man’s bank account and with these ladies, that shouldn’t be too tough. The girls aren’t bad people by nature, but they’ve tired of never having money and the various cheap men they’re used to dating, so they want to solve those problems with this plan. In an effort to make it as easy as possible, they pool their funds together to rent a penthouse apartment, which will serve as their den to lure the potential wealthy blokes. It seems like an ample plan, but as the girls soon discover, the choice between love & money is a hard one to make, even for a gold-digger…

As part of Fox’s series of Marilyn Monroe films under The Diamond Collection banner, How To Marry A Millionaire has arrived on our favorite format. I’ve been looking forward to these discs for some time and now that they’ve been issued, it has been terrific going through all these fun flicks, very cool indeed. I find this movie to be very enjoyable and loaded with good performances, although the story is a little weak at times. But this is a comedy after all and as such, some suspension of disbelief is called for and with good reason. This basic premise has been explored in several movies, but I think this one nails it better than the rest, much better in fact. In addition to better writing and direction, How To Marry A Millionaire also features three beauties in the form of Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and of course, Marilyn Monroe. So even if the movie isn’t your cup of tea, the lovelies more than make the effort worthwhile, I assure you. I recommend this film to those interested, but keep in mind you can purchase the single disc or the complete Diamond Collection set. I think either is a wise choice, but if you’re a Marilyn fan, I think the set is the correct option.

Once again, Marilyn Monroe delivers a divine comedic performance, but this time she also proves she can be a team player. She is able to play off her costars very well and never seems crowded, though her screen presence is still very strong. Even with some wonderful talent around her, Marilyn still rises to the top, proving herself again as a superstar on the screen. In this film she uses her charms and beauty of course, but she also shows some solid range, at least at times. No one expects her to go through the gauntlet of emotions of course, but she does show improvement in this movie, in terms of traditional performance skills. But even if she just stood around and did nothing, Marilyn would be a treat to view, this effort proves to be no exception. Other films with Monroe include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot, The Asphalt Jungle, Niagra, Dangerous Years, and The Seven Year Itch. The cast also includes Lauren Bacall (Murder On The Orient Express, The Big Sleep), Betty Grable (Pin-Up Girl, Wabash Avenue), Rory Calhoun (Motel Hell, Raw Sundown), and David Wayne (The Andromeda Strain, Portrait of Jennie).

Video: How does it look?

How To Marry A Millionaire is presented in a 2.55:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As with all the release in The Diamond Collection, this film has been given the restoration treatment and the results are very impressive. This is a large improvement over previous editions, with a much richer picture and less grain, as well as more stable overall image. To get an idea of what I mean, be sure to view the included restoration comparison, as images speak louder than words in this case. Some scenes have turned out better than others, but the movie as a whole still looks terrific here. The colors look bolder than ever, flesh tones very natural, and contrast is well balanced also. The image still shows some flaws of course, but this is a terrific visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

The included 4.0 surround track is good, but don’t expect much more than a basic audio experience here. A few scenes do spark the speakers, such as the orchestra sequence and a couple others, but this is still a pretty conservative mix, as it should be. The overall sound is natural and refined, no hints of hollow tones or improper surround placement to be heard. The vocals are rich also, very clean and with no traces of volume defects to contend with. This disc also includes an English stereo track, French language option, and subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes a restoration comparison, a brief Movietone newsreel, and three theatrical trailers for the film.

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