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How to Marry a Millionaire
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Reviews & Ratings for
How to Marry a Millionaire More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

a piece of fun ....

Author: hamlet-16 from Melbourne, Australia
17 April 2004

The film, the first filmed in CinemaScope, although the second to be released, remains as slick and witty as ever. While the three girls chase rich husbands they somehow end up marrying for love.

Personally for me it is Lauren Bacall and William Powell that standout...their witty knowing conversations are a true delight. Mr Powell shows just why he was so highly regarded. He has a magnificent calm and dignified presence beautifully complimented by Mrs Bogart's cool chic.

The film shows all the problems of early CinemaScope of course ...the lack of closeups because of optical distortions that would occur and enough light to sunbake under being necessary on the sets and a sound scheme with the stereophonic image shifting from side to side as characters moves across the screen.

The film is beautifully restored on the DVD with fine colour and sound.

The use of a 1:2.55 ratio means a truly WIDE screen ....which is shown off by the location shots of New York and the girls apartment which seems enormous!

The opening sequence/overture of course was designed to show off both the brand new wide screen and stereo sound. It seems slightly redundant now but is still a fabulous piece of music by Alfred Newman.

So turn the lights down, turn up the stereo and step back to 1953 and watch a consumate piece of entertainment

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29 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

What a wonderfully, delightful movie!

Author: Sarah Fehn from San Francisco
27 April 2005

I just had a wonderful opportunity to catch a screening of this film on a wide screen. What a treat!

Unfortunately, it wasn't the best print; lots of dust and scratches on reel changes, and the colors were quite faded, but these films simply must be seen on a wide screen with an audience to be truly appreciated. Of course, almost any movie is improved by seeing it at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity.

Lauren Bacall has always been one of my favorite actors, and she and Powell do work wonderfully together. Monroe is also, always a delight - I think that she was a much better actress than she is generally given credit for. However, though I've seen this movie close to a dozen times before, I was really struck at the wonderful performance that Grable turned in. She was perfect! I haven't seen much of her other work, but in HTMAM, she shows herself to be a wonderful comedic actress, playing a "dim blonde" who really isn't that dim. What a revelation and what a delight.

I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes old movies, but if you have a chance to catch it on a real movie screen - DO SO! You won't be disappointed.

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

baked Alaska

Author: Fiona-39 from Belfast, N.I
29 March 2001

An over excited critic once wrote that seeing Monroe in Cinemascope was like being smothered in baked Alaska, and seeing this movie, you know exactly what he (I assume he was a he) was on about. The movie opens on the extreme verticals of New York skyscrapers and narrow city streets, then cuts to a wonderfully elongated horizontal Monroe streeeeeeeetched across the scene in an increasingly empty apartment (the girls sell their furniture to be able to pay the rent). This movie is dated and fluffy, but has several interesting elements that make it worth a look for anyone interested in movie history, any of the leads, or in passing a wet Sunday afternoon in a pleasant way. This was Grable's last performance. She knew Monroe was about to usurp her, but the two women both dealt with an uncomfortable situation in a professional way. There is a great narrative twist in the film too - Monroe plays a short sighted girl who finally meets the man to marry her when he tells her he likes her in her glasses. Unlike the usual cliched plot line, it is when Monroe keeps her glasses on that she is revealed to be beautiful. Her acting is this film is among her best, especially her vulnerable scene in the gold aeroplane, and the moment in the powder room when she looks at herself in the mirrors and explodes into five, raspberry satin dress covered Marilyn's is a visual pleasure the film and the viewer revel in (Monroe can't, not wearing her glasses at that point). This film is creamy, smooth, warm - just liked baked Alaska!!

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining

Author: BLG-2
9 February 2003

I enjoyed this cute story of gold-diggers on the prowl. I agree with those who said that musical prologue was way too long -- it was eight minutes before the opening credits came on! This seemed the perfect setting for Marilyn Monroe to sing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," but that gem was in another of her films. I don't agree with those who said Betty Grable was too old for her part. She merely *looked* old. I tried to figure out why. She was only 35 years old. She was still slim (possibly even slimmer than Lauren Bacall, who'd recently had her second child) and her face looked relatively youthful. So why did she look 45? I concluded it was the hair. That poodle cut was unflattering and added years. I also enjoyed Grable's coy reference to real-life husband Harry James and Bacall's to Bogart. All in all, a charming movie and a fun way to spend an hour and a half.

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20 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

HILARIOUS!

10/10
Author: Jen (jen_starfruit@hotmail.com) from Australia
9 December 2003

This movie is great. I don't care what people say about it, you can't deny that it is very entertaining! I really don't know what goes through peoples minds when they say Betty Grable wasn't good in this movie, or was too old for the part. I can't imagine the story without her to make it what it is. I personally thought she looked the same age as her co-stars, and not a bit older.

Lauren Bacall was perfect for her role, and as always, so was Marilyn Monroe as another dumb blonde character. But I hate when most people think that just because she portrayed a ditzy girl, that it means she was like that in real life too - SHE WASN'T! Marilyn Monroe was an intelligent natural dark-brown haired brunette.

Anyway, HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE is really good in my opinion, and anyone that is a Monroe, Bacall or Grable fan absolutely MUST see it! I personally am a HUGE Marilyn Monroe fan, and enjoyed this movie as much as her others.

The storyline was great, and it had some very funny moments. I give this movie 9.5/10, losing a half-mark only because of the extreamly prolonged and unnecessary musical feature at the beginning, which makes you lose interest and want to fast forward 5 minutes worth of inactive classical music. An overall fabulous movie.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Monroe and Grable and Bacall

7/10
Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
3 April 2005

This entertaining film has the three girls (Pola, played by Marilyn Monroe in specs; Schatze, played by Lauren Bacall and looking rather mumsy; and Loco, played by Betty Grable with those fabulous legs) setting up shop in an apartment, ready to reel in wealthy husbands.

The boys in question include David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell, William Powell, and Alex D'Arcy. Trying to figure out the scheming girls is hard for them, especially when the girls are going all out to hide their real personalities!

This glitzy fluff is enlivened by real-life in-jokes - Betty Grable doesn't recognise a Harry James record (she was married to him at the time), and Lauren Bacall says she's mad about 'that old man in The African Queen'(real-life husband Bogart of course). Bacall comes out best of the girls although Monroe is always worth watching and Grable was effective decoration even towards the end of her career, as she was here (having been on screen for over twenty years at this point - her first appearance was in her teens in 'Hold 'Em Jail', I think).

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Trapping a Bankroll

10/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
24 October 2007

How to Marry a Millionaire is one of the brightest and wittiest comedies of the fifties and certainly quite an eyeful when you've got three leads of the caliber of Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Grable.

These three lovely girls, following the cue from Lauren Bacall, chip in and get a long term lease on a swank apartment where the owner has had to leave the country because of income tax problems. The post World War II years saw a lot of that happening. The idea is to set up a mantrap, put up a good front in the hopes of attracting men with wealth. And all three come up with men of all varieties.

Betty unfortunately takes up with the already married, but not working at it too hard Fred Clark. His plans for a romantic getaway with her are spoiled by her coming down with an adult case of the measles and Grable catching sight of Forest Ranger Rory Calhoun. You will love the way the scheming Fred Clark gets nailed.

Marilyn meets up with David Wayne, the guy whose apartment the women have taken over. In Marilyn fashion she gets on the wrong plane with Wayne, thinking it was Atlantic City instead of Kansas City.

And Bacall the most determined of all to marry a millionaire. She has her choice between elderly sophisticated William Powell and earnest young Cameron Mitchell.

The irony of this film is that all three women set out to trap a bankroll, yet all three fall for people themselves. No telling what fate has in store for you.

How to Marry a Millionaire is the next to last film of William Powell and his first after leaving his long term contract at MGM. He's the picture of elegance and sophistication. Listening to every line from his mouth is a joy.

Nunnally Johnson's screenplay and Jean Negulesco's direction make How to Marry a Millionaire one of the best films of the Fifties. Catch those lines referring to the celebrity husbands of Bacall and Grable.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Gold Diggers of 1953

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
15 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was the first movie filmed in Cinemascope, or at least, one of the first ones to use the new technique. Jean Negulesco, the director, gives it a great reading of the play in which the film is based. Nunnally Johnson, is given credit as an adapter, but also acted as the producer.

The film was innocent fun by 1953 standards. We are presented with three girls that would be room mates in a gorgeous New York apartment. The only problem is none of them have any money. What to do? Try to attract a man with enough money to keep them in a style they were not accustomed to live!

The trio of young women are beautiful. We have the brainy Schatze in charge of the household. Then there are the myopic Pola, and the flighty Loco. It's clear that the only one with a head on her shoulders si Schatze, who knows how to move in the cafe society of the New York of those years. Unfortunately, the women's choice in men is awful. Two of them end up with guys that are just making a living, and in a surprise at the last moment, the last girl gets a real millionaire when she only thought he was a working class stiff!

The film, although light, it's still fun to watch. Lauren Bacall is the one that fares better in the film, not only does she get the prize package, but she gives an intelligent account of her elegant and sophisticated Schatze. Betty Grable doesn't have much to do, and a bespectacled Marilyn Monroe, does a lot with her character.

William Powell makes a great appearance as the older man in Schatze's life. He still was showing his charm as the Texas man with enough sense to resign being married to a much younger woman. David Wayne, Cameron Mitchell, Rory Calhoun, Fred Clark, are the men in the lives of the would be gold diggers.

This is a film to be seen as a curiosity film made in the new technology of Cinemascope.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

'Keep the change, Mac.'

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
17 June 2007

Three models (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) pool their resources to rent an expensive penthouse apartment in New York, each girl hoping to catch a wealthy husband...

Cameron Mitchell helps Betty Grable with groceries one morning and meets and falls in love with Bacall… But she rejects him, thinking he is a 'gas pump jockey.'

The girls are nearly broke when Grable introduces them to an oil tycoon, a widower (William Powell) who becomes interested in Bacall… Grable takes a trip with wealthy and married Fred Clark, under the impression that they are going to a convention in Maine… Once at his lodge, she realizes they will be alone and is set to return to New York when she suddenly felt sick… A forest ranger named Rory Calhoun comes into her life, and they fall in love…

Marilyn leaves by plane to meet her one-eyed playboy Alex D'Arcy in Atlantic City, but because she refuses to wear glasses in public to correct her nearsightedness, she gets on the wrong plane… On board she meets David Wayne, the owner of their penthouse apartment, who is on his way to Kansas City to find his tax accountant because of whom he is in trouble with the revenue department…

Bacall, left alone and without money, agrees to marry the oilman Powell…

"How to be a Millionaire" was the second CinemaScope film ever made, the first being "The Robe." The film marked David Wayne's last movie appearance with Marilyn… He made four pictures with her, more than any other actor…

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Really Not How to Wed into Dough ...But Film Shines ***'/2

9/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
9 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bette Grable, Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall make quite a team in this 1953 fun film. Bacall is the leader of the girl pack whose quest is to get 3 rich guys. They take an expensive apartment along the way.

Bacall has by far the best lines in the film. She comes off with her constant wisecracks and they are hilarious at best.

Monroe is perfect as her usual dumb blond. Grable is literally Loco in this flick as well.

The film reunites David Wayne and Rory Calhoun as two of the suitors. Both had appeared together a year earlier in the Jane Froman musical-drama biography of "With A Song in My Heart," with Susan Hayward.

The ending is quite a pleasant surprise. Resigned to marrying a relative pauper, Bacall and the others are literally floored when a millionaire reveals himself instead.

A fun film showing that money isn't necessarily everything.

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