Wednesday, August 1, 2012

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT: How To Marry A Millionaire

Hit me with your best shot is back again with 1953's "How To Marry A Millionaire". This film features 3 of the hottest actresses of that era with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall playing a trio of gold diggers in New York. It's not the most "deep" screenplay, but I had a good time watching it and was entertained from start to finish. It did bring up some interesting thoughts though, about male-female relationships during this time period. It got me thinking about "Mad Men" and how those women are objectified. When I watch this though, I start to believe it's the women who are using the men, and not the other way around.
The actresses really make this film work. These 3 leading ladies have a great knack for comedy. I loved how meticulous Bacall is in her quest (only men who wear neckties!). Grable's ignorance is cute and it was especially hilarious when she dreams of a hot dog and beer, rather than affluence like the other girls. Finally, Marilyn Monroe shines as the ditsy blonde. My favourite aspect of the film is the running gag about her poor eyesight. Pola (Monroe) refuses to wear her glasses in public out of fear that men would find her unattractive. Every time she had a mishap I was howling with laughter, she plays it so well. My favourite shot relates to her predicament.

Click below for my favourite shot...

This shot comes from a scene where once again, Pola slips up because of her fear. Instead of going to Atlantic City, she misreads a sign and hops on a plane bound for Kansas City. Coincidentally she is seated next to the man who originally owned her shared apartment. Her secret is finally out of the bag, as he catches her reading her book upside-down. I love how she still hasn't realized why she has been caught. She is obviously staring blankly at her book, turning pages at will! I love their interaction...

"Don't you wear glasses?
Oh dear me, no. What ever gives you that idea?"

After he figures her out, she finally opens up about her self-esteem issues. Predictably, he reassures her of her beauty and they fall in love. Plot details aside, isn't this shot just the perfect representation of the dumb blonde stereotype? The most iconic blonde of all, reading a book upside-down. She's so adorable though, that the man doesn't treat her disdain, but looks at her with bemused enchantment.


  1. one of the most endearing things about Monroe, the actress, is that she was sending up the dumb blonde to some extent. To paraphrase my week with Marilyn's Sir Larry... 'She knew exactly what she was doing.'