Women in Film: How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

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How to Marry a Millionaire is the 1953 romantic comedy film directed by Jean Negulesco and written and produced by Nunnally Johnson. This film was based off two screenplays – The Greeks Had a Word for It and Loco. The film stars the all star cast of Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe.

How to Marry a Millionaire was the first film ever to be photographed in CinemaScope’s new wide-screen process, although it was released after The Robe, another film done by the same process. It was also the first movie to be presented on NBC Saturday Night at the Movies.

The movie was nominated and won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design – Color. All costumes were designed by Charles LeMaire and Travilla. Travilla soon became friends with Marilyn Monroe during the filming of How to Marry a Millionaire and went on to do several movies with her including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Travilla is also the creator of the most famous costume design – the ivory cocktail dress in The Seven Year Itch. Shown below are costumes used in How to Marry a Millionaire.

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Schatze (Bacall) in her stylish lace wedding gown.

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Monroe in her dazzling maroon gown.

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Pola (Monroe), Loco (Grable), and Schatze (Bacall) modeling three sample dresses in the film for Tom Brookman (Mitchell).

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Loco, Pola, and Schatze lounging on their patio.

 

Cast:

Betty Grable as Loco Dempsey

Marilyn Monroe as Pola Debevoise

Lauren Bacall as Schatze Page

David Wayne as Freddie Denmark

Rory Calhoun as Eben

Cameron Mitchell as Tom Brookman

Alex D’Arcy as J. Stewart Merrill

Fred Clark as Waldo Brewster

William Powell as J.D. Hanley

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