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

Women in Film: Bette Davis

Bette Davis – The First Lady of the American Screen

Bette Davis created a heroine persona on and off screen by being a liberated woman in an industry dominated by men. She could play a variety of roles ranging from powerhouse dramas to raging psychopaths. Off-screen Davis battled the studio hierarchy in order to gain equal rights for all actors. Bette Davis has been a hero of mine since I first started watching classic film when I was nine. Even after doing biography after biography, I have always found her an interesting woman on and off screen.

“This has always been a motto of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” – Bette Davis

Filmography:

1989 Wicked Stepmother
1987 The Whales of August
1986 As Summer Die
1984 Murder with Mirrors
1983 Right of Way
1982 A Piano for Mrs. Cimino
Little Gloria
Hotel
1981 Family Reunion
1980 The Watcher in the Woods
White Mama
Skyward
1979 Strangers: The Story of a Mother and a Daughter
1978 Death on the Nile
Return from Witch Mountain
The Dark Secret of Harvest Home
1976 Burnt Offerings
The Disappearance of Aimee
1973 Scream, Pretty Peggy
1972 The Scientific Cardplayer
Connecting Rooms
Madame Sin
The Judge and Jake Wyler
1971 Bunny O’Hare
1968 The Anniversary
1965 The Nanny
1964 Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Where Love Has Gone
The Empty Canvas
Dead Ringer
1962 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
1961 Pocketful of Miracles
1959 The Scapegoat
John Paul Jones
1957 Stranded
1956 Storm Center
The Catered Affair
1955 The Virgin Queen
1952 Phone Call from a Stranger
Another Man’s Poison
The Star (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
1951 Payment on Demand
1950 All About Eve (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
1949 Beyond the Forest
1948 June Bride
Winter Meeting
1946 Deception
A Stolen Life
1945 The Corn is Green
1944 Mr. Skeffington (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
Hollywood Canteen
1943 Old Acquaintance
Watch on the Rhine
Thank Your Lucky Stars
1942 Now, Voyager (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
In This Our Life
1941 The Little Foxes (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
The Bride Came C.O.D.
The Great Lie
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Shining Victory
1940 The Letter (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
All This, and Heaven Too
1939 Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
The Old Maid
Juarez
Dark Victory (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
Day at Santa Anita
1938 The Sisters
Jezebel (Best Actress Academy Award Winner)
1937 It’s Love I’m After
That Certain Woman
Kid Galahad
Marked Woman
1936 Satan Met a Lady
The Golden Arrow
The Petrified Forest
1935 Dangerous (Best Actress Academy Award Winner)
Special Agent
Front Page Woman
The Girl from 10th Avenue
Bordertown
A Dream Comes True
1934 Housewife
Of Human Bondage (Best Actress Academy Award Nominee)
Fog Over Frisco
Jimmy the Gent
Fashions of 1934
The Big Shakedown
1933 Bureau of Missing Persons
Ex-Lady
The Working Man
Parachute Jumper
20,000 Years in Sing Sing
1932 Three on a Match
Cabin in the Cotton
The Rich Are Always with Us
So Big
The Man Who Played God
Hell’s House
The Menace
The Dark Horse
1931 Waterloo Bridge
Seed
Bad Sister
Way Back Home

Women in Film: In This Our Life (1942)

In This Our Life is an American drama film directed by John Huston. The screenplay by Howard Koch is based on the novel of the same name by Ellen Glasgow. The star studded cast includes Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland as sisters and rivals. The film was completed in 1942, but disapproved in 1942 for foreign release by the wartime Office of Censorship because it dealt with racial discrimination.

During production Bette Davis became concerned over John Huston’s relationship with Olivia de Havilland. She and de Havilland worked well together, but Davis feared John Huston would favor de Havilland with close ups, lighting, and editing. Davis ended up over acting to compensate for any favoritism. Once Huston found out of this, he immediately confronted Davis and said nothing would prevent him from making a good film. According to Davis, Huston’s Irish charm dispelled any fears she had from then on.

The film co-stars George Brent, Dennis Morgan, Frank Craven, Billie Burke, Charles Coburn, and Hattie McDaniel.