TV Cream

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How to Marry a Millionaire

Lauren Bacall rents a sumptuous uptown apartment and enlists Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable into a three-way gold digging manhunt in this undeniably stereotyped and episodic but genuinely enjoyable and great-looking screwball confection. Monroe does some cute Velma-style short sighted bits, Bacall cracks Bogiecentric in-jokes and does the half-shut eyes bit, and Grable, er, has a crap haircut. It’s 90% corn, naturally, and the gags are of the “elderly toff’s monocle falling into his cocktail in surprise” variety, but it’s all done with such old-school Hollywood chutzpah it scarcely matters. This being an early Cinemascope and stereo release, cross your fingers and pray that whichever channel you happen to be watching this on of a Saturday afternoon has dug out the letterboxed version, as the pan and scan edition is largely useless. We won’t mind if they’ve snipped the thoroughly pointless showroom demonstration “orchestral overture” scene, though. Fans of Cream clich├ęs will be glad to know this was, yes, made into a TV series some years later, madly enough, with Barbara ‘Jeannie’ Eden in the Grable role.

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