QUESTION: How to Marry a Millionaire was the first film ever shot in the magic of CinemaScope, but it was not the first released. What movie was completed after …Millionaire but released first?
A) The Robe
C) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
D) House of Wax
As we stay in the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour blog, we would like to recognize a film not only honored with photographs hanging from the walls, but that was the second biggest money-making film of 1953: How to Marry a Millionaire. It had all the ingredients a movie needed for success: Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and Marilyn Monroe. Oh sure, there are likely other ingredients that may have helped make the movie a success, but really. Bacall, Grable and Monroe? What else matters? The film is a comedy about gold digging, which is to say about beautiful women whose ambitions in life are to marry … um … millionaires. Schatze (played by Lauren Bacall) is the practical one, Loco (Grable) is the perky one, and Monroe is typecast again as the simplistic blonde who never puts on her glasses for fear of looking unappealing. Because of her nearsightedness, she finds herself accidentally flying to Kansas City when she was trying to get to Atlantic City.
The film, with its beautiful leading ladies in pursuit of the riches of William Powell's J.D. Hanley, Eben played by Rory Calhoun (who is, tragically, not wealthy), and Fred Clark's Waldo Brewster. We confess we're simplifying the story, but we don't want to spoil anything for you. The comedy proved to be a huge hit and 20th Century Fox's first foray into CinemaScope - a widescreen extraveganza developed to challenge the threat of television. Eight years later, it would become the first CinemaScope film to air on television. Of course, it was presented in pan-and-scan format, not the widescreen seen in the theater. Tune in tomorrow as we learn about the stars of the film...
ANSWER: A) The Robe, although all five films (including …Millionaire were released in 1953)