One of the first films shot in CinemaScope, its glorious, wide screen bursting with brio and blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire features Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Betty Grable as three impecunious roommates who land a Sutton Place penthouse for the season and use it as a millionaire magnet (feminism seems very far off in the early ’50s) — but just who has the dough and who doesn’t isn’t always clear, especially to the near-sighted Monroe, who refuses to wear glasses. For women of modest means pawning furniture to pay the bills, the three gold diggers have well-stocked closets: Millionaire offers an endless parade of ’50s fashion. (The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.) With a score that leans heavily on Gershwin, How to Marry a Millionaire opens with Alfred Newman’s legendary “Street Scene,” a swell introduction to this lesson in how true love means most when it’s accompanied by lots of money.
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