The huge, vacant apartment inhabited by these soft-hearted manhunters is a fitting symbol: this is the first film shot in CinemaScope, and the capable but uninspired Negulesco shows off the possibilities of the format like it’s an empty house just put on the market. He sets up all these expansive canvases, from the vast penthouse to the snowy hills of the Maine countryside, but seems satisfied with merely showing off the size of the frame, rather than spatially utilizing it.
I don’t remember ever finding MILLIONAIRE that funny. My best friend at school was a Marilyn obsessive and I sort of drifted along into that... HTMAM had Monroe and so it was good, but not that funny, and it went without saying that it would have been better with MORE Monroe. Funnily enough, my response to it is about the same thirty-four years later.
Although the Siren would cite Written on the Wind as Bacall’s best _film_ of the 1950s, How to Marry a Millionaire was her best _role_. Bacall was one of the few pre-1960 actresses who played a model while looking like a model; Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable look like showgirls, not mannequins. As Schatze, Bacall is the ringleader and outwardly the most hard-bitten of this gold-digging trio. But Bacall is also the most lovable, because she plays it as a woman too smart for the room.