These three ladies are an absolute work of art. Like a live action painting.
A trio of sunrises that were put on to this world to make us happy whenever we take the time to stop and take them in.
And I’m not just talking about exterior beauty here. These girls had the talent of Goddesses. Commanding your attention with their chops, delivery, and just sheer presence.
Notable for many facts, Millionaire is probably most known for two in particular.
It was the first movie to use the CinemaScope technology. And it was also a passing of the torch from Betty Grable to Marilyn Monroe.
Those facts alone should make this work of art a must-see. Cinemascope shaped how we see the silver screen today. And you don’t need me to tell you what a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon Monroe is.
But what makes it what it is isn’t just new technology or the passing of torches. It’s the three angels at the top of their game and bringing the clinic we call acting.
Ladies aside, another thing that keeps me coming back to this movie time and again is the pacing and lovely plot turns.
Not once does Millionaire plod along or lag in pace. It helps that the casting choice was perfect of course. But not a second is wasted on menial tasks like getting from one scene to the next. It’s explained. Then it happens.
Every scene is like SNAP SNAP SNAP!!! Taking it’s time on the important. Sacking the mundane. It’s a movie to relax to and cherish that is also over before you know it.
The use of Cinemascope really benefits the leads too. Every time Bacall, Grable, or Monroe are in a scene, the set is ridiculously wide. Showing more in the shot than probably needed.
But in this case it’s a perfect thing. Because when any or all of these ladies are in this space, they command the room through sheer talent as if to say :
"All this. This entire vast space of scene. Is mine."
It’s bloody wonderful.
The passing of Lauren Bacall was deeply saddening. And what prompted this celebration of these women.
Lauren was like no other. I remember seeing her for the first time in Key Largo on a rainy afternoon all warm and cosy by the fire. I fell in love immediately.
A talent so measured and precise, it’s not hard for me to see why, out of the three talents on show in Millionaire, she is the lead.
Taking charge of the trio to bag themselves a rich husband, there’s a beautiful depth to her character.
Whilst Marilyn and Betty are along for the ride, you can see clearly that they just want to love and be loved. Money is just a bonus in life to them.
This makes Bacall’s character seem like the cold assassin in comparison. Underlying all this however is her tale of an ex-husband who did her wrong and took all that she had. Including her heart. Especially her heart.
This damaged leader wasn’t going to give herself up to anyone but a Mr Rich. Or so she’d have you believe.
Lauren plays the initial cold, agenda-filled woman like she does everything she did : masterfully.
I don’t like her character for a while in this movie and I adore Lauren Bacall. Testament to how perfect she was at her craft. It also makes her development throughout the movie that much more satisfying when she unravels her true feelings.
I love you Lauren Bacall xxx
“The Pin-Up Girl.”
“The Girl With the Million Dollar Legs.”
“The Queen of Technicolor.”
To me she’s just "Miss Freakin’ Awesome."
It’s impossible for me to yadda on about these women without repeating myself. Each one is as talented as the last and it’s what makes this movie the timeless juggernaut it has become.
There is a reason that Betty was the “Face of 20th Century Fox” when she was. She had a talent that transcended Hollywood’s obsession with beauty. And you only have to look at the picture above to see how beautiful this woman is. Talent personified.
Her tale is probably the sweetest of the three in their quest for gold. Set in the snowy peaks of Maine with a wonderful young Ranger. It’s so ruddy romantic I tells ya.
And Betty plays the sweet lady like she did everything : masterfully.
Whilst researching the passing of the torch yesterday, I was filled with an initial dread. Marilyn being the new "Face of 20th Century Fox" caused many publications to speculate that Betty and Marilyn would be at each others throats on set. My stomach sank as I just had to know the truth.
Not because I relish dirt. Completely the opposite. Nothing saddens me more.
I looked for the truth and there it was. Whilst on set at the beginning of filming, Betty would take Marilyn to one side and tell her :
"Go and get yours honey. I’ve had mine."
See. Miss Freakin’ Awesome.
To me, Marilyn Monroe isn’t just worthy of her eternal crown as Queen. She’s actually underrated.
As the torch was passed to this absolute idol, I feel like one thing was cemented in this film that doesn’t get touched upon enough : she’s a comedic genius.
Not only does she know how to deliver a line to get the laugh required. She tweaks it to perfection to get that little bit more. And Millionaire cements this ladies place among comedies greats.
Playing the role of a near-blind beauty who won’t wear glasses around men conjures up this movies most memorable scenes. Her constant, glassy vacancy in her eyes is simultaneously adorable and funny as hell.
When she attempts to interact with potential husbands you can see that not a single face movement or look is wasted. Each measured movement is as funny as the next and I’m not ashamed to say that it takes me up to 2 hours to watch this 90 minute movie because I’m constantly rewinding her scenes as every subtle movement she makes is such a hoot.
It would take me a lifetime to try and justify why she’s not just the Queen, but underrated. There simply aren’t enough words in the English language. She’s just that damn good.
In a world where everyone is the "next big thing" or the next "this actress” or "that actress", there simply is, and will never be, another Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn was no "next (insert any actress that ever came before)" and nobody will ever be the next Marilyn Monroe. It’s not necessarily a sad fate. It’s a reason why she should be cherished until the end of time.
Heaven now has all these ladies to entertain them. Somewhere, up there in the ether, are some lucky people in the afterlife that are discovering what we knew all along :
These ladies are absolute perfection.
Thank you for your time xxx