Saturday, February 12, 2011

Let's Make Love

1960 was just two years before Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) died.  It was the year she made Let's Make Love.  This was not one of her best works, especially after just making hits like Bus Stop (1956) and Some Like it Hot (1959).

The movie starred Yves Montand (1921 - 1991) as a billionaire who is mistaken for an actor in a review that includes Monroe as the singer.  The supporting roles are played by Tony Randall (1920 - 2004) and Wilfred Hyde-White (1903 - 1991).

The credits are amazing.  Directed by George Cukor and with a screen play written in part by Arthur Miller (Monroe's husband), there were cameos by Milton Berle, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly.  I am not sure why I didn't like this movie more than I did.

It was noted in some reviews on IMDb that it was not particularly favored by Monroe or Montand.  A small part as the male singer was played by Frankie Vaughan (1928 - 1999) who only appeared in seven movies.  He was so put off by the experience that he gave up acting.

Vaughan wasn't very good, in my opinion.  He was trying too hard to be Frank Sinatra, but his singing was less than impressive.  He apparently went on to be a headliner in London and Vegas, and he was knighted by the queen a few years later.

I didn't even see any chemistry between Monroe and Montand.  In the movie, Montand was supposed to be smitten with Monroe, and eventually Monroe came around.  What is interesting is that the two, though both were married at the time, did have an affair during the filming.  Maybe they were trying too hard to hide their feelings.

Of course, the best part is looking at the Bit Parts.  Former Stooge Joe Besser (1907 - 1988) plays a comedy writer.  We even see Leonard Breman (1915 - 1986) in a small part as a waiter.  Make sure you check out my earlier posts on Breman.

Let's Make Love is not really a bad movie.  It is a romantic comedy that is a little dated due to the style of 1960.  I think 1960 was a transition between the war years including the boom just after the war, and the free love era that was yet to come.  Movies made in that middle period are a mix of styles, so they didn't easily fit.

Marilyn Monroe is really the standout in this film, turning in a very good, believable performance.  For the fact that this was her second to last film, a year before The Misfits with Clark Gable, it is worthy of viewing.  By this time in her life she must have been troubled, but she still could act and sing.


  1. I'm not very fond of this film either. I've tried! It just falls flat for me. With Tony Randall in a key supporting role (let alone the two leads and George Cukor directing), it's only natural to expect something much better.

  2. Thanks, Eve. I'm glad I'm not alone. I did think that Marilyn did her best to bring in a good performance.

    According to some other reviews of the movie, the script was re-written to highlight Marilyn's part, and some other leading men turned it down, hoping to get the original story instead. Of course, Arthur Miller did the re-write for his wife.

  3. Not sure this sort of film was Miller's, "The Misfits," that's another story...

  4. Well, he did know how to pick a wife. See the pic I just added to the post. She must have seen something in him, but I am not a Marilyn expert.


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