Classic Movie Junkie and the Countdown

Lauren Bacall_WIkipedia CommonsSchatze Page:  Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband.

From How to Marry a Millionaire, 20th Century Fox, 1953


Yikes. The countdown has begun. It’s no longer months till the release of It Had To Be You, but days.

Am I excited? Yes. Happy? You bet. Stressed? Yeah, a little.

You know how they say good things can be as stressful as bad things? There’s truth to that. The release of a new book is a very good thing, so all I should be doing this month is basking in happiness and excitement. I should not be nibbling at my nails as well as every innocent piece of chocolate that crosses my path.

But there you have it. Me. Wherever I go… there I am. Basking and nibbling… 😉

Writers out there… am I alone?


It’s a good thing there are some terrific movies on tap to help keep me happily distracted and away from the chocolate truffles bag.  Here are just two of my favorites, both of which coincidentally feature Lauren Bacall, a class act if there ever was one.

Anyone else a Bacall fan? What are your favorite Lauren Bacall movies?

Tuesday March 11 (Wednesday am)

Paul Newman_Harper_WIkipedia_Commons1:15 am  Harper (1966)  Detective/Mystery/Action. TCM. A sardonic P.I. is hired by the wife of a multi-millionaire to find her missing husband.  Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Arthur Hill, Janet Leigh.

Why?  Kick back and enjoy. Newman is a pure treat to watch in this no frills, sunny California hard-boiled detective mystery. He’s backed solidly by an accomplished cast of 60s stars—Robert Wagner, Julie Harris, Janet Leigh, Shelley Winters, and Arthur Hill.  Lauren Bacall is priceless. (As is Newman in his scivvies. Just sayin’…)

3:30 am   How to Marry a Millionaire. (1953) Romantic Comedy. TCM.  Three beautiful New York models set out to catch millionaires, but find true love instead. Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, William Powell.How to Marry a Millionaire_Wikipedia_Commons

Why? Funny, entertaining and a visual delight. From gorgeous widescreen shots of the Manhattan skyline to the three stunning lead actresses to their fabulous wardrobe—all shot in vivid Technicolor.

Bacall, who plays the trio’s ringleader Schatze, handily delivers most of the smart dialogue; Betty Grable charms as the cheeky Loco; and Marilyn Monroe is perfect as the nearsighted, sweetly dim Pola. William Powell–ever debonair in this, his last big screen role—doesn’t miss a beat.

(Caveat: Beware an opening orchestra sequence that’s amazing but may overstay its welcome—six minutes. If you must, go get a snack. The wait is well worth it.)

Trivia Corner – How to Marry a Millionaire.

When Marilyn Monroe’s character models a swimsuit, she’s introduced with the words “You know, of course, that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Not so coincidentally, Monroe sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in her other hit film from 1953, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Listen closely for two other in-jokes–throw-away references to Bacall’s and Grable’s real-life famous spouses:

  • The first is delivered by Lauren Bacall to William Powell: “I’ve always liked older men… Look at that old fellow what’s-his-name in The African Queen. Absolutely crazy about him.”
  • In a later scene at the lodge, Betty Grable’s character mentions Betty’s real life husband, band leader Harry James, while listening to the radio.

Have a great week!

Times listed are EDST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.


Photo Credits

Lauren Bacall Publicity Photo – Unknown Author  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Paul Newman – Harper by Warner Bros.  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Trailer screenshot (How to Marry a Millionaire trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons