Monday, 11 January 2016

Let's Make It Legal (1951)

Like the last two films from this pack, this movie dates to the period where Monroe was still making her mark, and she again has only a minor role: that of a young model unsuccessfully trying to win the attention of millionaire bachelor Victor Macfarland.

The reason for Monroe's character's failure is Mrs Miriam Halsworth, whom Macfarland loved twenty years earlier, but lost to another man.  Miriam is on the verge of divorce however - the man she married was an inveterate gambler, and though he was actually quite successful at it, she grew tired of him paying more attention to the race track and the poker table than he did her.

Macfarland sees his opportunity and begins a pursuit of Miriam.  This does not sit well with the soon-to-be-divorced Mr Halsworth however, who has ambitions to win Miriam back.  Not that he seems to be inclined to give up his gambling habits as part of pursuing those ambitions, mind you.

It's nice to see a film structured around a romantic tussle over a woman who is explicitly a grandmother in the script, and who is played by an age appropriate actor, but my appreciation is definitely undermined by the fact that neither of the men chasing her appears to be worth a damn.  Macfarland is just as quick to put his business and political ambitions ahead of her as her ex was to prioritise his gambling, and I've already pointed out the obvious problem with the latter man.

The film itself has good performances and some amusing patter, but at the end of the day my dislike for both suitors made it hard for me to care who Miriam chose, and on that basis, I can't recommend it.

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