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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Let's Make Love -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As Marilyn Monroe's penultimate film, and her last in color, and her final completed film for Fox (her final work was the extraordinary The Misfits, which should not be missed), it has an interesting place in history.

    Great film?

    Not by a long shot.

    But...

    There's treasure to be mined here.

    With a film starring Marilyn and Yves Montand, the one actor that would never appear might be Milton Berle.

    But he does.

    And he's terrific.

    Literally stealing the film away from the two stars.

    Add Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly (as themselves), brought in to try to help Montand learn to act, and one can only wonder what director George Cukor might have done with a better screenplay.

    As a disc, the Twilight Time release is okay.

    Sound is fine, but image is problematic, appearing as overall faded, with almost non-existent blacks, and shadows disappearing into the backgrounds.

    Not horrible, but noticeable.

    Might the film have been worth a full-blown restoration?

    Not sure.


    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    Upgrade from DVD - Probably

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    RAH
     
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  2. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I watched it on TCM recently and I thought the print looked great. It's a very odd film, but worth seeing, chiefly for Yves Montand's and Marilyn's scenes together. They're great, but their scenes are sandwiched between one awful musical number after another featuring this baffling British pop star, Frankie Vaughan, whom I'd never heard of before, playing the lead in the musical within the movie and Marilyn's character's boyfriend. He just doesn't register at all. He's what Mr. Bean would look like if he embarked on a serious career as a lounge lizard. The sad thing is that Yves Montand was an accomplished musical star in his own right, but isn't allowed to let loose because his character has to learn how to sing, dance and be funny. What a wasted opportunity.

    As for Milton Berle, the whole joke behind his participation is that they want to teach Yves how to be funny so they hire the least funny comedian in the world--Berle! His unfunniness is the joke.

    And Kelly's and Crosby's cameos are just pointless.

    If the script had just stayed with Montand and Monroe and built a farce based on his masquerading as someone else, it could have been a comic masterpiece on the order of LOVE COME BACK, with Doris Day and Rock Hudson.
     
  3. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    I did read about Marilyn disliking the script but did the film to end her contract with 20th Century Fox.
     
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  4. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I just watched the film for the first time last night. I enjoyed it. I agree it’s not one of her better ones though.

    Thanks for the review Robert!!!
     
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  5. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    Except that it wasn't the end of her contract with Fox. She still had Something's Got to Give to do afterwards.
     
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  6. Message #6 of 49 Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
    Garysb

    Garysb Producer

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    Here is the incomplete last Monroe film, "Something's Got To Give" put together for a documentary, A remake of " My Favorite Wife" in case in you want to see the entire story. Or " Move Over Darling" with Doris Day and James Garner , who replaced Monroe and Martin after Monroe's death.

     
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  7. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Stunt Coordinator

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    For me, Let's Make Love is the Monroe film I like the least. I do wish Fox had not fired her from Something's Got to Give. It may have been even better than Move Over, Darling which is not my favorite Doris Day comedy. And who knows, maybe Marilyn would still be alive today!
     
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  8. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, Fox did re-hire her shortly before her death. They replaced director George Cukor, with whom she did not get along, with Jean Negulesco who had directed her in How to Marry A Millionaire -- and in exchange she agreed not to have her pain-in-the-ass acting coach, Paula Strasberg, on the set anymore.
     
  9. filmnoirguy

    filmnoirguy Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Garysb. Really enjoyed it! Cheers~~
     
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  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    In an interview, Tony Randall had nothing good to say about working with Marilyn on Let's Make Love. He said she was "wretched" (his word) to work with, never appearing on time for her calls and keeping the entire cast and crew waiting for her. He had complete sympathy for her medical and psychological problems, but he said she shouldn't have been hired if she couldn't be a complete professional.
     
  11. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony Randall was a mean old queen. My former landlord, David Chiericetti, who has authored several film-related books, was a production assistant on a TV movie Randall starred in called Sidney Schorr, A Girl's Best Friend. This was back in the 1970s and David was an aspiring writer. He was chatting with the movie's screenwriter on the set one day, picking his brains about writing. Randall saw them talking and had David fired -- for no reason other than that he didn't think a lowly production assistant had any business conversing with the screenwriter.
     
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  12. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    Tony Randall was not the only person who disliked working with Marilyn Monroe. Even people who were quite sympathetic towards her and her difficulties, like Jane Russell, Jack Lemmon and Richard Widmark, have admitted it could be a strain having to put up with her special needs.
     
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  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    An interesting pronouncement to make, expectially as a new member.

    You have seemingly taken one individual’s comments, and posted them as an absolute. I’ve personally never heard anything negative about the man. Met him occasionally at screenings, and always found him warm, intelligent and accessible.
     
  14. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    Well excuse me, but David would not have made up a story like that. I'm glad you had better experiences with Mr. Randall -- perhaps you were luckier than David in that you didn't have to work with him.

    And by the way, what does my being a new member have to do with anything?
     
  15. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    I met Tony Randall when he was doing the play of “The Odd Couple” with Jack Klugman on the road at a local theater. A friend who worked there got my wife and I invited backstage after and the two of them couldn’t have been nicer. Tony was asking if we could hear everything ok and Jack was concerned because of his limited speaking ability but assured them it was a great performance. They graciously autographed the program which topped off a wonderful evening.
     
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  16. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Uh-oh.
     
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  17. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    I probably should have made clear that it was Mr. Chierichetti who referred to Tony Randall as "a mean old queen". I never met Mr. Randall so I would be in no position to make such a comment.
     
  18. david hare

    david hare Supporting Actor

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    God forbid any of us should call each other here "mean old queen". The cutting part is "old". More seriously in the context of Marilyn by the time she did Got to Give all hell was breaking loose in her life. I like both her and Randall as movie actors very much (her more so) but Cukor was withering, with reason. (He was also withering about Judy for similar reasons, this according to the author of Full Service.) Stella Adler was a big part of the problem. And the louses she married, every one of them (except Di Maggio.) I really like Let's Make Love a lot, and the screen chemistry with Montand is pretty visible. It's a much better movie than reputation suggests, that whole early 60s Cukor period is very rich.
     
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  19. Big Gay Andy

    Big Gay Andy Stunt Coordinator

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    Lee and Paula Strasberg were Marilyn's acting teachers, not Stella Adler.
     
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  20. david hare

    david hare Supporting Actor

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    Wasnt Stella the voice coach (from hell.) whom Prem banned from the set of River of no Return, after many tantrumsz?
     

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