Monday, January 5, 2009

how to marry a millionaire...and still enjoy a great hamburger

"a gentleman you meet among the cold cuts is simply not as attractive as one at the meat department at bergdorf's."
such are the rules set by lauren bacall's character schatze page in how to marry a millionaire (1953). bacall, marilyn monroe, and betty grable play three models who set up a class act in a manhattan apartment to snag rich husbands. schatze discusses the proposition with pola (monroe) and loco (grable) over hotdogs and champagne.

all three girls are having a rough time of it, selling off furniture from the (rented) apartment to finance evenings at stork and twenty-one, until all that remains are card tables and folding chairs. their fridge contains a only a corsage and a package of hot dogs. to their rescue comes jd hanley, having been picked up by loco in the meat department at bergdorf's. he invites the three to a reception at the oil institute. from there, events percolate which lead pola and loco to meet eligible, creamy young men who are unfortunately poor. schatze persists, though, and spurns the advances of tom brookman, a "gas pump jockey" by schatze's estimations and completely unworthy. he doesn't even wear a necktie. however, as she's about to marry the millionaire jd, she realizes she really loves tom. the three ladies adjourn with their respective steadies to the local "greasy spoon", where tom pulls out a wad of $1000 bills and reveals (surprise!) he is actually worth $200 million. happily ever after ensues.
the film's defining food moment is when schatze is with tom at hamburger heaven. she is lathering her hamburger with everything from ketchup to coleslaw and has already ordered seconds. tom shrewdly appraises her, "you're strictly a hamburger with onions dame and won't admit're not the kind of girl you pretend to be at all".

can someone be rich AND love coleslaw? all indications point to yes, after all.

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