Let's Make it Legal
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Although this film has been entered into the Marilyn Monroe collection and features her photo on the cover, this is one of her early roles and therefore she is hardly in the film. Her part is as a client of Carey. She performs the way a new actress would, slightly forced but undeniably sexily.
The real star of this film is Claudette Colbert, obviously older than she was in her prime but still quite beautiful. She plays her part confidently as the epitome of a desirable woman who takes care of her family with ease and still has time to do the things that make her happy.
Zachary Scott is attractive and somewhat reminiscent of Clark Gable, a co-star of Colbert's in several films. However, he does not have the same chemistry with her that Gable did.
MacDonald Carey, however, does. Even in the few scenes in which his character gets along with his former wife, sparks fly.
Barbara Bates is very beautiful as the daughter of the separated pair. She plays her part sympathetically as the new adult who cannot do anything for herself. She is appropriately childlike.
Overall, this film is better than one might expect. It is peppered with witty dialogue and a sweet plot. It is certainly no masterpiece, but it is a nice way to spend 76 minutes.
Claudette Colbert plays Miriam, who is in the final stages of divorcing her gambling husband Hugh (Macdonald Carey). But Hugh wants to stay married and is willing to pull every trick in the book to ensure Miriam stays with him. Competition arrives in the form of Victor (Zachary Scott), Miriam's highschool sweetheart, a self-made millionaire who quickly begins wooing her all over again. It's going to be the battle to end all battles as Hugh and Victor go head-to-head in their efforts to win Miriam.
Barbara Bates and a young Robert Wagner co-star. Marilyn Monroe's role of Joyce, a client of Hugh's, is quite small, but Fox has issued this film and a few others as supplements to the `Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection' box sets. Fans will enjoy it, but fans of Claudette Colbert will love it even more.
The playing tone is bright and the players give their all. Although Colbert plays a premature grandmother, she is as warm and witty as ever. It was fun seeing Carey play a highly comedic role with a distinct physical component, and he certainly seemed to enjoy playing it. Zachary Scott (whom most moviegoers are more likely to remember as the decadent aristocrat Monte Beragon in 1945's MILDRED PIERCE) is a delightful study in narcissism: watch how the camera catches his unctuous face and bright lying eyes as he goes after his high-school sweetheart from over 20 years ago. Young contract players Barbara Bates and Robert Wagner play the divorcing couple's daughter and son-in-law who still live with the folks with their new baby, and fall into a war of nerves: she wants her folks to get back together while he is cheering for Scott's character.
And Marilyn? She was still only partway through her build-up phase, between the time she signed her second contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1950 following her brief comic turn in ALL ABOUT EVE, to the full-blown star of NIAGARA and GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES in 1953. As always, she holds the screen whenever she is on it, but her role here is quite brief, probably no more than ten minutes' playing time spread over several scenes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There has been a lot of reflection lately in the media, on the political stump and around the water cooler by those older generations, the dwindling number of Great Depression and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Alfred Johnson
Let's Make It Legal is a comedy movie that came out way back in 1951. Miriam (Claudette Colbert) and Hugh Halsworth (Macdonald Carey) are in the process of getting divorced after a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gene Belflower
A great old movie, my favorite kind, but I object to Marilyn's small part being the biggest selling point, the other female stars were also gorgeous. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Movielover
Came very quickly and just as described. I'm very happy with itPublished 15 months ago by Jennifer N.
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