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Let's Make it Legal

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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(Apr 20, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

A still-gorgeous grandmother (Claudette Colbert) divorces her husband Hugh (Macdonald Carey) because he's a compulsive gambler. Their daughter (Barbara Bates) does all she can to get them back together, but problems arise when Victor (Zachary Scott), Mom's high school sweetheart-turned-millionaire, suddenly arrives in town. Even though a breathtaking beauty (Marilyn Monroe) is hot on his trail, Vic only has eyes for "Grandma"- driving ex-husband Hugh to the brink of comic insanity as he wages a wild and unforgettable battle to win his wife back.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey, Zachary Scott, Barbara Bates, Robert Wagner
  • Directors: Richard Sale
  • Writers: F. Hugh Herbert, I.A.L. Diamond, Mortimer Braus
  • Producers: Robert Bassler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FR55W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,733 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Let's Make it Legal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Samantha Glasser VINE VOICE on December 26, 2005
Format: DVD
Let's Make it Legal is a film about a couple who are divorcing. The wife (Claudette Colbert) has decided that she has had enough of her husband's (MacDonald Carey) gambling and calls it quits. It is obvious that he still loves her and their grown daughter (Barbara Bates) does all she can to fix them up again. However, an old flame (Zachary Scott), now a well-known political figure, comes into town and practically sweeps the newly single wife off her feet, creating a stir in the family.

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.
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Format: DVD
Claudette Colbert adds her special charms to LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL, a charming B-comedy from Twentieth Century-Fox, which also features Marilyn Monroe in one of her early "cheesecake cameo" roles.

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.
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Format: DVD
Let's Make it Legal was an enjoyable movie from an era before the pervasiveness of television necessitated that movies be done on scales grand enough to compete with the small screen. This is just a simple little story with an impressive cast. Great for the Robert Wagner fan, as it was one of his first roles, and he is featured prominently. Claudette Colbert is great as always. And, to the reviewer who said we shouldn't watch it because Marilyn Monroe is only on screen for eight minutes, it should be remembered that not everyone is looking for Marilyn Monroe.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL is a brisk (77 mins.) romantic-triangle black-and-white dialog comedy from 1951. A middle-aged couple (Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey) are on the verge of divorce because of his gambling problem when a beau from high-school days (Zachary Scott), who since became a nationally prominent industrialist, shows up to woo Claudette, at which point the Macdonald Carey character redoubles his efforts to win her back.

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.
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