How to Marry a Millionaire
Based on a play by Zoe Akins and Dale Eunson, three models scheme to find rich husbands but fall in love with handsome young men instead.
Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall) rents a luxurious apartment and calls Pola Debevoise (Marilyn Monroe) to come over. Pola, who is nearly blind without her glasses, calls Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable), who arrives with groceries carried by Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell). Schatze has Tom leave. Schatze wants to get married, and they all want a rich man.
Schatze sells the piano for $2,500. Their furniture disappears. Tom calls Schatze for a date, but she says no. Loco comes in with J. D. Hanley (William Powell) carrying packages. Hanley invites them to meet rich men.
Schatze with Hanley, Pola with J. Stewart Merrill (Alex D’Arcy), and Pola with Waldo Brewster (Fred Clark) come in to a restaurant. Loco learns that Waldo is married. Hanley is from Texas, and Schatze dreams of cattle and oil wells. Pola dreams she goes to Arabia. Loco dreams of food.
Tom sees the three women and others modeling clothes, and he asks to see Schatze again but rejects all the clothes. Loco takes a train to Maine with Waldo, but she finds they are alone with the driver in the lodge. Loco has a fever, and the driver Eben (Rory Calhoun) makes a call to diagnose that she has measles.
Freddie Denmark (David Wayne) comes back to his apartment and finds it nearly empty. Schatze comes in with Hanley. Freddie hides outside in the rain. Hanley tells Schatze that he is too old for her and that he is leaving town. Freddie sees Pola come in as he is leaving. Hanley offers to buy back the furniture.
Loco skis with Eben, and they kiss. Waldo has measles, and Loco does his nails. Eben points out to Loco his portion of the forest. Freddie finds his apartment restored with furniture. Pola comes in to answer the phone. Merrill invites her to fly. On the plane Freddie sits next to her. He urges her to wear her glasses, and they land in Kansas City.
Eben tells Loco he is not rich but a forest ranger. Waldo drives Loco back to New York so that they will not be seen, but on the George Washington Bridge they run into publicity.
Tom and Schatze eat hamburgers, and she says she does not want to see him again; but they keep dating. She is in financial trouble and sells the furniture again. Hanley comes back and tells Schatze that he changed his mind. She calls back the furniture and tells Hanley yes.
Before the wedding Schatze tells Loco that Hanley is worth 30 million. Loco says she married Eben, and Pola says that she married Freddie. During the ceremony Schatze changes her mind and tells Hanley. She admits she is in love with Tom even though he is not wearing a tie. Hanley tells Tom that Schatze wants him.
In the final scene the three couples eat hamburgers. Tom says he has 200 million. When he pulls out a roll of money, the women faint.
This comedy makes fun of attractive women who aim to swap their good looks for wealth that might last longer; but ironically Schatze, who is most determined to find a rich man, keeps trying to reject a man she does not realize is wealthy. The glasses gag symbolizes that the desire to be attractive can make one blind.