The Celluloid Pantry: Food Fantasies and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Pin it button big

What are you dreaming of?

In How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), three fortune-hunting models, Pola (Marilyn Monroe, right), Schatze (Lauren Bacall, left), and Loco (Betty Grable, center), pool their resources to rent out a swank, fully furnished Sutton Place apartment (at $1000/month!) in the hopes of snagging rich husbands.

Pin it button big

Over a lunch of hot dogs and champagne, the three sit on the terrace and scheme. Loco, a salt-of-the-earth girl with a big appetite, thinks the fella from the deli was kind of cute, but Schatze quickly puts the kibosh on that idea. "The thing you've got to remember is this: that a gentleman you meet among the cold cuts is not as attractive as one you meet, say, in the mink department at Bergdorf's....Well, kids, where’ll we eat tonight, Stork or 21?”

That night, the three women dream in a kind of cartoon shorthand that reveals their deepest desires. Schatze goes shopping with a wealthy Texas tycoon, Pola flies on the private jet of an oil magnate, who takes her to Arabia and showers her with jewels, and, lastly, Loco is shown licking her lips as she sleeps. Instead of an elaborate dream scenario with money and millionaires, we get a simple beauty shot of a hot dog on a plate with mustard and cold beer.

What kind of food are you dreaming of? For me, right now, on the East Coast at the end of a long winter, it's got to be tomatoes or strawberries still warm from the sun.

- Nora

You might also like

Recommended by Apartment Therapy

Categories

The Celluloid Pantry

Nora Maynard is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her recent work has appeared in Salon, Drunken Boat, and The Millions. She recently completed her ninth marathon and her first novel, Burnt Hill Road. Nora wrote for The Kitchn from 2006 to 2011.

4 Comments