Let's Make It Legal

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Let's Make It Legal
Lets make it legal.jpeg
Original film poster
Directed by Richard Sale
Produced by Robert Bassler
Screenplay by I.A.L. Diamond
F. Hugh Herbert
Based on A story by Mortimer Braus
Starring Claudette Colbert
Macdonald Carey
Zachary Scott
Barbara Bates
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Lionel Newman
Cinematography Lucien Ballard
Edited by Robert Fritch
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release dates
November 6, 1951
Running time
77 min.
Country USA
Language English
Box office $1.25 million (US rentals)[1]

Let's Make It Legal is a 1951 American comedy film made by Twentieth Century-Fox, directed by Richard Sale and produced by Robert Bassler from a screenplay by I.A.L. Diamond and F. Hugh Herbert, based on a story by Mortimer Braus entitled "My Mother-in-Law, Miriam". The music was by Cyril J. Mockridge and the cinematography by Lucien Ballard.

The film stars Claudette Colbert, Macdonald Carey, Zachary Scott, Barbara Bates, and Marilyn Monroe.

Plot summary[edit]

Hugh (Macdonald Carey) and Miriam Halsworth (Claudette Colbert) are in the final stages of their divorce procedure. Miriam wants to separate because he's addicted to gambling - although he often wins. She's living with her daughter Barbara (Barbara Bates), her son-in-law Jerry Denham (Robert Wagner) and her little grandchild. Hugh, who's living at the hotel where he works, makes a fuss with the gardener about his rosebushes.

Hugh is also Jerry's boss. They work in the publicity department for the Miramar Hotel and have to follow Victor Macfarland (Zachary Scott), a self-made millionaire who's trying to get on the financial advisory committee for the President. Twenty years ago Hugh and Victor were rivals for Miriam's hand.

A blonde fortune hunter, Joyce Mannering (Marilyn Monroe), is trying to attract Victor, but he's only interested in winning back Miriam. She accepts his marriage proposal, but is disappointed when he postpones the marriage for a hearing on his appointment in Washington. Just before he steps on the plane he explains to Miriam why he left her twenty years ago (but the audience can't hear what he says because the plane makes too much noise).

Miriam is furious with Hugh but he doesn't know why. She refuses to let him in, which leads to a comical intermezzo in which Hugh and Jerry are arrested by the police. They are identified by Miriam and Barbara, and leave the police station.

Back home Miriam explains to Hugh that she was so angry because Victor told her that twenty years ago Hugh won her hand in a game of craps. Hugh admits this, and still has those two dice with him. He asks her to throw. It turns out the dice were loaded; they always throw three and four. Hugh admits he cheated because the stake was so high. Miriam is pleased with this explanation and they reconcile.



  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p224

External links[edit]