Let's Make Love
|Let's Make Love|
|Directed by||George Cukor|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
|Written by||Norman Krasna
|Music by||Lionel Newman
|Cinematography||Daniel L. Fapp|
|Editing by||David Bretherton|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation|
|Running time||119 minutes|
Let's Make Love is a 1960 musical comedy film made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by George Cukor and produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by Norman Krasna, Hal Kanter and Arthur Miller. It starred Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand and Tony Randall. It would be Monroe's last musical film performance.
The plot revolves around billionaire Jean-Marc Clement (Montand) who learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue. After going to the theatre, he sees Amanda Dell (Monroe) rehearsing the Cole Porter song "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", and by accident the director thinks him an actor suitable to play himself in the revue. Clement takes the part in order to see more of Amanda and plays along with the mistaken identity, going by the name Alexander Dumas.
Frankie Vaughan appears as a singer in the revue, while Milton Berle, Gene Kelly, and Bing Crosby appear in cameo roles as themselves trying to teach Clement how to deliver jokes, dance, and sing, respectively. Tony Randall in a supporting role portrays Clement's conflicted flunky.
Background and production
Norman Krasna was inspired to write the script after seeing Burt Lancaster do a dance at a Writers Guild award ceremony and receiving a loud applause. He came up with the idea of a story about a very wealthy playboy like Jock Whitney who hears about a company putting on a show that made fun of him and becomes enamoured of the theatre and a girl in the play.
Krasna felt that only three actors were suitable to play the male lead -- Gary Cooper, James Stewart and Gregory Peck -- because all were so obviously not musical performers, making it funny if they sung and danced. Peck agreed to play the lead, and then Marilyn Monroe was signed opposite him, even though Krasna would have preferred Cyd Charisse.
In her recent history, Monroe had garnered critical acclaim for her performances in Bus Stop (1956), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), and Some Like It Hot (1959). Let's Make Love did not appeal to her, but she was obliged to shoot the picture because of her contract with Twentieth Century Fox.
Arthur Miller revised the script so that more emphasis was given to Monroe, his wife. This led to Peck dropping out and Yves Montand was cast instead. Krasna felt he was miscast because he could actually sing and dance, and so ruined the joke, but Monroe was enthusiastic about Montand. The two stars wound up having an affair during the making of the film.
When the film was released, it received mixed to negative reviews and made only $4.5 million at the box office. It was the first film starring Monroe to earn so little money in years on its initial release. Production costs were earned back, and would later prove a mild success.
Let's Make Love received a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Music Score for Lionel Newman and Earle H. Hagen and two BAFTA nominations for Best Film from any Source for George Cukor and for Best Foreign Actor (Montand). It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture Musical/Comedy.
- Marilyn Monroe as Amanda Dell
- Yves Montand as Clement/Dumas
- Tony Randall as Coffman
- Frankie Vaughan as Tony
- Wilfrid Hyde-White as Welch
- Bing Crosby as Himself
- Gene Kelly as Himself
- Milton Berle as Himself
- Joe Besser as Charlie Lamont
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p252
- *McGilligan, Patrick, "Norman Krasna: The Woolworth's Touch", Backstory: Interviews with Screenwriters of Hollywood's Golden Age, University of California Press,1986 p229-231
- According to Variety the film earned $3 million in rentals in 1960. See "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.