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How to Marry a Millionaire

How to Marry a Millionaire(1953)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Canny couturier model Schatze Page leases a posh New York City apartment owned by Freddie Denmark, a businessman "on the lam" from the Internal Revenue Service because of overdue taxes, and calls her friend, Pola Debevoise, to inform her that the deal is set. Pola, who vainly refuses to wear her glasses, despite being "blind as a bat," arrives and persuades Schatze to invite fellow model Loco Dempsey to live with them, though she has only a quarter. Instructed to bring lunch, Loco arrives with several bags of groceries carried by Tom Brookman, who paid for her food when Loco pretended to have forgotten her wallet. Although Tom is immediately taken with Schatze, she ushers him out and opines that a man met at the coldcuts counter is not as attractive as one met at the mink department in Bergdorf Goodman. Schatze then tells Loco that she and Pola have taken the apartment in order to find rich husbands, and that after divorcing a "gas pump jockey," she now wants to live in luxury. Impressed with Schatze's scheme, Loco and Pola agree, but after three months, none of the women have become engaged and Schatze has to sell the furniture to pay the rent. One afternoon, Loco comes home with another gentleman bearing boxes, J. D. Hanley, and despite the fact that J. D. is middle-aged, Schatze flirts with him upon learning that Loco met him in the mink department at "Bergdorf's." J. D. invites the women to a reception that night, and afterward, the women accompany their dates to a restaurant. Pola is escorted by J. Stewart Merrill, an eye-patch wearing "Arab" who brags about his money, while Loco is accompanied by Waldo Brewster, a rich businessman who complains about his wife. While Schatze genuinely begins to enjoy J. D.'s company, Brewster mentions his lodge in Maine, and Loco, mistakenly assuming that he means an Elks Lodge, agrees to accompany him there. That night, Schatze dreams of spending J. D.'s money, while Pola dreams of being showered with jewels in Arabia, and Loco dreams of a hot dog and a beer. Meanwhile, Tom becomes frustrated by Schatze's refusals to date him because she thinks he is a "gas pump jockey." Unknown to Schatze, Tom is a multi-millionaire, and one day, asks her boss, Mr. Antoine, to show him clothes to purchase for his aunt. Loco and Pola are pleased to see Tom, but Schatze is annoyed by his nerve and attempts to tell Antoine that Tom is conning him. Soon after, Loco travels with Waldo to Maine, and there is aghast to discover that Waldo's lodge is just a house. The annoyed Waldo tells Eben Salem, a forest ranger who met them at the train station, that they will be returning to New York, but Loco begins to feel ill and is diagnosed with measles. While Loco rests, Schatze continues to date J. D. in New York. One evening, elevator operator Mike sneaks Freddie into the apartment so that he can recover a document that could resolve his financial dilemma. Freddie is forced to hide on the balcony, however, when Schatze and J. D. return from a date and J. D. announces that he is returning to Dallas. When Schatze protests that she prefers older men, J. D. proclaims that their marriage would be wonderful for him but disasterous for her, and as a farewell present, buys back the apartment's furniture. Schatze's dismay is heightened by the news that Pola is engaged to Stewart, who is taking Pola is to Atlantic City "to meet his mother." Schatze's concerns are borne out when Stewart phones Pola with flight times, and unknown to her, lifts up his eye patch to read the schedule. Fortunately for Pola, her bad vision causes her to board a plane bound for Kansas City, and she sits next to Freddie, who finally succeeded in retrieving his papers. Despite Pola's fears that "men aren't attentive to girls who wear glasses," Freddie, who also wears glasses, assures her that her glasses make her look even more beautiful. The couple cuddles during the plane ride, and Freddie explains that his accountant cashed his IRS payment himself, instead of sending it to the government, and that he is going to Kansas City to confront him. Meanwhile, in Maine, Loco has recovered from the measles, which have now felled Waldo, and has fallen in love with Eben, who is chagrined to realize that Loco thought he actually owned the forest that he supervises. Waldo and Loco drive back to New York, but along the way, are stopped on the George Washington Bridge and photographed as the fifty millionth couple to cross it, thereby destroying Waldo's carefully crafted alibi to deceive his wife about his trip. Weeks later, Schatze wonders where Loco and Pola have gone and is again forced to sell the furniture. She finally succumbs to Tom's request for a date, although she harps on his lack of money and states that she never wants to see him again. Despite her resolve, Schatze continues to see Tom and falls in love with him. When J. D. returns to propose to her, though she quickly accepts. On her wedding day, Schatze paces nervously and is surprised when Loco appears and announces that she returned to Maine and married Eben. Schatze is disappointed to learn that Eben is poor, but Loco assures her that they are in love. Pola also appears and introduces Freddie, to whom she is now married, although he, too, is without funds. Schatze grandly informs them that J. D. is worth a fortune, but as the wedding ceremony begins, Schatze fakes an ankle injury and asks J. D. to help her to the bedroom. There, Schatze tells J. D. that he is too nice to marry someone who does not love him, and he guesses that she is in love with someone else. Schatze reluctantly admits that she has fallen for Tom, and J. D., who knows that Tom is even wealthier than he, does not disclose Tom's secret. Soon after, Schatze has married Tom, and the three couples go to a diner to celebrate. As the women joke about how much their husbands are worth, Tom states that he is worth approximately two-hundred-million dollars. They all laugh until Tom pulls out a thick wad of $1,000 bills to pay the check, and after their wives have fainted, the husbands drink a toast to them.