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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Let's Make It Legal

Letís Make It Legal

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: B-

 

 

Another small, clever comedy from the 20th Century-Fox vaults hits DVD, one of four from the early 1950s.The occasion involves early roles of Marilyn Monroe that helped launch her career and Letís Make It Legal (1951) offers us an early comedy screenplay co-written by the legendary I.A.L. Diamond, who later delivered two of Monroeís greatest films with his most famous collaborator, writer/director Billy Wilder.

 

An older couple (Claudette Colbert and Macdonald Carrey) decide to get a divorce late in life, but this does not make her daughter (Barbara Bates) very happy.Any hopes of an early reconciliation are complicated by a sexy bombshell for ďdadĒ *Monroe) and an old high school sweetheart who is now a millionaire (Zachary Scott), then her own man (Robert Wagner) and her are not getting along too well.All this adds up to some lunacy, made funnier by the norms of the time period, though even then, Diamond was being coy.Fans of The Seven-Year Itch (1955) and Some Like it Hot (1959) will want to see this, even though Monroeís time is limited.When she is on camera, though, you notice.

 

The full frame, monochrome image was shot by Lucien Ballad, A.S.C., who would be a groundbreaker in widescreen filmmaking sooner than even he could have been imagined.You can see here that he handles narrow-vision filmmaking just as well.The film elements show their grain, but that is just the state of the film stock.Detail is mixed as a result, but the transfer does its best.The Dolby Digital 2.0 is in both redirectioned Stereo and Mono English.Cyril Mockridgeís score is good too.Extras include 14 trailers for other Monroe films on DVD, plus the promo for the first Diamond Collection box set, the trailer to this film, and an outstanding audio commentary by Robert Wagner that gives him a chance to share tons of great ideas and moments that alone are worth getting this disc for.

 

But that is not intended to minimize a fine picture that has enduring entertainment value and shows how even the smaller films out of the Hollywood Studio system still were top notch product.Letís Make It Legal has its laughs.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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