Friday, February 9, 2007

LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL (20th Century Fox 1951) Fox Home Video

Richard Sale’s Let's Make It Legal (1951) is a delightful little comedy about a rather svelte looking grandmother, Miriam Halsworth (Claudette Colbert) who, after divorcing her husband, Hugh (Macdonald Carey) discovers that an old flame, Victor (Zachary Scott) still has the hots for her and intends on turning up the heat.

Victor is ‘the man that got away,’ a golden boy on the make who reveals that the reason he left town so many years ago was because Hugh beat him in a crap game for Miriam’s affections: shameless, indeed! Robert Wagner costars as Hugh’s devilish son-in-law, Jerry Denham who is determined to marry off Miriam so that he and his wife, Barbara (Barbara Bates) can start living a normal, un-pampered existence.

So where's Marilyn Monroe in all this? She's sexy siren, Joyce Mannering that Hugh is helping advance in her career, and, she’s in hot pursuit of Vic's affections. But Vic is all ice when it comes to her charms. Go figure. It's a good thing this film wasn't included as part of Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection because for all its cuddliness and familial charm, this one plays more like cubic zirconium.

Lots to smile about with Fox Home Video’s transfer, though. The B&W picture genuinely sparkles. Blacks are solid, the gray scale is perfectly balanced and age related artifacts are, for the most part, nonexistent. Minor edge enhancement and some video noise (particularly in plaid patterns) crop up now and then but truthfully, this is a superb looking transfer. The audio has been re-channeled to two channel stereo with predictable limited range. There are NO extras! Even if you're not a fan of Monroe (and I'd like to meet the man who isn't) this silly little programmer is easy on the eyes.

FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)



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