AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Let's Make Love
Alternate Title: Billionaire
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
Release Date:   Aug 1960
Production Date:   early Jan--6 Mar 1960; mid-Apr--mid-Jun 1960
Duration (in mins):   118-119
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Cast:   Marilyn Monroe (Amanda Dell)  
    Yves Montand (Jean-Marie Clement, also known as Alexander Dumas)  
    Tony Randall (Howard Coffman)  
    Frankie Vaughan (Tony Danton)  
    Wilfrid Hyde White (George Wales)  
    David Burns (Oliver Burton)  
    Michael David (Dave Kerry)  
    Mara Lynn (Lily Nyles)  
    Dennis King Jr. (Abe Miller)  
    Joe Besser (Charlie Lamont)  
    Madge Kennedy (Miss Manners)  
    Ray Foster (Jimmie)  
    Mike Mason (Yale)  
    John Craven (Comstock)  
    Harry Chesire (Minister)  
    Bing Crosby (Himself)  
    Gene Kelly (Himself)  
    Milton Berle (Himself)  
    John Gatti (Elvis Presley imitator)  
    Jackie Lee (Elvis Presley imitator)  
    Richard Monsour (Elvis Presley imitator)  
    Marian Manners (Maria Callas imitator)  
    Richard Fowler (Van Cliburn imitator)  
    Oscar Beregi (Chauffeur)  
    Geraldine Wall (Miss Hansen)  
    Jimmy Bays (Board member)  
    Samuel Colt (Board member)  
    Byron Morrow (Board member)  
    Owen Cunningham (Board member)  
    Tom Greenway (Board member)  
    Henry Edward (Board member)  
    Larry Thor (Wilson)  
    Dean Plato (Waiter)  
    Leonard Bremen (Waiter)  
    Jerry Hausner (Willie)  
    Edith Claire (German secretary)  
    Stassa Damascus (Arabic secretary)  
    Louise Vincent (French secretary)  
    H. T. Tsiang (Charlie, restaurant proprietor)  
    Florence MacMichael (Receptionist)  
    Joan Banks (Receptionist)  
    Richard Collier (Doorman)  
    Benny Burt (Cab driver)  
    James Larmore    
    Michael Fox    

Summary: French billionaire Jean-Marc Clement is notorious for his lust for money and beautiful women. Clement has settled in New York City, where one day at Clement company headquarters, Howard Coffman, an employee in the public relations department, becomes alarmed when he reads an article in Variety announcing that his boss is to be lampooned in an off-Broadway theatrical revue. Eager to render his boss a sympathetic character, Coffman suggests that Clement attend the rehearsal at The Circle in the Round Theater to demonstrate his sense of humor. At the theater, Clement is smitten when Amanda Dell, the troupe's female singer and dancer, slinks down a pole clad only in a sweater and tights, and then whips off her sweater and throws it in his face. When the show's director mistakes Clement for a fledgling actor who has come to audition for the part of the billionaire, Clement, hoping to get closer to Amanda, hits upon the idea of posing as Alexander Dumas, a struggling performer. His ploy works as Amanda coaches him on how to play the pompous billionaire, whom she holds in contempt as a "rich louse." When a call is put out for fresh jokes, Clement decides to impress his fellow thespians by presenting some new material. Coffman commissions comedy writer Charlie Lamont to pen some jokes, but the plan backfires when Oliver Burton, the company's producer, asks Lamont to judge the comedy material and he accuses Clement of stealing his joke. After Clement protests that he bought the joke from a stranger at Lindy's, Amanda comes to his defense by testifying that she witnessed the transaction. Touched by Amanda's act of kindness, Clement tells her that his day job is selling fake jewelry and shows her a genuine diamond bracelet that he has bought for one of his paramours, offering to sell it to her for five dollars. When Amanda buys the bracelet, Lily Nyles, another performer in the troupe, asks to buy one for her sick mother and Amanda graciously offers to sell hers. After Amanda leaves, Clement tells Lily, who made the mother story up, that the bracelet has been treated with radioactivity to make it shine, and she throws it back at him. One day, Abe Miller, the manager of The Theater in the Round, receives a notice requiring the company to pay one year's rent in advance. When Coffman traces the ownership of the theater to Clement Enterprises, he angrily accuses Clement of betraying the troupe. Realizing that the unreasonable demand is the handiwork of his aide-de-camp, George Wales, Clement arranges for Wales to pose as George Welch, a retired merchant, who offers to finance the entire production for fifty-one percent control. When Wales urges Clement to reveal his true identity to Amanda, Clement refuses, fearful that she will no longer relate to him as a person but rather as a power-wielding billionaire. To improve his woeful acting skills, Clement hires Milton Berle to coach him in the art of comedy. After several resounding failures, Berle manages to teach Clement a funny pantomime about a subway rider. Asked to assess the troupe's performance, Berle sits in on Clement's pantomime and cheers him on. Impressed, Burton offers to sign Clement for the run of the play, but when Clement demands a fifty-dollar raise for both him and Amanda, Burton fires him but is overruled by Wales. Aware that Amanda is dating Tony Danton, the show's star, Clement fantasizes about taking Danton's place in the love sequence he performs with Amanda. To accomplish this, Clement hires Bing Crosby to teach him to sing and Gene Kelly to coach him in dance. Clement then woodenly sings the new song with Amanda, which ends in a heartfelt embrace. When Danton, a recovering alcoholic, begins to drink again in fear of losing his role to Clement, Amanda decides to go out to dinner with Clement and delay him, thus allowing Danton an opportunity to perform the tune for Wales. Over dinner, Clement confesses his love to Amanda and proposes to her. When he finally reveals his true identity, Amanda thinks that he is deluded, identifying with his part in the play, and flees in fright. To convince Amanda of his identity, Clement instructs Wales to file an injunction in Clement's name to close the show for an invasion of privacy. After Clement suggests to Amanda that she charm the womanizing billionaire into allowing the show to go on, they all troop to the Clement building. When Amanda asks to see Clement, his dumbfounded secretary ushers them into an empty office. Taking a seat behind the desk, Clement summons his staff to take dictation. Finally realizing that Clement was telling the truth, Amanda becomes angry and runs into the elevator, pushing the down button. While broadcasting endearments over the intercom, Clement recalls the elevator to the top floor and after joining Amanda in the car, they embrace. 

Production Company: Company of Artists, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: George Cukor (Dir)
  David Hall (Asst dir)
Producer: Jerry Wald (Prod)
Writer: Norman Krasna (Wrt for the screen by)
  Hal Kanter (Addl material)
Photography: Daniel L. Fapp (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler (Art dir)
  Gene Allen (Art dir)
  Hoyningen-Huene (Col coord)
Film Editor: David Bretherton (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott (Set dec)
  Fred M. MacLean (Set dec)
Costumes: Dorothy Jeakins (Cost des)
Music: Lionel Newman (Mus)
  Earle H. Hagen (Assoc)
  Jack Cole (Mus numbers staged by)
Sound: W. D. Flick (Sd)
  Warren B. Delaplain (Sd)
Special Effects: Gene Allen (Main titles and prologue des)
Make Up: Ben Nye (Makeup)
  Helen Turpin (Hair styles)
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," words and music by Cole Porter; "Let's Make Love," "I'm Incurably Romantic," "Specialization," "Sing Me a Song That Sells" and "You with the Crazy Eyes," words and music by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen.
Composer: Sammy Cahn
  Cole Porter
  James Van Heusen

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Company of Artists, Inc. and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 24/8/1960 dd/mm/yyyy LP17057

PCA NO: 19576
Physical Properties: Sd: Westrex Recording System
  col: De Luxe
  Widescreen/ratio: CinemaScope
  Lenses/Prints: lenses by Bausch & Lomb

 
Genre: Comedy
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Actors and actresses
  Impersonation and imposture
  Romance
  Theatrical troupes
  Tycoons
 
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Bracelets
  Comedians
  French
  New York City--Broadway
  Public relations
  Theaters
  Womanizers

Note: The working title of this film was Billionaire . The picture opens with a prologue that traces the history of the "Clement" family. According to a Nov 1959 HR news item, Tommy Rall tested for a role, but he did not appear. According to studio publicity materials contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, the project was initially conceived as a vehicle for Yul Brynner. When Brynner was not available, Gregory Peck was signed for the lead, but backed out because he thought the part was too slight. After the studio's attempt to hire Charlton Heston failed, Stephen Boyd tested for the role. According to a 10 Dec 1959 HR news item, Marilyn Monroe was intent on securing Rock Hudson as her co-star.
       Studio publicity noted that playwright Arthur Miller, Monroe's husband at the time, rewrote and expanded her role of "Amanda," although the extent of Miller's actual contribution to the film has not been determined. The Var review listed the character played by Wilfrid Hyde White as "John Wales," but he is addressed as "George Wales" in the film. The production was halted due to a Screen Actors Guild strike, which ran from 7 Mar--18 Apr 1960. Let's Make Love marked the motion picture debut of British pop star Frankie Vaughan and the American screen debut of French singing star and actor Yves Montand. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Scoring of a Musical Picture. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   29 Aug 1960.   
Box Office   5 Sep 1960.   
Daily Variety   24 Aug 60   p. 3.
Film Daily   24 Aug 60   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Nov 59   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Dec 59   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jan 60   p. 46.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Mar 60   p. 24.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Apr 60   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jun 60   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Aug 60   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   27 Aug 60   p. 820.
New York Times   8 Mar 1960.   
New York Times   6 Sep 60   p. 36.
Variety   24 Aug 60   p. 6.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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