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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Let's Make Love - Star birthday... Milton Berle

Milton Berle

Milton Berle singing 'The Entertainer' with The Muppets
Milton Berle was born on 12 July 1908. Beginning his career in vaudeville, Berle enjoyed a very prolific career as an actor/comedian in on stage, on radio, on television and on film. He is best remembered for being the first major American television star, and was known throughout his career as "Mr. Television" and "Uncle Miltie". 

Milton Berle died on 27 March 2002 at the age of 93 after a battle against colon cancer.

Recommended viewing

  • Lil Abner (1940)
  • Always Leave Them Laughing (1949)
  • Let's Make Love (1960)
  • It's a Mad, Mad. Mad, Mad World (1963)
  • The Loved One (1965)
  • The Oscar (1966)
  • The Muppet Show (TV SERIES - guest appearance) (1977)
  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

  • Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)

Let's Make Love (1960)

Let's Make Love is the 1960 romantic musical comedy starring Marilyn Monroe with French actor Yves Montand and funny man Tony Randall. The supporting cast includes British singer Frankie Vaughan and Wilfred Hyde-White. The film was directed by the legendary George Cukor and features surprise guest cameos by three Hollywood greats appearing as themselves: Gene KellyMilton Berle and Bing Crosby.

Yves Montand stars as Jean-Marc Clement, a billionaire who is advised he is about to be parodied in an off-Broadway revue. Jean-Marc visits the theatre to find out more about it, but is mistaken as an actor auditioning for the role. He is offered the role due to his uncanny resemblance and real life performance. He is bewildered by the show's star Amanda Dell (played by Monroe), and decides to play along with the charade. Jean-Marc hires Milton Berle to teach him to tell jokes, Bing Crosby to teach him to sing, and Gene Kelly to teach him to dance. Despite this first rate tuition, Amanda teaches Jean-Marc money can't buy you love.

Upon release the film was not a critical or commercial success, and was one of Marilyn's only films to lose money.

Musical highlights
Let's Make Love features quite a few unmemorable and unexciting musical numbers. There are fortunately two stand out numbers: "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" and "Specialisation".

Song: "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" - Marilyn Monroe

Did you know...

  • Marilyn was not satisfied with the script and had her then-husband Arthur Miller review and rewrite it.
  • The following actors all turned down the role of Jean Clement: Gregory PeckCary GrantCharlton HestonYul Brynner and Rock Hudson
  • Montand and Monroe reportedly had an off-screen affair during the filming of this film

Concluding remarks

Despite its unrealistic plot and very predictable ending, overall the film is amusing to watch with quite a few laughs. The highlight for me was Milton Berle, who gets more laughs in his 8 minutes cameo than any of the other lead actors. Worth watching if you're a fan of Marilyn or Milton Berle.

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