Why would anyone like Schatze?


I love Lauren Bacall, but I've always been completely turned off by her character, Schatze, in this movie.

It isn't that Schatze is a gold digger -- all the girls were, and that's cute enough. But unlike her companions, who are sweet and nice (maybe too much so for their own good), Schatze is obnoxious, sarcastic and abrupt in her demeanor and classless in her language, which seems totally at odds with her outward appearance. She's smug, manipulative, overbearing, insincere, humorless and even a bit vicious. Good-looking, yes, but that's not enough to overcome her off-putting personality. Some people think her lines in this film are hilarious but most of them are just nasty or gross. (One line about "dogburgers" was one more than enough, but Schatze gives us two.)

Why a couple of millionaires would fall all over themselves to marry this coarse, self-absorbed bitch is beyond me. It's Lauren's worst role in my opinion, and the one most at odds with her real character. I can't understand why her friends were shown to be basically decent, loving types while her character was so cold, rude and crude.

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I'll be watching this film later tonight (probably my 10th viewing or something), and I'm okay with her. True, she is some of the things you mentioned, but she does care about her friends and she's quite down to earth when dating (though she won't admit it). Her sweetheart was right about her when he said to her something like, "You're a hamburger and onions type of gal but you won't admit it". A lot of her personality is just a cover-up to make herself look stronger, I think.

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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I agree with you in part, but she's still so unbearably, unrelentingly unpleasant that I can't imagine anyone wanting to date her, let alone marry her. Her superficiality may be a cover hiding something better but her demeanor is still obnoxious, and the very fact that she does assume such an off-putting persona, and her reasons for doing so, in themselves would make her unattractive to a discriminating man.

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I have to admit that I'm a bit like her in some ways (in the real world), but not quite as unpleasant.

Those other women were nicer, but they were also quite dumb. At least Schatze had some brains.

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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That was another thing. Marilyn could be a convincing "dumb blond", but not, to me, Betty Grable. She always played someone pretty smart, and in this film she was by turns paralyzingly stupid and occasionally clever, though mostly the former. But she also just sounded intelligent in her manner of speaking, if not always in its content. I just could never find her convincing as someone dumb.

Anyway, if forced I'd take one of the dumb-but-nice girls in this movie over the obnoxious-but-smart one, even though on a personal level I always go for brains more than looks...but will settle for both!



Off the subject, my favorite scene in the film is when Betty and Fred Clark are driving back from Maine to New York, using those back roads so he wouldn't be recognized, only to come a-cropper by becoming the 50 millionth driver over the George Washington Bridge. The scene itself aside, as a New Yorker it's fascinating for me to see the New Jersey side of the bridge as it looked 61 years ago. Just that handful of buildings, and not much traffic to boot. I remember that from the later 50s too. Today that whole area is massively built up with lots of tall buildings, lots of businesses and apartments, very urban -- and jammed with cars. Plus the toll isn't a quarter anymore -- I think it's up to $5 or so now. Haven't crossed it in a while.

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A pity that Hollywood almost always makes the smart gals be obnoxious as well. But then, if they dared to make a girl smart AND nice, they wouldn't make any money...especially with certain modern movie-goers, if you catch my drift.

I love the scene where that jerk finally gets what's coming to him on the George Washington Bridge. Very nicely done!

Hey, I think that it would be interesting to see what certain places looked like the year I was born. Oh, I wasn't born in 1953, but I know someone who was born the same year this film came out....

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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Oh, I don't agree that Hollywood usually makes smart girls obnoxious. If anything it makes the dumb ones unbearable more often, in my opinion. But there have been lots of smart, nice girls. Schatze is just too off-putting with that sarcastic mouth of hers.

Also, even the name "Schatze" seems totally misplaced for a woman of her sophistication. Schatze sounds like a beer-guzzling slob...which even this off-putting girl most definitely is not!

Oh, I wasn't born in 1953, but I know someone who was born the same year this film came out....


Is he bigger than me?

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Well, Schatze is an unusual name. All the gals had interesting names. There is one who is at the wedding near the end of the movie who introduces herself as Ding Dong.

As for your last statement....jealous?

What makes you think that I was talking about someone other than you?

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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Yes, I have to say all the names of the girls were kind of stupid. Loco? If there's one thing she's not, it's crazy. The names were completely irrelevant.

As for your last statement....jealous? [] []
What makes you think that I was talking about someone other than you? []


(1) Who, me?

(2) I didn't. I was just making a joke. Of sorts.

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I was just teasing you, hobnob53.

Besides, maybe you weren't born in 1953. Maybe you are 53 years old. Although I see that you started the account in 2006, so both of those would have been correct back then if you really were born in 1953.

I'm just teasing. Hey, I've met guys on IMDb who say that they were born in 1952. So you really are a Younger Male compared to them!

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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HTMAM and I came into the world the same year. But I've held up better!

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Well, this movie certainly isn't OLD. No movie released in the early fifties is an old film. Certainly no movie released on or after 1976 is an old film, for obvious reasons.

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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Well, this movie certainly isn't OLD.


My words exactly after I saw The Great Train Robbery in 1903.

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Oh, were you alive back in 1903?

How were things back then?

Just teasing...

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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Oh, yes, I was the film critic for the Santa Fe Territorial Weekly Gazette & Advertiser. The Great Train Robbery was as you'd expect a huge hit with the locals in New Mexico, but I lost my job after telling them in my review that the movie was actually filmed in New Jersey. Some angry cowpokes rode their horses into the newspaper office, shot up the place and threatened to string me up, so I high-tailed it out of town and got a job working on talking pictures in some suburb of Los Angeles. Waste of time on a lunatic invention, of course, but I got a weekly pay check of $8.

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You're funny, hobnob.

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JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen

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Betty Grable always played assertive, independent young women, even in her flimsiest musicals. This was her one and only "dumb blonde."

As for MM, she's not really meant to be dumb--her mistakes are the effect of her vision problem and refusal to wear eyeglasses.

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Actually Marilyn's character is a little dumb, when she meets the man who she ends up marrying she thinks he is telling her that she is upside down when he's really saying her book is.
As for Schatze, I didn't like her either but mostly because I found her too masculine; I liked the guy she thought was poor though.
I honestly think out of all the girls I liked Grable's character the least.

1. BVS 2. TWS 3. Avenger

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I love the movie, and it's definitely of its time. However, I thought each one of them was unlikeable and manipulative. All the men, except for the gross cheating married guy, were on the up-and-up and geniune.

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The guy with the deceptive eye patch (who went after Marilyn) wasn't on the up-and-up or genuine.

I thought the other two girls were likable enough even though they were manipulative. Their being dumb as a box of rocks might be a put-off. But while Schatze was smart she was both manipulative and unlikable. She was also a thief, in that she illegally sold off the furniture in the apartment to finance her escapades. Renting the place didn't give her the right to sell someone else's property. In reality the building management should have caught onto this and stopped it. The other girls wheedled money out of men, which hardly makes them unique, but they weren't crooks.

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The guy with the deceptive eye patch (who went after Marilyn) wasn't on the up-and-up or genuine.
You're right. I forgot about him.

I still think they were all unlikeable, maybe just on different levels. I mean, when Loco discovers that Tom is a park ranger, she pretty much says "I really like you but you're not rich so no dice." And looks didn't matter to Pola but the bankroll did. Schatze was the most scheming but like you said, that was attributed to her smarts. If Loco or Pola was equally smart I would think they would be equally as scheming.

All in all, it was fun movie but what a weird message this film and Gentlemen Prefer Blonds have. Certianly of its era.

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I think they were all more or less equally scheming, but Schatze's nastiness made her more off-putting.

The others at least were basically nice -- more in line with Marilyn's character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, who said of course she wanted to marry the rich sap for his money, but that didn't mean she didn't love him: that a girl marrying a man for his money is no different from a man marrying a girl for her looks. It didn't mean that they didn't love the other person, but wasn't it nice to have money or be good-looking too?!

At any rate, I could understand a man finding Pola or Loco attractive for their personalities. They were nice, polite and considerate. They weren't mean and endlessly sarcastic, and at least they weren't overt in their gold-digging. But I can't find anything redeemable or attractive about Schatze, who was transparently insincere and cared for nothing but money. Her personality was so relentlessly false and negative I can't see how anyone could stand her.

All in all, it was fun movie but what a weird message this film and Gentlemen Prefer Blonds have. Certainly of its era.


Yes and no. I agree about the weird message this film and GFB sends. But I'm not at all sure it's solely of its era. Seems to me there's a great deal of this kind of thing going on today, maybe more than ever. After all, the term "trophy wife" didn't exist back in '53. It's of much more recent vintage. I'd say the same dynamics are at play today, perhaps adapted a little bit to our time, but still the same old idea, and a lot of men and women are still at this game.

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And yet none of them ended up marrying for money...well, except for Schatze, who had no idea that the guy she married was rich.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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She's a moose. Stomps around like a moose. Sounds like a moose. I'd rather marry a moose.

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Like I said, just another trophy, like a moose head on the cabin wall.

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I liked Schatze. She was my favorite character. Down to earth and honest was what I saw -- unless she was trying to be pleasant to catch her man. She was emotionally wounded, that's what made her cynical, but the two men that wanted her could see under that -- which made tem both very special.

Just my POV.

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Well, "down to earth" and "honest" are hardly the same thing. Schatze was anything but honest. She hatched a plan to trick a rich man into marrying her, feigned love for a man she didn't love, even sold furniture that wasn't hers. (Subletting an apartment doesn't give her license to sell the owner's property: it's called larceny.)

Yes, she was emotionally wounded, but that's not an excuse for boorish behavior, let alone dishonesty. Schatze was an adult; she was able to make informed and, yes, moral decisions, if she so chose.

As to "down to earth", being crude, sarcastic, cynical, nasty, curt, and just plain rude are hardly attractive, let alone sophisticated, qualities. If I heard one more half-witted crack about "dogburgers" I'd have thrown her into the East River. "Down to earth" is not synonymous with "obnoxious".

Schatze was faux elegant -- at base just a slob who looked good in a dress. Nothing shows this more than her continued bitchy and piggish behavior in the closing scene in the diner -- listen to her dialogue throughout. She's already won her "true" love, has nothing more to fake, yet still talks like a wise-ass, declassΓ© loudmouth.

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At least she had leadership qualities and she was self-confident...which is a lot more than can be said about the other two women.

At least she did the right thing at the end. She admitted to the rich older guy that she didn't really love him.

As for the final scene, the six of them were just having some fun in the diner. I don't think that any of the comments made there were meant to be taken seriously.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Point one: True, but irrelevant to my point. She could have been civil and honest and not foul-mouthed and still been self-confident and with leadership qualities. Besides, the latter two attributes have been possessed by a lot of terrible people throughout history (Hitler, Stalin and the like, among others). They're certainly not unalloyed positives, and they don't excuse rude behavior.

Point two: True, but also beside my point. Plus, while granted it was the first glimmer of honesty she evinced, there were also considerations of self-interest in rejecting Powell's character, since she would have been letting herself in for prolonged unhappiness with, as he himself put it, a "truly old" man in later years. There was a strong element of selfishness to her "sacrifice".

Point three: It's not a matter of their poking fun and so on. It was Schatze's manner and vocabulary. The other women were, as they had been throughout, polite, kind and nice, wisecracking in a fun way, even while trying to land a rich guy. Schatze just has a bitter, foul, sarcastic attitude and mouth to match, which are anything but appealing. Which is the point of this whole thread. I wouldn't want to be married to anyone who persistently spews forth vitriolic, not to mention unsophisticated and decidedly unfunny, gutter talk. It's neither attractive, endearing nor intelligent, and it gets dull mighty fast. She's just irredeemably obnoxious.

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Those other two women were stupid and couldn't think for themselves. They needed men who would guide them day after day and who would do their thinking for them.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I don't agree at all, but it's still completely irrelevant to the point of this thread. What the others may or may not have been has no bearing whatsoever on Schatze's obnoxiousness.

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In some ways she was obnoxious. What's more important is that she was an independent thinker and a leader. At least she had those qualities. I happen to like those qualities in people.

I know that she wasn't perfect. Her scheme to have the three of them marry rich men...well, the plan worked out for the best in the long run. ξ€Ή All three of them ended up marrying for love only.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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In some ways she was obnoxious. What's more important is that she was an independent thinker and a leader. At least she had those qualities. I happen to like those qualities in people.


I assume you mean you happen to like the qualities of being an independent thinker and a leader, not being obnoxious. Fine. I like them too. They don't outweigh obnoxiousness and in many respects that latter quality may help negate the effectiveness of the other two.

A so-called independent thinker who thinks in terms of pulling a con for personal gain is not someone to be admired simply because she (or he) is allegedly an "independent thinker" (a rather meaningless term in any case; what constitutes a "dependent thinker"?). Besides her off-putting and relentless sarcasm, Schatze is guilty of grand larceny for illegally selling the furniture of the owner of her sublet apartment for personal gain. Theft is not generally considered a positive element of independent thinking. It certainly isn't original. Some leader, that Schatze.

Her scheme actually failed. Things may have worked out better for the three women, but that was no thanks to Schatze's dishonesty -- the product of her "independent" thinking or not. As to being a "leader", in the end Schatze became a follower -- doing exactly what her supposedly less intelligent cohorts did, marrying for love instead of money...leaving aside how much of a leader one truly is when the goal is to subsume oneself in a marriage where the husband would be the more important partner, which was their ultimate goal.

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Oh, her plan did fail, and I know that she shouldn't have been selling off that furniture.

The point is that she had a plan and she was confident enough to at least give it a try. Those other women just followed her every move. She whistled and they jumped. They couldn't think for themselves. If they could, then they would have told her that her plan was stupid and that she shouldn't be selling off that furniture. They wouldn't have gone along with it.

As for being obnoxious, well, there is a time and place for everything. I feel that the internet is a good place to be a loud-mouth obnoxious twit.  In the real world, no. But on the internet...why not? 

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I think you're belittling the other two women without justification. Yes, it was Schatze's plan, but while she may have been the leader the others weren't brain-dead ciphers who simply jumped and did whatever she said.

In the first place, they were already in general agreement with her even before embarking on her plan; it wasn't as if they were cowed into going along with someone else's dictates. In the second place, they also agreed with Schatze's larcenous actions in selling off the furniture; it wasn't a matter of not being independent enough to stop her, or of even disapproving of her actions -- they found them completely unobjectionable in their own right, which also doesn't speak well of them.

But most importantly, in the end they didn't follow Schatze's dictates. Each went with a non-millionaire, in defiance of Schatze's plan. That's hardly jumping when she dog-whistled.

Schatze was at most the organizer, a ringleader more than a leader, among three women with the same objectives, the other two of whom independently chose to fall in with her scheme, with whose methods and purposes they already agreed. Granted, they weren't as smart intellectually as Schatze (who wasn't all that smart herself regarding her judgments about Brookman), but they weren't robots taking orders: they were like-minded women happy to go along with a not-very-clever plan. Schatze merely had the organizational ability to pull it together. That's something, but it doesn't make the others unthinking soldiers in Schatze's army.

You may have a point about being obnoxious on the internet, but in the real world -- which is what I'm talking about -- it's not an attractive quality. (Nor is it on line; you can just get away with it a little easier.) But since this film takes place in 1953, any discussion of the internet is meaningless.

Incidentally, I know the block on Sutton Place where the girls' apartment is supposed to be located very well. Of course, the building in the film doesn't exist (the one we see them actually entering, which was a set on the Fox back lot), but the establishing shots just before that are of actual buildings, and I even know a couple of people living there in real life. Except for the cobblestone pavement on the street, not much has changed from what's seen in the movie.

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Well, say that a sequel was filmed, or if these were real-life people rather than just movie characters. How would the two followers behave in the future? They are the kinds of women who would always go along with a plot that someone else comes up with. There are even hints of this in the movie. Marilyn Monroe's character doesn't seem to see that her husband's scheme of dealing with the crook was going downhill. He got beaten up and she still thinks that anything he comes up with is a good idea.

By the way, I was only joking around about the internet business. Of course I know that the net didn't exist in 1953.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Well, let's just say I don't at all agree with your assessments of the other women. They're not mere followers, they don't need someone to tell them what to do, and there is absolutely no basis for saying they're the types who would go along with the next plan that comes up. No foundation for that whatsoever, nor that Marilyn (or Betty) thinks anything her husband says is a good idea. All three initially make serious misjudgments about men, but each one eventually lucks out, and not as unthinking automatons.

I know you know the internet didn't exist in '53. I was teasing.

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As a female, I guess I just expect more out of other women. I think that women should be the dominant ones, not the men. 

Sorry, that's really the best emoticon which I could find for the occasion.... 

And I'll just say that I like Schatze, including her sarcasm and wisecracks. I try to model her way of speaking on the internet. 

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I believe in equality, not domination, even of a benevolent kind. I can't believe there's a so-called "Christian" group called I think the Promise Givers whose purpose is to make wives subservient to their husbands -- by mutual agreement. And thousands of couples belong to it. Many religions or religious sects have similar dictates.

In so far as I expect more out of anyone it's on the basis of the kind of person they are, not anything to do with their sex.

An occasional wisecrack or sarcasm is fine. A non-stop barrage of gross and offensive remarks isn't. Obnoxiousness aside, Schatze's unending smart-ass comments are hardly a hallmark of the classy, urbane, sophisticated woman she pretends to be. Even her nickname sounds like someone you'd pick up in a saloon.

That's another dopey aspect of this film: the women's nicknames. Pola (Marilyn) is a neutral name, but as I said Schatze sounds completely at odds with the looks or intelligence of her character...although as a somewhat crude name it's perhaps fitting given her propensity for boorish and gross remarks.

But calling Betty's character "Loco" makes zero sense. Loco means "crazy". She's a bit dumb, but crazy? Not at all. Just one more thing about this movie that's ridiculous.

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There was one woman who introduced herself as Ding-Dong (at the wedding). 

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Yeah. Another dopey name, and quite insulting to women -- hardly part of the feminist manifesto you seem to imbue Schatze with spearheading in this film.

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Well, I like Schatze and that's that.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Well, that's that for you, and that's fine. My "that's that" is different, and I'm sure there are many other people who hold opinions of all shades, the same, similar to, or besides what you or I think. Fair enough. And that's that.

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I'm willing to agree to disagree with you here. ξ€Ή

Although I like her, I don't consider her to be the most interesting nor the most memorable movie character out there. It's not like she's tops in my books....

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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By the way, say that a male character (in any movie) had all those characteristics which Schatze had. Would this male still be seen as unlikable? Or are men allowed to get away with personality traits which are unacceptable in women?

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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By the way, say that a male character (in any movie) had all those characteristics which Schatze had. Would this male still be seen as unlikable?


Yes.

Or are men allowed to get away with personality traits which are unacceptable in women?


Unfortunately, sometimes they are. There is often a double standard that works against women. That still doesn't excuse or mitigate negative personality traits in either men or women.

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Considering she was the only one of three hoes who wasn't a complete moron, I find it curious that it's Bacall who gets singled out as off-putting. Better coarse than braindead. Seriously, both Monroe and Grable acted throughout the entire movie as if they'd been whacked over the head with a lamp post - especially Monroe.



"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

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Better coarse than braindead.


Maybe, but why settle for either one? The fact that Schatze (Bacall) was smart isn't an excuse for anything. Brains put in the service of scheming, dishonesty and larceny isn't an attractive quality. Add to these being a smart-mouthed, obnoxious cynic, and what's the attraction? Personally, I wouldn't marry either a moron or a liar.

Besides, how smart is Schatze? She's dense enough that she doesn't even figure out that she's being pursued by a millionaire throughout the entire picture. That doesn't say much for her intelligence or powers of deduction.

The others were dumb but not nasty. Schatze deserves to be singled out because, one, she's the leader, and two, she's smart enough to know better.

Also I disagree that Pola (Monroe) is stupider than Loco (Grable). Neither is smart, but Pola is more naΓ―ve than a complete imbecile. She doesn't say a bunch of stupid things or not understand what's going on. The only mistakes she makes are the result of her not wearing her glasses. Loco, on the other hand, is clearly as dumb as a box of rocks. She can barely figure out Schatze's scheme, and anyone so paralyzingly stupid that she doesn't know what a lodge or a ranger is is really "brain dead" as you put it.

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"Maybe, but why settle for either one?"

Good point. As for Schatze's (supposed) intelligence... I can't help but wonder about the private catwalk scene as the entire stable was trotted out for the benefit of that supposedly down-and-out suitor of hers. She sees him there with no other spectator in sight and... what exactly does she think the score is? This "bum" accidentally wondered in and caught the show? What am I missing here?



"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

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Exactly. That's the main scene I had in mind when assessing Schatze's vaunted intelligence. Not only is she too dense to figure out something must be up -- as you said, did she think this bum just showed up and got a private showing (and called the owner by his first name too) -- but when she spoke to the owner immediately afterward and he rebuked her, nothing dawned on her -- that maybe she should ask someone who this guy was? You hit the nail on the head -- that scene strains all credulity. And undermines the case for Schatze's piercing intellect.

I guess she was one with your most apt Reagan quote!

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Okay, good point about the private showing. At this point, she should have suspected that he's a rich guy.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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That scene doesn't necessarily make much sense from Brookman's point of view, either, as he seemed otherwise so intent on keeping the lid on his social status/wealth as far as Bacall's character was concerned - and he couldn't have expected her to be as dim as she turned out to be. But, of course, the whole thing was ultimately merely a contrivance in order to show off the wardrobe and the starlets wearing it, anyway.



"facts are stupid things" - Ronald Reagan

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That's a good point about Brookman too. It's always a bit unclear to me whether he's actively trying to conceal his wealth from Schatze or that he's just behaving the way he usually does and not making his wealth ostentatious. But you're right, asking for that private show would normally tip off anyone. Well, almost anyone.

Has Brookman's demeanor at the very end struck anybody? He's supposed to be laid-back and unpretentious about his money but when they're all at the diner and he begins reeling off his holdings, his voice gets progressively louder and harsher -- like, all right, the masquerade's over, I'll show all you idiots who think I'm just a slob, take a look at this!...as he pulls out that wad of (excessively fake) bills and gives the owner a thousand-dollar note, with a loud and defiant, "Keep the change, Mack!". I thought he sounded like a real jackass there. Maybe he and "dogburger" Schatze really do deserve each other!

Frankly, the entire character of Brookman is overdone and unrealistic anyway.

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Oh, I think that, in the final scene, he was ready to reveal the truth to her and her friends. I didn't get the impression that he meant to be obnoxious. I think that he was just getting tired of hearing her talk about money all the time, and he was more than ready to shut her up. He seemed like a decent fellow.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Yes, he was a decent guy, but he could have handled his "revelation" much more deftly and with some gentle teasing instead of his hard, humorless, actually quite arrogant tone. Besides, he's the one who's been ostentatiously acting the "common man" and being so pretentiously "down-to-Earth" -- smugly reveling in his phony "reverse snob" masquerade, even as he gets everything he wants -- when in reality he's worth a couple of hundred million. It's all just a fake, self-satisfied pose to begin with, so why suddenly get snippy about it at the end? He just comes off like a rich jerk after all. A subtler, more wry or bemused revelation of his holdings would have been much funnier, and definitely classier. And genuinely humbler. More like -- William Powell!

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William Powell's character wasn't subtle about it at all. Oh, he was courteous and all that, but he made it clear from the start that he has money and connections. Brookman only made a few brief comments at the very end.

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Geez, hobnob, do these ladies remind you of people you might have known in the past? ξ€Ή You sound like this is a very personal situation to you!

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Fortunately, they don't. Every woman I've ever been involved with has been smart, nice and independent, without exception. Of course I've known people of all stripes, including some smart-alecky women and a few rather stupid ones, but none who had any particular significance in my life.

The situation in the movie isn't personal to me at all of course...but annoying characters in movies do bug me!

So, seeing as how you're a major defender of Schatze, is the situation personal to you? ξ€Ή

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Nope, I wouldn't say that the situation is personal to me, nor would I say that I'm a major defender of hers. She had her faults, for sure.

Actually, on the internet, I have quite the big mouth. I make it a point to be even more obnoxious than she was in the movie. 

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Yes, I have my loud moments on line. But in real life I like to imagine I'm closer in nature to William Powell as seen in this movie. Not in terms of money, sad to say, but once in a while, perhaps, in a sort of bemused eloquence.

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I suspect that you are quite a bit like William Powell is in this film. ξ€Ή

Except that you're probably more intelligent. His character was a bit naive. Couldn't he see that Schatze was just after his money?

I'm not really like any of the three women in this film.

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Well, intelligence doesn't preclude naΓ―vetΓ©. But I disagree -- he knows what Schatze's about right from the get-go. As he says to Cameron Mitchell later on, "Well, that's the way she talks of course," meaning about Schatze always ranting about wanting a man with dough. And eventually he's willing to accept her on those terms, before she backs out at the last minute.

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Unfortunately, he's the one who wound up embarrassed, when she ditched him at the altar. He didn't deserve that. He was just too nice a guy.

By the way, I didn't care for the way he looked in the 1930s, but he was quite distinguished looking in this movie. He got better looking as he got older, as do many other men. ξ€Ή

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Yes, William Powell was never particularly handsome. More elegant than truly good-looking. That's why age suited him. He left acting two years later, after co-starring in Mister Roberts in 1955, and stayed contentedly retired in Palm Springs for 29 years, until his death in 1984 at 91.

Did you know that Powell was engaged to Jean Harlow at the time of her sudden death in 1937? Also, that same year he was found to have cancer and had to undergo a colonectomy that required him to use a "bag" for the rest of his life. You can guess how invasive such a procedure was given the state of medicine in 1937, and at the time he was given only a small chance to live more than a few years. Yet he made it for almost half a century longer, and the public and even many in Hollywood never knew his "secret".

You're right, he (J.D.) was embarrassed by being ditched at the altar. Of course, ultimately it was his own fault, but still, as you say he didn't deserve that, and this was Schatze's doing.

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I felt bad for him, but really, he should have seen it coming. Perhaps he would have been better off keeping his riches a secret from her and her friends. Didn't he see the looks on their faces when he told them that he's rich and that he has connections? Suddenly all three women are telling him that he's great and that he's not old. Geez...couldn't he read between the lines? (Well, he wasn't old in my opinion, but that's besides the point. Men in their sixties aren't old.)

Brookman had a better approach, I think. He didn't say anything to them about his money. He dropped a hint by scheduling that viewing of the clothes, and that was it. The three women still didn't catch on (which was odd), so he left it at that. (I love that scene, mostly because of the clothes they wore. Those fashions were so lovely!)

Thanks for the info on William Powell. ξ€Ή You and some of the Gentlemen of the CFB really know these kinds of details! ξ€Ή

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I think the women, Schatze anyway, would have quickly figured out J.D. was rich. But initially he probably had no reason to conceal it. Not boast about it, but just treat it matter-of-factly. I like him far better than Brookman, whose "unpretentious" look and approach was itself pretentious and condescending. J.D. was comfortable with who he was and didn't need to act like something he wasn't. Brookman was in his own way something of a self-important phony in his determination to seem like a regular guy...until it suited him to defiantly proclaim his wealth.

J.D. says he's 56 but in reality Powell was 61. The ages of many of the characters in this film are kind of off, as we've discussed elsewhere. But I wouldn't have taken J.D. for being younger than around 60. Admittedly only a difference of four years, but at that stage only a few years can make a big difference.

By the way, Powell's second wife (of three) was Carole Lombard. Only for two years, but they remained friends and later co-starred in My Man Godfrey, one of his three Oscar nominations (along with The Thin Man and Life With Father). But speaking of age differences, Powell was 16 years older than Lombard and 27 years older than Diana Lewis, an actress who was his third wife for over forty years until his death. That's about the age difference between the characters of J.D. and Schatze! (The real difference between Powell and Bacall was 32 years.)

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I think that both men were decent fellows. I prefer J.D., but Brookman was okay. Very laid-back. I didn't get the impression that he was a phony. In fact, neither man struck me as being sly. If there is one characteristic which I can't stand in people, it's the sly/cunning trait. Ugh....

Also, Brookman didn't look all that pretentious and self-confident when he thought that Schatze had married J.D. He looked like a broken-hearted man.

I think that J.D. did lack in common sense by telling the women right away that he's rich. It wouldn't have been sly to keep quiet about it. It would have been basic common sense. Right away, the women started going on about how he isn't old. Geez, couldn't he figure out why they were saying it to him?

Personally, I think that if a man is rich and he's looking for a life-long partner, he should keep quiet about his riches, at least at first. I agree with the approach which Brookman took. He dropped a subtle and indirect hint by asking that the women model for him. When Schatze didn't catch on, he decided not to bother again. But seriously....he was right in taking her on very casual dates, like for hamburgers. In fact, I think that if a man is very rich, he should insist that the first date with a lady be for hot dogs or something. He should be stingy and see how she likes it. If she's really interested, she'll stick around. (Well, in most cases....)

The women in this movie were extreme gold-diggers (at least at first), but some women are gold-diggers on a smaller scale. I remember overhearing one very young woman say that she is dating a 30 year old guy because he is earning money and he can take her on holidays. She was talking to her friends and she said that she had been wasting time with guys her own age. I overheard that a few years ago. Then there was another woman (at a bus stop) who was complaining because her boyfriend couldn't afford to take her on a skiing trip during the Christmas break. (She told the person she was with that they are both college students, so of course he likely wouldn't have money for an expensive trip.) Anyway, my point is that I think that rich men should be careful.

Oh, J.D. was VERY distinguished! Men are in their prime when they are in their fifties and sixties. Remember our conversation on the Rear Window board a few years ago? Remember my Thread? ξ€Ή

As for those age differences, they are nothing at all. What's 30 years, anyway?

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Well, I don't know why you think J.D. didn't realize Schatze was interested in his wealth. Of course he knew that's what she was up to. He did like her, but he was just being a gentleman in not calling her a gold-digger. He was just trying to parry her efforts to land him by not touching on unpleasant subjects. In fact, meeting her on her own alleged grounds -- that she was only interested in him, not his money -- by raising the age issue was very smart. It pointed out the hollowness of her claims without getting into the real reason behind her interest. Sure, he could have just called her a liar out for his money, but why get confrontational when you can have an enjoyable evening and hoist her on her own (phony) petard?

Not lavishing money on a first date may be wise as a way of gauging a woman's interest, but Brookman uses this pose as an "average Joe" throughout his day-to-day existence. It isn't something he affected just for Schatze. I'm saying that this was a phony, overdone pose that he put on as a way of making himself seem like a regular guy, but in reality it was simply condescending claptrap, a way of making people think of him as just a nice guy when in fact he throws his money around when it suits him and was still accorded the deference his wealth brought him even when he's not being outwardly obvious about being rich. Remember, he acted this way even around people who knew who and how rich he was. After a time it's just another form of "slumming". It isn't like he's hiding from the world or giving his money away to people in need. He has and uses all the trappings of wealth as it suits him. Simply wearing a sloppy jacket doesn't make him "genuine". He's as dishonest as the girls, albeit in a different way and for smug, self-satisfied reasons.

In her previous film, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, Marilyn Monroe says that a girl wanting to marry a man who's rich is no different than a man wanting to marry a girl who's pretty. The important thing is that they genuinely be in love with the other, not just marry a person for looks or money. But having looks or money isn't a bad trait to have provided it's in addition to love.

Here, Schatze has looks and Brookman has money but neither has class, their superficial affectations notwithstanding. So maybe they deserved each other. J.D. had class, as well as money, breeding and a certain kind of looks as well.

Thirty years is a lot. I knew a girl who only dated men decades older than her, and finally became permanently involved with a man over 30 years older. When she was in her mid-40s he was in his late 70s. A nice man too, but the interesting thing is this girl was not interested in money -- none of the older men she dated was wealthy, though they were all comfortable. She stayed with this man for many years (I haven't had contact with her for a decade, so I assume the man may have passed away by now, but they were still together last I knew, and had been for about 15 years). I think she genuinely wanted to marry him but he demurred, probably due to their ages, though I don't know what ultimately may have happened. But in her case, she just honestly preferred much older men, for whatever reason. Money was clearly not an object. She was earning more than many of the men she was involved with, and stood to inherit a lot too!

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Well, J.D. wasn't just having an enjoyable evening with her. If that's all it was, then I'd agree with you. But he proposed. The wedding was planned. He was the one ditched at the altar...by a woman 30 years his junior. That couldn't have been fun for him. I felt bad for him, but at the same time...he should have just had a few fun evenings out with her and left it at that.

I think you're judging Brookman a bit too harshly. Okay, he was rich, and maybe a bit pompous at the end, but there is really no evidence that he's throwing his money around when it suits him, etc. In fact, the only time he really did that was at the end of the film. The rest of the time, we see no evidence of it. How do we know how he was treating his workers at the Brookman building? We aren't told that he's treating them like dirt. How do we know that he was using his money to manipulate others? In the movie, he's just a rich guy who happens to fall for a young lady who loves to talk about money. He had to deal with the situation. We see very little of his interactions with other folks besides her.

Hmmm....an older guy who wants to marry a pretty young girl, and the young girl who wants an older guy for his money. Now when has THAT ever been done?  Hugh Hefner might have a thing or two to say about that.  As long as they're both adults, they can do what they want, and they are both getting exactly what they want. She wants the rich older guy, and he wants the pretty young gal. Will she have a guy on the side? Probably. But I'm sure that he will know that from the start.

Some years ago, I heard about an ad put into the classifieds section of some European newspaper. It read something like "Looking for an old rich guy to marry. I plan on having a young boyfriend on the side." Hey, any guy who answers the ad knows exactly what he's getting.  She's being honest. 

Seriously, though, I think that a younger woman-older guy relationship can work. Why not? Okay, if the girl is only 15 or something, and marries a 50 year old, I would suspect that her parents arranged the marriage. But two adults in love...why not? At my age, a 30 year age gap doesn't seem that extreme anymore. Lots of very attractive and mature 60-somethings out there. Well, not that I know any of them, but they seem attractive and mature from a distance.  Growing up, I knew two girls (classmates) whose fathers were much older than the mothers. The parents in each case were together for many years, until the fathers passed away. Both families had a lot of kids and neither family was rich. One family even lived below the poverty line. So it can work, for sure.

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Yes, J.D. finally did relent and propose, well after their evenings together, but in the scheme of things that was a momentary lapse. He was ditched but said he'd get over it, and I'm sure he did. But it's interesting that he saw through Schatze from the start and eventually wanted to marry her anyway. I think lust got the better of him for a time. But his original judgment was right, as circumstances compelled him to realize again after almost making the mistake of marrying this girl.

My point wasn't that Brookman treated people well or badly (probably well from what little we see). But he can afford to put on this air of being an average blue-collar guy, eating hot dogs and taking taxis and the like, because he knows the reality that he's worth a couple of hundred million bucks. It's easy to put on some affectation when you can afford it. And clearly he will use his financial standing when it suits him (like getting that private fashion show), and he makes no effort to hide who he is -- he doesn't advertise it, but doesn't actively conceal it either. Most people in the film aside from the three dimwits know who he is and accord him all the deference people always accord someone with money. He doesn't abjure any of it. He doesn't tell people to treat him like anyone else; on the contrary, he likes being rich and getting all the obeisance wealth brings him. The fact that he isn't overtly ostentatious or doesn't dress the part doesn't mean he wants his wealth ignored. He doesn't stand on lines like others, or look at fashions in the shop window, or pretend to be poor. He has no problem with people knowing he's rich. He loves having all the benefits of dough while still being able to live the fiction that because he doesn't wear a tie and goes to delis that somehow he's just another guy. It's all a fake, born of self-absorption and ego.

I never said an older/younger marriage couldn't work. Again on the contrary, I said the only issue is whether the two people honestly love one another. As I also said, if a young girl likes the fact that an older man has money and he likes the fact she's beautiful, well and good. But those things should be a bonus, ancillary factors, not the reason to marry. Most people who wed for superficial reasons have poor marriages. A few might make it, but that wouldn't be the rule I'm certain...though at least being honest about it up front wouldn't hurt.

That ad you spoke of is very reminiscent of the Somerset Maugham short story "The Ant and the Grasshopper". In the end the ne'er-do-well brother of a hard-working, moralistic rich man manages to marry a beautiful and wealthy woman who's constantly being pursued by phonies who tell her they love her when all they want is her money. He wins her by telling her straight out he's after her money, but that this would make for a happy and long-lasting marriage since she knows where he stands. And it works -- much to his appalled brother's shock!

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Well, I'm not a huge supporter of Brookman, but the thing is that, in the movie, he was only doing what he could to win over the girl he had fallen for. Maybe he was putting on a bit of an act, but it was all for her benefit. There were no hints in that film that he treats others that way on a regular basis. In fact, aside from his chasing Schatze, we don't really see him at all..except in the scene near the end where he thinks that J.D had married her. (That scene wasn't too clear, because he would have seen her ditch him at the altar.)

Like I said before, I think that Hugh Hefner can shed some light on the rich older man-attractive younger woman issue. 

The story you described sounds interesting.  I'll have to look it up and read it!

Some of the Agatha Christie mysteries revolve around a character marrying another for his/her money, etc.

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Actually, I don't think Brookman was "doing all he could" to win Schatze. If he had, he would have let her know early on that he was rich. It's pretty clear he wanted to win her without resorting to the truth, yet since all he hears her talk about is marrying a man with money you have to wonder why he just doesn't say, Hey -- I have money! Yet he clearly wasn't put off by her relentlessly mercenary and sarcastic character since he kept pursuing her. Only at the end, when he thinks she's marrying J.D. (you're mistaken, he does not think she actually has married him, since he knows the ceremony hasn't yet taken place), does he complain about her obsession with "dough".

Now, one is left to assume that he doesn't let Schatze know who he is, or that he's rich, because he wants her to marry him for love, not money. Even so, he runs a huge risk by asking for that private fashion show: clearly only a well-to-do customer could have such a thing arranged (although the supposedly bright Schatze is too stupid to grasp this obvious fact), but if he was trying to keep his wealth a secret that's one of the dumbest things he could do. He just lucked out: he had no way of knowing that Schatze was too stupid to figure out what was going on, nor that her boss wouldn't spill the beans to her when, in her typical boorish, loud-mouthed manner she told him he was being made a fool of by hosting a show for this "grease jockey".

Lastly, Brookman wasn't putting on this "regular guy" act solely for Schatze. He always put on this act...and that's what it was -- an act. I can't understand what you mean when you say there are no indications throughout the film that he does this to others -- that's all we see him do, all across the film, in front of everybody, even those who know who he is. That's his phony conceit -- look at me, I'm enormously rich but I act like just an average Joe. Does he eschew any of the prerogatives of his wealth? Does he pretend to be someone else? Absolutely not. He appears down-to-Earth when it suits him but never loses sight of the fact that he's rich and that wealth can get him what he wants. He may have wanted to win Schatze by not revealing his wealth but lost no time in rubbing it in to her and her friends once they're married -- in that nasty, I'm-fed-up-that-you-don't-know-I'm-rich tone he assumes when reeling off his holdings and peeling off those thousand-dollar bills. At base he's an arrogant jerk who just wants what he wants. He affects that normal-guy demeanor but he never for a second lets anyone forget, or remain ignorant of, who he is.

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I think that Brookman didn't really know how to tell her that he was rich. I think that he decided to do so in an indirect manner (to hold that private viewing). When she didn't catch on, I think he decided to just let her think that he was an "average Joe" until after they were married.

That one scene with the congratulations was a bit odd, because once she left the room, I find it hard to believe that other folks would have really thought that she would come back. She gave such a lame excuse for leaving the room that it should have been obvious to the guests that she wasn't going to marry J.D. So why would congratulations be in order? That's why I thought that maybe Brookman arrived late and thought that the wedding had taken place. Since he was in love with her, would he have really wanted to see her marry another man? I kind of thought that maybe he just decided to show up a bit late, to quietly wish them all the best, and then leave.

Anyhow, of all the men, I don't think that Brookman was the worst. In my opinion, the worst guy was that married loser who really thought that Betty Grable's character was going to sleep with him. 

Freddie Denmark (David Wayne) would have been a better catch if he weren't so stupid. Honestly, that character had zero common sense.

J.D. seemed like a very decent man. He'd be a good choice. ξ€Ή

Also that sweet and unpretentious forest ranger....thankfully Betty Grable's character finally came to her senses!!!

So yes, if I had to choose between those men, I would go for either J.D. or that forest ranger. Freddie Denmark would be in second place, followed by Brookman. Not that any of them were really that awful. Brookman was a tad annoying from time to time. Freddie was a dummy. The forest ranger sure lived in a lovely and quiet location! I could enjoy looking at the beautiful mountains day after day. Now J.D. said that he lives in Texas...I already live in "Canada's Texas" and I hate it.  So maybe the forest ranger would be a better choice.

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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When you say the scene with the congratulations, do you mean at the almost-wedding between J.D. and Schatze? I think the guests who congratulated him were simply people who hadn't had a chance to speak to him earlier (remember he arrived after most of the guests), but I agree, doing so after Schatze had stopped the ceremony does look a little odd. I guess they were just offering congratulations in the usual kind of perfunctory way people do at such occasions, and it really wasn't clear yet that Schatze was actually calling off the wedding. As for Brookman, it seems he was a slightly late arrival, but he had to know the ceremony hadn't taken place yet because everyone was still milling around talking; had the happy couple been married already they'd have been in the middle of the room with the cake and all that jazz.

I don't agree in the least that Freddie was a "dummy" or "stupid" -- far, far from it. He was pretty smart, and obviously rich to have an apartment on Sutton Place, one of the wealthiest sections of Manhattan, then and now. (You know -- the apartment Schatze was looting by selling off his furniture.) The story line about his taxes is pretty badly written and conceived -- this silliness about sneaking around, having to find the guy who stole his money by himself, all the rest. Completely ridiculous. Pola's line at the end about the two of them going underground after the ceremony is sort of funny but nonsensical. Now, how much common sense he had is a different matter, unconnected with intelligence, but the story they give his character is absurd.

Of the six men, only the characters played by Fred Clark (Brewster, the lodge in Maine) and Alex D'Arcy (Merrill, the gigolo with the eye patch) were clearly bad choices. Eben (the ranger) was probably the best catch overall, with J.D. second, only due to his age. Freddie was okay but for his idiotic predicament, and Brookman was fine except for his self-satisfied pose as a "down-to-Earth" millionaire.

As for breaking the news about his true financial status to Schatze, Brookman could have just taken her in a cab to his office building (the one with his name on it) and then up to his office. VoilΓ , baby, I'm rich. Not hard. But since it takes J.D. to tell him at the end, "Well, that's the way she talks, of course" (meaning always about money), clearly Tom boy believes she was strictly money-obsessed. So why would he want her anyway? Even if she married him for love and didn't learn he had money until afterward (as of course occurred), why would he want someone so shallow? And how could he be certain Schatze's love for him would prove as genuine or long-lasting as her love of money? Frankly it's his judgment I question -- quite apart from marrying a woman with such a loud, crude mouth...which is where I came in!

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Yes, I think it was very awkward for people to offer him congratulations after the wedding was halted. And once it was clear that the wedding wouldn't take place, why would the people still hang around as if though nothing out of the ordinary had happened? I would think that, after the wedding was called off, that the guests would just be tactful and go home. Maybe the room could have been cleared and Brookman could have shown up, wondering what's going on or something.

Yes, it did seem kind of odd to me that Freddie would be smart enough to own an apartment in such a wealthy part of Manhattan, but at the same time, that he'd be stupid enough to have those kinds of problems with his taxes.

That married man would have been a very bad choice for any of the women, but I disagree about the man with the eye patch. What exactly was wrong with him? He was barely shown in the film, and what the viewers get to see seemed harmless enough to me.

I get the impression that Brookman and Schatze were perfect for each other. Whatever others might think of them, well...I think that they made such a perfect couple. The relationship would probably revolve around money, but hey...that's how both of them wanted it.

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Well, watch the wedding scene again. No one is informed the wedding has been called off, except for J.D. telling Brookman before ushering him into the bedroom where Schatze had fled (and she starts excoriating him about not wearing a tie). After that J.D. takes out his cigarette and, with one of his usual elegant gestures, taps it on his cigarette case and thoughtfully lights it. At that point, where the scene fades out, no one else had been informed of what had happened. So as far as they knew, the wedding was still pending. As indeed it was -- just with a different groom!

While we never see what happens after J.D. lights his cigarette and the scene dissolves to the diner, we can surmise that the guests were shortly informed that J.D. was not marrying Schatze, but that the ceremony was going ahead, only now with Schatze marrying Tom Brookman. Since at the diner later that evening they're already married, it's logical to assume they simply picked up the ceremony where it had left off, with Schatze the bride and Brookman now the groom...and maybe with J.D. as best man! (I don't really believe he would have acted in that capacity, but it would have been a lovely, classy thing for him to have done. But I think his feelings were a bit too raw for him to have considered such a role.)

I can understand a wealthy guy like Freddie having tax problems, but not the way they're portrayed in the movie or how he's going about trying to solve the problem. Just a stupid plot line.

What was wrong with the guy with the eye patch? For one thing, he was a phony: in his last scene we see him lift the patch revealing a perfectly good eye. Also, while we learn virtually nothing about him, it's pretty clear that the audience is supposed to realize he's a fraud; maybe rich, maybe not, but a big talker out only for sex -- certainly not a "good catch" by a long shot. Clearly a gigolo. And a rich international businessman taking Pola to Atlantic City? Hardly an elegant destination for the well-to-do, then, now or ever. That also shows he's not what he poses as.

However, as I've speculated, I think Brookman and Schatze were in the end indeed suited for one another...or let's say, they're at least what each deserves. They're both at base boorish slobs, and their differing attributes -- he rich and self-consciously sloppy, she obsessed with money and superficially stylish -- nicely complement each other too. I'd say that rather than being "perfect" for one another, it's more a case of their being meant for one another.

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Well, considering the fact that some of the people present at the wedding ceremony were J.D.'s friends, I think it would have been tactless to have had her marry someone else that day and at that time. But that's probably just how it happened. Whatever works, I guess. I think the classy thing to do would have been to send the guests home and just have a quiet ceremony, or elope elsewhere. Just my opinion...

After all, who would have been the best man? Certainly not J.D., and the fellow chosen to be J.D.'s best man was one of HIS friends. Would a best man agree to be the best man for another groom, selected at the last minute?

That entire situation was just plain awkward, which might explain why a lot of those details weren't shown. Interesting that none of the three weddings were shown to the audience (not that I minded). Somehow, I can't see modern filmmakers getting away with that. In a modern film, they would have had to show even just a segment of each wedding (maybe the wedding kiss in each case).

Were they at the diner later that evening, or maybe the next day? I can't remember. I don't think it was necessarily later that evening.

As for the guy with the eye patch, he might have been out for sex, but to be honest with you, I never really gave him a second thought. He's barely seen in the movie and what he says seems general enough. I know nothing about Atlantic City, so I'm not sure why it would have been a problem for him to take Pola there. In the film, Schatze made a crack about Atlantic City, but I assumed that what she said was meant to be a joke. She said something about how no one's mother lives in Atlantic City (or something along those lines). Perhaps you could explain why it would be so unbelievable for him to take Pola there? (Maybe I should find that city on the map first.... )

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I tend to agree with you that the best thing to have done was to send the guests home and hold a quiet ceremony, and perhaps they did that; nothing is ever stated about the wedding. But since J.D. and Tom are on a first-name basis (as we see near the end: the rich know the other rich) it's logical to assume that most of the guests either knew, or at least knew of, Brookman, so having them stay on might not be so implausible.

Regardless, the scene at the diner was definitely that same evening (remember Schatze's latest tiresome and gross crack about how "Following the ceremony, the guests adjourned to an exclusive greasy spoon where perfectly delicious dogburgers were served"?), so it makes sense that she and Tom were wed at her apartment while the judge, guests and all the paraphernalia were there.

Or -- to argue the contrary -- maybe not: wouldn't many people at the party have known who Brookman was and have inadvertently spilled the beans? In that case they might have held a private ceremony after having the guests depart. (The guests would have to have been fed and given some courtesies for attending a canceled wedding.) Even so, it would likely have been in the apartment using the same judge and having at least a few people present. As to best man, either Eben or Freddie could have easily stood in -- my guess would be Eben, since he's a pretty nice, straightforward guy.

Anyway, specifics aside, the pair were plainly married that very day and dined at the burger joint later that evening.

Atlantic City is a town on the southern coast of New Jersey, about 125 miles from New York. It was developed as a resort beginning in the 1880s and 90s and reached its peak in the 1920s and 30s, known for its famous Boardwalk and many tourist attractions (and, during Prohibition, for bootlegging and the ready availability of liquor). But after the war it declined as people could afford vacations in other places, including warm weather spots like Florida or California, year-round. By the early 50s it was beginning to slide downhill and reached its nadir in the 60s and 70s, riddled with crime, abandoned property and racial problems, before the state passed legislation legalizing casino gambling in the city in 1977, after which the place boomed for 25 or 30 years. But as casino gambling has spread and traveling to better climates and more attractive destinations become ever easier, AC has resumed its decline, with many casinos (including Donald Trump's) going under in the last couple of years and the area falling into an economic slump once again.

Truth be told, the place was always something of a dump, with a thin veneer of glitz that couldn't conceal its crummy aspects. A good movie to see, made during the transition to the casino industry is, appropriately, Atlantic City (1980: originally titled Atlantic City, USA, since it's a Canadian-French co-production), with Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon (both Oscar-nominated) and directed by Louis Malle, which gives you a good idea of what the old place was like. But the new prosperity promised in the film proved shallow and fleeting too, as lifestyles changed across the country over the ensuing 30 years.

Anyway, Schatze wasn't far off the mark when she said, "Nobody's mother lives in Atlantic City." Yes, obviously, there are many mothers in the city, but it's not a place where someone rich comes from or still lives in, and the line itself should have put Pola on guard; nobody goes there except for a day or two of hanky-panky. And how a guy with a strong French accent and "foreign" demeanor could have hailed from AC, or had a parent there, is really part of the joke. I think it's meant to convey how gullible Pola is. Oh, by the way, no one flies from NY to AC; while it's possible to do so (there is a small airport), then as now most people get there by train or car -- mostly car. Also, a prop flight to AC from New York's LaGuardia Airport (which is where they showed the plane taking off from) would take less than an hour. To Kansas City, Missouri -- right in the middle of the country -- by prop would have taken about six hours in 1953. You'd think even Pola would have wondered after the second or third hour why the plane hadn't landed.

Addendum: By the way, here's the link to the Wikipedia page on Atlantic City:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_City,_New_Jersey

It mentions the fact that many of the city's street names were used for the board game Monopoly, and it also has a small section on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, which ran from 2010-2014 and was an excellent, if somewhat fictionalized, depiction of the boss system and its crime component during Prohibition. It starred Steve Buscemi and won many awards. I liked it very much.

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OK, thanks very much for the info on Atlantic City! I had no idea. Until I read your posts, I just assumed that they picked Atlantic City at random as part of the plot, the same way that they might pick Boston or Chicago or something. I had no idea that the city was/is the way you described it. So they did pick that city with a certain perspective in mind. Okay, I got it now. Thanks!



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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Oh, yeah, this wasn't Beverly Hills or Miami he was inviting her to!

So, we may have wrapped this conversation up. The right guys got the right girls, and everybody's happy...no matter what their personalities!

See you!



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Okay, in that case, yes, that guy with the eye patch was definitely a loser. 

Nice chatting and I hope to bump into you on another board!

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Now I can see this movie from a different perspective.... ξ€Ή

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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Now I can see this movie from a different perspective....


You mean, without a patch? ξ‚ž

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I think I'll watch it without my glasses next time. 

To make life easier on myself, I'll put on the eye patch. ξ€Ή

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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ξ€”

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

You're funny. ξ€Ή



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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I'm watching this film now. I paused it to tell you that I'm watching it.

The movie is still one of my faves. ξ€Ή Thanks again for the details on Atlantic City! That made the relationship between Marilyn's character and the guy with the one eye patch clearer. And this time, I noticed when he took off the eye patch in order to read something.  Oh yes, that guy sure was a jerk. 

I'm going to say something about William Powell, but on another board...and I'll reply to you. ξ€Ή

~~
πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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I just finished this film. I figured out what's wrong with the wedding scene. There was something about it that didn't ring true, and I figured out what it is after watching the movie just now.

Schatze asks to be taken to another room. She says that she has twisted her ankle. The guests are waiting for the wedding to take place. She talks to J.D. for awhile and then he goes out to find Brookman. Now when he walks out of the room, the natural thing for the guests to do would be to turn to him to find out what's happening. However, they don't do this. They don't pay him any attention. They just keep talking as if though nothing out of the ordinary is going on. Wouldn't they want to know if the wedding is still on?

No big deal. Great film!

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πŸ’• JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen πŸ‘

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[deleted]

Well, two things figure into it.

1.) bacall's character is nice enough to the men she's interested in...so they don't see all sides of her personality, or behavior.

2.) many men are inexplicably drawn to cool, detached, seemingly unobtainable women (ie, "bitches"). It's something about the challenge.

3.) bacall looked chic and ravishing in this film, if you like willowy model types. So, there's that...

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Well, two things figure into it.

1.) bacall's character is nice enough to the men she's interested in...so they don't see all sides of her personality, or behavior.

2.) many men are inexplicably drawn to cool, detached, seemingly unobtainable women (ie, "bitches"). It's something about the challenge.

3.) bacall looked chic and ravishing in this film, if you like willowy model types. So, there's that...


That's three things, actually, Cookie, but while you make some valid points, Schatze's nature is still phony, cloying, manipulative, overtly gold-digging and crass: a chic slob. And a tough sell, her other attributes notwithstanding.

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Maybe guys who like a big challenge? Isn't there men out there who like her type? I'm women so I don't know. I'm just thrown out ideas.

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A challenge is one thing. Simply subjecting yourself to a boorish woman prone to gross remarks seems hardly worth it. There are other sexy women out there.

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[deleted]

I think you're forgetting that this is a comedy from the 50's. Characters and situations have been exaggerated for comedic effect.

So for me it doesn't make sense to take a hard critical look at this or that character or situation, and say it's not realistic, what they're doing or what they're like.

I think you're just supposed to see the absurdity in it all, and hopefully have a laugh or two, while enjoying the beauty of the stars or the fashions etc.

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Yeah, I understand that, but it's not a matter of looking at this "realistically". Obviously the situation and characters are exaggerated and comedic (which happens in films of all eras, not just ones from the 50s).

The problem is Schatze isn't remotely an attractive personality. This has nothing to do with comedy or silly or even unreal situations. Schatze's obnoxiousness doesn't make her a "funny" or exaggerated character, the way Pola and Loco, who are basically very nice though still golddiggers, are. Anyone in real life could behave that way. The writers could just as easily have written her as sharp and sophisticated, making remarks that are clever and actually funny instead of just gross and stupid. Instead, they made her crude and boorish, qualities which, not incidentally, would be completely self-defeating for someone looking for a rich, elegant husband.

This is just bad writing, nothing more complicated.

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I could see the humor in her remarks... nothing laugh-out-loud funny, but there was some dry wit. And apparently two characters were willing to marry her, so they and the other two girls, didn't have any problems seeing through her persona.

There are many stories where the characters say "I hate you" at the beginning, and you know by the end they'll be together. Schatze even adds some humor by saying "after this hamburger, I don't want to see you again", so the writers are just playing into this stereotype. She herself knows she's weakening, even though in real life, no one would say something like that. The whole thing is absurd.

I think the problem is you just don't like this kind of personality, she turns you off, so you don't see the humor.

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No, your assessment of the problem I have with her and how this affects my appreciation of the humor is off.

I understand all the humor in the situation. This is entirely separate from the way in which she so often speaks or behaves. For instance, you quote her inaccurately: she doesn't tell Brookman, "As soon as I finish this hamburger," etc. She calls it a "dogburger". Sorry, I don't find that funny; certainly it's not witty or clever, it's just gross, coarse and stupid. And that's just one example of her tendency towards crudeness.

The fact that there were two men willing to marry her is, of course, like the rest of the movie, simply the contrivance of the writers: in real-life, would a woman of her characteristics be considered such a catch? I'm not even talking about her being a manipulative liar and golddigger, just her basic, abrasive personality. Is that sort of character really attractive?

To make the point again, this is why I said that the writers could have made her wit urbane and sharp, instead of boorish and unintelligent. That would have made her a more likable and desirable woman (beyond her looks) and would also have been more in keeping with her superficial veneer of sophistication. But her relentless sarcasm is just overdone and off-putting. The other girls were just as dishonest in their way as she was, yet they had a sweetness and innocence about them that made their manipulations cute and amusing, while Schatze was just calculating and decidedly unfunny. (And neither of the other two resorted to larceny, as Schatze did when she sold off the furniture in the apartment they were renting: it was not hers to sell, making her guilty of theft. That's neither funny nor attractive.)

Her weakening toward Brookman is predictable, of course, and her pigheadedness in refusing to take a moment to see who he really was is mildly amusing, but her character and demeanor are mostly just obnoxious. Overall I find this movie pretty funny and can even forgive the women's fundamental dishonesty, Schatze's included. It's her endless stream of gross and sarcastic comments that grate.

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For instance, you quote her inaccurately: she doesn't tell Brookman, "As soon as I finish this hamburger," etc. She calls it a "dogburger".


My goodness, I didn't realize this was a thesis, and every word needed to be exact. My apologies, you are correct, dogburger, not hamburger.

in real-life, would a woman of her characteristics be considered such a catch?

it was not hers to sell, making her guilty of theft. That's neither funny nor attractive


As others have already said, there's no point to comparing it to real life. It's an absurd story to begin with, and almost every plot point is absurd, and not believable, so why focus on the actions of this one character that you so detest? Do you complain about every absurd wacky comedy where someone steals something?

I don't find her particularly gross or offputting - on the other hand, I don't find her particularly appealing either, although I could understand her persona, as she was projecting it, and I could see some of the humor. So I guess I could take her or leave her. But then on the other other hand, I didn't find any of the other characters particularly appealing either, so should I complain that the writers did a poor job there? (For the record, I thought the movie was ok, and I sort of enjoyed it).

The fact that you find that character type so detestable, I think speaks more about you than about her. It seems similar to my feelings about the actress Kathy Bates - whatever movie she's in, I dislike her character, but I don't try to blame the writers, I recognize that I just don't like her style.

this is why I said that the writers could have made her wit urbane and sharp, instead of boorish and unintelligent.


Obviously she wasn't urbane and sharp, she was boorish and unintelligent. If she was intelligent, she wouldn't have gotten herself into that scheme in the first place, but that would have been a different story.

To say the writers could have done this or that doesn't really make sense - they did what they did, and that's the story that came out. If you didn't like it, that's fine too, but that's your own perception and judgement. You just don't like that kind of personality.

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The business about "dogburger" vs. "hamburger" isn't just some academic distinction, frankey200. I noted it precisely because it's a good example of Schatze's crudeness.

Obviously, I don't like her personality. That's the whole point of this thread. So I wondered why the men in the movie would, given her negatives. That's all there is to it. It goes no deeper than that.

Certainly it makes sense to ask why the writers made the character the way they did or why they didn't make her another way. Of course the film is as it is -- what film isn't? -- but haven't you ever questioned the dialogue or characterizations or other aspects of a movie, or thought something could have been written or directed or acted better? In commenting on this aspect I was merely pointing out that there were other alternatives available; that instead of making Schatze so off-putting in her language or demeanor, they could have made her more likable -- just as they made the other women likable. They chose not to. Okay, well and good, but in my opinion that was a mistake. Again, nothing more than that.

Actually, from reading your posts I don't think we're all that far apart in our assessments of Schatze. You say I "detest" her, which is actually overdoing it, but I do dislike her. About your own feelings you say, "I don't find her particularly gross or offputting - on the other hand, I don't find her particularly appealing either, although I could understand her persona, as she was projecting it, and I could see some of the humor. So I guess I could take her or leave her." I can understand that. So while I may find her more disagreeable than you do, it doesn't seem she's a favorite of yours either.

(Conversely, I seem to have a slightly higher opinion of the other two than you do, judging by your comment that, "I didn't find any of the other characters particularly appealing either." As to the film itself, I pretty much concur with your own take: "For the record, I thought the movie was ok, and I sort of enjoyed it".)

In answer to your rhetorical question (which referred to your not liking the other girls' characters), "should I complain that the writers did a poor job there?", my response is -- well, why not? It would be perfectly fair comment, and perfectly fair to comment on. Isn't that the kind of thing we all do with movies? It doesn't change the film, but there's nothing wrong with expressing one's opinions. Without that, we can shut down IMDb.

Lastly, of course you're correct -- though only in part -- that my reaction to Schatze speaks more about me than her; just as your opinions of her and the other girls speak, again only in part, more about you than their characters. How could it be otherwise? We all react to anything in part based on our own tastes, preferences and experiences. Particularly in the case of a film, where there is no true interaction between actors and audience, anything we think is of necessity more about us than who or what we see on the screen, or of the film itself. But there's more to it than that, and this doesn't somehow invalidate our opinions, or mean that the characters or images we see aren't meant to evoke reactions.

Anyway, I think we've pretty much exhausted this subject, which seems to have spun way beyond the scope of my original thread question. At base I think we're arguing minor differences or interpretations. I understand and respect your views and don't disagree with much, maybe even most, of it. It seems our differences are largely more a matter of degree than kind. So if it's all the same with you I'm just going to call it quits and move on, with thanks for your input and all good wishes.

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The business about "dogburger" vs. "hamburger" isn't just some academic distinction, frankey200. I noted it precisely because it's a good example of Schatze's crudeness.

I caught that at the time, but had forgotten when I posted... (it's been a few months since I saw the movie)... it seems to be crude and unacceptable to you, but to me it wasn't important. What was more important to me was the point that, "I'm warming to him but I'm still going to show my "b**chy face".

I don't think we're all that far apart in our assessments of Schatze


I would disagree, but given that you're probably tired of the subject (not surprising, considering the amount of time this thread has been running) we might as well end here.

Nice to talk with someone knowledgeable... thanks.

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You too, my friend, and thank you for your generous closing remarks -- very much reciprocated.

And I really don't think we're vastly far apart in our opinions -- more a matter of degree than kind, perhaps. But, yes, we'll end it here, with thanks. Hope to see you elsewhere, on this and other boards!

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Exactly. I don't think I've ever seen so many people overanalyzing a film to such a ridiculous extent. It would be a huge waste of time for me to bother to counter all the criticisms. But as for Bookman's being accused of being falsely humble, he was simply trying to see if she would eventually fall in love with him for himself instead of his money. That seems like a reasonable strategy to me.

And there were levels of humor in this film that lots of people apparently don't get. Just one simple example out of many: Nunnally Johnson named her Schatze ironically, because SchΓ€tze is the German word/name meaning treasure, darling or sweetheart. Quite the opposite of her prickly character. Duh!

And part of the comedy's effectiveness is that they managed to end up with the right guys in spite of, not because of, all their scheming. The film also had some beautiful, iconic images of New York City. And it was Fox's second highest grossing film of that year, and the fourth highest-grossing film of 1953. Also, Johnson was nominated by the Writers Guild of America for Best Written American Comedy; and the film received a BAFTA nomination for Best Film from any Source (USA). Maybe a couple more viewings would give a new perspective. Or maybe not. Whatever.

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -- A. Einstein

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