Let’s Make Love (George Cukor, 1960) is a musical comedy film made by 20th Century Fox. It was produced by Jerry Wald from a screenplay by Norman Krasna, Hal Kanter and Arthur Miller. It starred Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand and Tony Randall. It would be Monroe’s last musical film performance.
Norman Krasna was inspired to write the script after seeing Burt Lancaster do a dance at a Writers Guild award ceremony and receiving a loud applause. He came up with the idea of a story about a very wealthy playboy like Jock Whitney who hears about a company putting on a show that made fun of him and becomes enamoured of the theatre and a girl in the play.
Krasna felt that only three actors were suitable to play the male lead — Gary Cooper, James Stewart and Gregory Peck — because all were so obviously not musical performers, making it funny if they sung and danced. Peck agreed to play the lead, and then Marilyn Monroe was signed opposite him, even though Krasna would have preferred Cyd Charisse.
Arthur Miller revised the script so that more emphasis was given to Monroe, his wife. This led to Peck dropping out. Rock Hudson was considered an ideal replacement based on his ability to play comedy, but Universal would not release him. So, Montand was cast instead after starring in The Crucible (Raymond Rouleau, 1957), based on a play also written by Miller. That pleased Monroe, who wanted Montand for the part. Krasna felt he was miscast because he could actually sing and dance, and so ruined the joke, but Monroe was enthusiastic about Montand. The two stars wound up having an affair during the making of the film.
Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand at a press conference for their film Let’s Make Love ( in French : Le Milliardaire), together with Simone Signoret and Arthur Miller their respective spouses.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand at the press conference for their forthcoming film.
Simone Signoret and Yves Montand relax in the bungalow of their Beverly Hills Hotel, where they were staying while he was filming Let’s make Love with Marilyn Monroe.
Miller and Montand
Marilyn Monroe and Simone Signoret
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller give a private dinner for Yves Montand
Yves Montand, Simone Signoret and Marilyn Monroe in Montand’s Beverly Hills Hotel apartment
Montand and Signoret
Signoret, Montand and Monroe at a Beverly Hills Hotel
Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller
Signoret and Monroe at a private dinner party during the making of Let’s Make Love
Photo series by Bruce Davidson, 1960