What a Way to Go!, directed by J. Lee Thompson, and starring Shirley MacLaine (the part was written for Marilyn Monroe, who died prior to production) is a camp classic, writes Vogue ahead of their Camp themed exhibit andMet Ball.
The film has LOTS of fashion; a cotton-candy-pink floor-length fur dyed to the same shade as her beehive coiffure, a gold lamé and fur-trimmed gown, and lots and lots of feathers. Billed in the trailer as
“half-a-million dollars worth of the most magnificent clothes that Edith Head ever created”
MacLaine finds herself in and out of matrimony a total of four times—four times a bride, four times a widow. But a black widow she is not; each of her husbands drives himself to death, fueled by an insatiable hunger for money and power. … the film’s trailer narrates,
“there’s a pink Rolls-Royce, and a slick jetliner complete with orgies[!!!], and a chimp named Frida who paints like Rembrandt.”
It took not one, not two but four set designers… Jack Martin Smith, Ted Haworth, Walter M. Scott, and Stuart A. Reiss. There over 75 sets including a gala scene with an allée of chandelier-size candelabras where MacLaine makes quite the entrance, and a mansion painted pink from top to bottom and inside and out.
Her co-stars; Dean Martin, the richest man MacLaine is meant to marry at the behest of her mother; Dick Van Dyke, who becomes a department store tycoon; starving artist Paul Newman; Robert Mitchum as the smarmy billionaire bachelor; Gene Kelly, who dances his way to Hollywood stardom and Bob Cummings as the psychiatrist listening to this entire story.
Spoiler Alert: The film ends up right where it started, with MacLaine marrying Martin and living happily ever after.
(Photos, screen grabs; via Vogue)