Month O' Musicals: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Vital Stats:
Year: 1953
Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliot Reed, Tommy Noonan

Lorelei Lee is engaged to be married to the very rich Gus Esmond. The two plan to sail to France for their wedding, but because his father does not approve of the match, Gus backs out on the trip. Lorelei takes the transatlantic cruise anyway along with best friend and fellow showgirl Dorothy Shaw. Along the way the two get mixed up with an aging millionaire, a detective, a bunch of Olympic athletes, and one diamond tiara.

Memorable Moments:
Best remembered is the iconic number "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", the anthem of gold-diggers everywhere.

What I love about it:
Dorothy Shaw has got to be the best friend ever. She looks after her somewhat dim companion without ever getting really mad, even when her friend's antics put her in a jam. She never appears jealous or desperate, either, even as a definite non-blonde in a movie that declares men to be partial to fair-haired women.

I attribute this coolness to Jane "I wouldn't believe anything you said if you had it tattooed on your forehead" Russell. She more than holds her own and gets plenty of attention, including keeping
to herself a whole pack of Olympic athletes (who, I'm glad to say and thanks to the censors, fortunately have a black stripe on their otherwise nude-colored shorts). She's smart and witty and wonderfully confident, and just as essential to the film as Marilyn.


TheMovieNess said...

Love it!

David Bishop said...

Did you ever see the Madonna homage in the "Material Girl" music video? *Cough* because I sure didn't *cough*

Wendymoon said...

I'm shocked, David! I would have thought the Moulin Rouge version would be the one you'd bring up. :-)

David Bishop said...

Well I thought the Moulin Rouge! version sort of brings both up. I had to lay the groundwork before I could go to that spectacular reference... Jeez, I need to go watch Die Hard or something.

TheMovieNess said...

Well the Madonna version is quite fun (just watched it for the first time on youtube...) but the Moulin Rouge! version is so much better! (well, obviously the original is the best;))

Wendymoon said...

All this talk about "Material Girl" has gotten the song stuck in my head. (Thanks, guys.) But the version I picture is the one from the Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents, with some ditsy heiresses stuck on an island. Great fun.

Sarah said...

I think I like Jane more than Marilyn in this. As much as I love MM, Jane had a lot more deadpan lines which she made sound 100% funnier than it probably sounded in the script :)

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