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Plot: Lorelei and Dorothy are just "Two Little Girls from Little Rock", lounge singers on a transatlantic cruise, working their way to Paris, and enjoying the company of any eligible men they might meet along the way, even though "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." Based on the Broadway musical based on the novel. Runtime: 91 mins Release Date: 31 Jul 1953
A Diamond , No Matter How You Look At It (by uhmartinez-phd)
Imperishible like a diamond, sharp, stunning, priceless. The rough and tough Howard Hawks knew how to establish contact with his feminine side and when he did, wonderful things took place. "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" is a perfect example of that. One of the rarest. The women, as made abundantly clear by Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, are divided in two very specific categories: blonds and brunettes. The blonds are always trying to find new places where to wear diamonds, the brunettes may fall for the wrong guy just because love gets in the way. The men are old rich predators, <more>
sneaky pros or children, no matter how old. The film goes by at an incredible pace and you can't help but surrender to the charm, the beauty and the knowing innocence of this masterpiece.
Oh really, then why are you wearing that hat? (by Xanadu-2)
A true classic. Nice to see some girls have fun and the world at their feet for a change. Marilyn has such a gift for comedy and Jane Russel is very underrated. She´s a great comedienne too. She has some great lines and delivers them with precision. The movie is pure bliss. I love it! You go girls!
"But Square-cut or Pear-shaped, These Rocks Don't Lose Their Shape!" (by theowinthrop)
As pointed out the film GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES is really the first great movie role in the career of Marilyn Monroe. Given the brevity of her film career roughly a decade , one third of it passed without her being more than...well, let's face it "male eye candy". Her sexiness and apparently "dumb blond" personality fit her just as a film decoration - an entertainment for drooling men to watch.This was hardly fair as Marilyn did eventually prove; and as fellow movie bombshells like Jayne Mansfield rarely did . Marilyn had popped up in some films of interest: the <more>
last Marx Brother Movie as a Marx Brother Movie , LOVE HAPPY - but only for one wasted moment; MONKEY BUSINESS as an imagined rival to Ginger Rogers - but again wasted, as she was playing opposite Cary Grant ; THE ASPHALT JUNGLE where she was Louis Calhern's mistress ; CLASH BY NIGHT where she essayed a serious part, but was again in support to Barbara Stanwyck . I suspect it was that her physical attributes dictated the sex appeal over anything else. But it wasted one third of her film career!Marilyn was not seen to have a brain. Other blonds did show intelligence Doris Day and Kim Novak and Grace Kelly come to mind, and all three were getting meatier roles in this period . But Marilyn could only hope for some break to take her out of the background.Anita Loos had written her novella in the 1920s, and it was a smash hit then and ever since. One really ought to read the book to understand a small difference between Loos' view of Lorelei Lee of Little Rock, Arkansas, and both the musical version of Carol Channing and the film version of Marilyn to see the improvement in the latter two. Loos was spoofing the dumb blond. Lorelei is dumb - she has no sense of the real world. She is telling her own story in the novella by the way, Carol Channing actually did a recording of the book that is worth listening to . Lorelei is the sort of idiot who insists she was an actress in film because she was in the Babylonian palace staircase shot with 10,000 other people in Griffiths' INTOLERANCE. She is a good time girl - a modern flapper sans intelligence. Money and success fall into her lap quite literally due to her affect on men. She's aware of it, but she lacks the sense that the stage and screen versions add. Channing and Monroe both show they understand that CURRENTLY they are appealing to men, but that with aging they can't depend on this attraction to pay the bills. Monroe in the film may try to imagine what a tiara would look like on her in a childish way at a ship's dinner table, but she knows the security of owning such jewelry brings. The final moment that her cleverness is revealed is when she confronts Taylor Holmes the father of her fiancé Tommy Noonan in Paris. She openly says she is interested in Holmes' money, and that men are hypocrites because they want their daughters to marry only rich men, and don't want their sons to wind up with "gold diggers". Holmes has to admit that she is smarter than he was told, and she says she can be smart when she wants to be.The appealing thing of the film is the camaraderie between Monroe and Jane Russell. People hearing of the teaming thought the set would become a real war-zone between blonde and brunette bombshells. Instead the two actresses became lifelong friends, and their friendship translates well between that of Lorelie and Dorothy Shaw. They both are aware of their effect on men, and their need for a supporting sister figure. And they work fine as a team. Note how they handle Elliot Reid when they want to get the incriminating photos he's taken of Marilyn and Charles Coburn "Beakie" .The men do well in their parts, especially Noonan as the fretful Gus and Reid as the smart usually detective Ernie he does eventually prove himself to the satisfaction of Russell . George Winslow's "Henry Spofford III" has a wonderful moment warning Monroe about that old goat's Coburn's intentions. Coburn is fine, usually henpecked by his overbearing wife Norma Varden. As for the loss of the Julie Styne tunes, the musical is firmly set in the 1920s and many references to prohibition, and historically forgotten folks like actor Fiske O'Hara are quite dim. Modernizing the tale was not a bad idea. And the two Carmichael tunes - especially Russell's number with the Olympic team - are good. It was an excellent first major part for Monroe to step into.
Talk to Me, Harry Winston, Tell Me All About It! (by gftbiloxi)
While it will never compete with the likes of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, GIGI, or MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, this 1953 confection is nonetheless a real charmer. Based on a popular Broadway show which was itself based on the famous novel by Anita Loos, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES tells the story of two cabaret performers--blonde bombshell Loreli Lee, who is determined to marry for money, and brunette beauty Dorothy Shaw, who prefers to marry for love. When Loreli's engagement to a millionaire's son goes awry, the two set sail for Europe, and comic complications ensue. The story is traditional <more>
fluff, pure and simple, and there is nothing in the least innovative or unexpected about the film as a whole--but it is all extremely, extremely well done.The score is bright, including such tunes as the famous "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"--and all the musical numbers are cleverly staged and filmed. The overall look of the film is also eye popping: the ladies are dressed to perfection and the color cinematography is truly joyous. The script is full of comfortable wit, director Hawks keeps it moving at a nice clip, and the cast includes such enjoyable performers as Charles Coburn, Tommy Noonan, Norma Varden, and George Winslow. But what really makes the film memorable are Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, who simply sparkle with star quality and play their with roles in a twinkle-in-the-eye style.Monroe and Russell have remarkable chemistry on screen, and although neither were really singers they each had enjoyable and very distinctive singing voices; their performances are so pleasantly amusing that you can't help but smile. Both also had a way with comedy, with Monroe offering her quintessential 'not so dumb blonde' and Russell matching her all the way as the wise-to-you brunette determined to keep Monroe out of trouble. And so well do they work together it is hard to pick a favorite between the two. Call it fluff, froth, foolish--but even jeweler Harry Winston couldn't refuse this good time, even at the risk of a diamond or two. Thoroughly enjoyable for any one still capable of a smile.Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
This film may have the same stereotypical dipsy blonde character and actress as Some Like It Hot, but this is a whole different film, a great musical comedy. Basically Dorothy Shaw Jane Russell and Lorelei Lee Marilyn Monroe two famous lounge singers, or "Two Little Girls from Little Rock", and they are going on a cruise ship working their way to Paris. On the journey, they are enjoying the company of men, Lorelei particularly has a hunger for rich men and diamonds, so she can't resist dopey diamond mine owner Sir Francis 'Piggy' Beekman Charles Coburn . She may <more>
be dipsy, but she gets her own way with her sexiness, almost as much as Dorothy does. But problems occur when sneaky photographer, and Dorothy's love interest, Gus Esmond Tommy Noonan snaps Lorelei and Piggy together, so she and Dorothy are now trying to get the film back, and this is where the film descends into a justice thing. Also starring Elliott Reid as Lorelei's fiancée, Ernie Malone. Marilyn Monroe was number 39 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, she was number 6 on 100 Years, 100 Stars - Women, she was number 3 on The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols she could have been number 1 , and she was number 11 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" was number 12 on 100 Years, 100 Songs, and the film was number 48 on The 100 Greatest Musicals. Very good!
Marilyn Monroe is the most Iconic Sex Symbol of the Golden Age of the Movie Age, and ultimately of the 20th Century. In "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" 1953 one can easily see how this thought has been brought down upon young Marilyn. The film is not only enjoyable, but contains many great memorable songs, and of course, Marilyn Monroe.Jane Russell on the other hand, brings a more mascular, homey feeling into the film, in which most audiences can easily relate too. This factor I also found very appealing.The Choreography within the film is extraordinary, and most the piece are done as <more>
if it were clockwork!Yours, julianallees 12th August, 2008 8:04pm
Under Howard Hawks' direction Marilyn was a sexual delight striking, in one of her numbers, a 'Gilda' pose (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
Marilyn's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" was one of the classic musicals of the 1950's... She comes into it looking like a winner, and leaves as one The picture has been set fully by the tone of her personality Her personality infuses every corner of the film as if she has even picked the scenery to work for her The movie rises above its pretext, its story, its existence as a musical, even its music, and becomes at its best a magic work, yet it is a light-hearted satire of the old adage that when a woman goes bad, men go right after her The film crowned Monroe in her <more>
position as the nation's new 'Love Goddess' with the promise of many sparkling hits to come, and Jane Russell's career continued, with less fanfare, but very successfully for several more years The story was simple: Dorothy Jane Russell and Lorelei Marilyn Monroe work together as entertainers and are also good friends Lorelei's millionaire fiancé Gus Esmond Tommy Noonan sends the girls to France, but his father Taylor Holmes hires a private detective, Malone Elliott Reid on the same boat to spy on her during the trip When the three meet, Dorothy falls for Malone, much to the chagrin of Lorelei, who cannot understand Dorothy's indifference to men with money On board, the girls get into trouble when they meet an old playboy Francis Beckman Charles Coburn , a diamond merchant
Marry For Love, But Get Those Diamonds (by bkoganbing)
Anita Loos's famous novel and play Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was done as a musical and ran for 740 performances during the 1949-1951 season. It was the breakout role in the career on Broadway for Carol Channing. But for the screen version a pair of pulchritudinous sex symbols were cast as the showgirls looking for husbands, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe.Two things were done for the film, most of the Jule Styne-Leo Robin score was scrapped and two numbers written by Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson were added. Retained from the original score was Bye Bye Baby, Two Little Girls from <more>
Little Rock and the famous theme of goldiggers everywhere, Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend. The second thing was to update the story from when it was originally written during the Roaring Twenties to the current Fifties. Still the two basic characters of Russell and Monroe remained the same. Both would like husbands, but Russell wants to marry for love, money would be nice though, but Monroe it's strictly mercenary. The two men they have an eye on are millionaire son Tommy Noonan for Monroe and Russell has her eye on Elliott Reid. Monroe's mercenary ways nearly sink the two of them, but it all kind of works out in the end.Lorelei Lee was Marilyn's breakout role as well. No big male star names are opposite here, she's only in a friendly competition with fellow sex symbol Jane Russell. Russell's contribution to the film is too often overlooked with Marilyn's legend looming over all. She more than holds her own against Marilyn and in fact unlike in some of her films, there was no friction at all with the two women.I can see why Howard Hawks was attracted to this film. The women he has in his films are tough minded and more than capable of dealing in a man's world. That Jane and Marilyn are in abundance and boy do those women have a lot of abundance.And in all the right places too.
At the risk of sounding metrosexual Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is fabulous. (by regjer)
At the risk of sounding metrosexual Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is fabulous. It is a Technicolor musical in the eye-popping spirit of Singing in the Rain. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes stars Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee and Jane Russell as Dorothy Shaw, two showgirls on their way to Paris via cruise-ship and there is your plot. Lorelei hopes to marry a rich man because he is rich and Dorothy is her friend and there is your character development. Ernie Malone is a private eye hired by Gus Esmond's father to dig up dirt on Lorelei so he can forbid his son from marrying. Malone manages a <more>
photo of Lorelei in the arms of an old diamond mine owner Sir Francis 'Piggy' Beekman and there is your plot twist. In the final scene as if I need to say it Lorelei and Dorothy walk down the aisle to marry and there, of course, is your resolution. The film has all the substance of a cream puff; yet, it is fabulous.Most prominently Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has fantastic songs and musical performances most famously Monroe's Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend. Though for my money Russell is the better musical performer. For me it is like Chicago where Catherine Zeta Jones, the brunette co-star, out performed and out sex-appealed the blonde, top-billed star. Rene Zellweger was that blonde in Chicago.Next, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is surprisingly sexy for 1953. Further and I'm not sure about this it displays more skin both male and female than any film that preceded it. The dresses Monroe and Russell wear in the opening scene still shock. Plus there are many cleverly placed and innocently spoken double-entendres such as the girls discussing the bugle in Esmond's pocket while he watches them perform . And most startling is the homoerotic dance number featuring basically nude male dances representing the US Olympic team. This is also the best song and dance number in the film it is the sexy bookend to Monroe's Diamonds Are a Girl's Best friend toward the end of the film. It would be interesting for a pop-culture historian to discuss if the homoerotic elements in Russell's song were at all obvious to the 1950s audience or if society as a whole was too closeted to even acknowledge it. I'm betting on the latter, otherwise I cannot imagine it getting past the censors. Director Howard Hawks makes the interesting choice to present Monroe's character as self-consciously superficial and proud of it. A fitting choice, in that the film itself is self-consciously superficial there is nothing internal to the film to consider after watching it. Monroe famously states, "It is just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man", and that is all the film is about her marrying the rich man.There is, surprisingly, quite a bit to consider external to film both culturally and within film history. Primarily is how boldly and without emotional conflict Monroe's character espouses her life theory get rich by marring a rich man, love be damned. Lorelei is unapologetic and open about her pursuit, disclosing her intentions not only to Dorothy but also to Esmond and his Dad . The feature song and dance number "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes version of Gordon Gekko "greed is good" speech in Wall St. I'm sure historians could make a number of boring points about capitalism vs. socialism and 1950s cold war policy at this point. Further Hawks makes sure Lorelei does not learn anything along the way. She does not fall in love with Esmond, nor does she find anything admirable in Esmond aside from his money. In a very odd way she is an unapologetic woman of her convictions, telling both her finance and his father, I'm marrying in for the cash and don't you think I'm worth it? But you really need not think beyond the screen to enjoy this film. It is pure candy so just lean back, smile and take in the Technicolor sweets.Should you see it? Fabulously on the big screen.