GENTLEMENT PREFER BLONDES
Running Time: 91 minutes
Cast: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid. Tommy Noonan
Director: Howard Hawks
Screenplay: Charles Lederer
Cinematography: Harry J Wild
For sheer fun, you can’t go past this ludicrous, colourful and bubbly film about gold-digging, love and friendship.
Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe are showgirls, Dorothy and Lorelei. Dorothy is a wisecracking brunette who still dreams of finding Mr. Right. Lorelei is more cynical, the original Material Girl, only looking at a man’s net worth. She’s wooed by a milksop millionaire whose father is unsurprisingly not overjoyed by the partnership. When she and Dorothy set off on an ocean liner to Paris, he sends a PI after the ladies to dig dirt on his son’s new fiancée.
All kinds of hilarious shenanigans happen on board, and of course Dorothy finds herself falling for the hopeless detective. And when they get to Paris, well, all hell breaks loose.
The whole film is absurd and none of the men have anything like enough charisma to even share the screen with Russell and Monroe. But it’s frothy and fun and the costumes are gorgeous. The musical numbers are fun too, especially the one in which Russell turns the entire men‘s Olympic team to quivering jelly.
Monroe is beautifully vapid, smiling endearingly while spouting words she doesn’t understand or even know how to pronounce. But when she tells us diamonds are a girl’s best friend, well, who’d argue with her?
While nothing in this film will change your life, it’s a fast paced, amusing hour and a half. It also showcases exactly why Monroe became the star she did. Pure escapism don’t get much better than this….