movie: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Another classic for you that I found on the airplane: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell! I had never seen either in a movie before (isn’t that shameful?). And aren’t they both fabulous. I confess, though, I came in rooting for Jane, as the title made her the underdog from the start. [Full disclosure: I was born a blonde and am gradually darkening towards brunette as I age. Does that make me neutral?]

I almost don’t want to bother with a plot synopsis here, as I felt the plot really wasn’t the point, but okay. Jane & Marilyn (I have lost track of their characters’ names) are showgirls. Marilyn is quite a ditzy blonde, and concerned with marrying a man with lots and lots of money. Jane likes to have a good time and wants a man who wants the same, money be damned. Marilyn has a fiancé who is requisitely wealthy, and they intend to marry in France, but his father prevents him from sailing, because he objects to the gold-digging Marilyn; thus Marilyn & Jane sail together. The action of the movie takes place on the ship, where Jane meets a man she might be able to settle down with, and Marilyn meets the owner of a diamond mine and goes bonkers over that possibility. (Enter the song, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” I am rather offended.) From there on it’s all spoilers. But again, the plot isn’t important.

There is mischief and chicanery. This is a comedy, as it turns out, not only an exhibition of the fabulous Jane and the fabulous Marilyn – who do rock every scene in classic, visual splendor. The high-jinks are fun and the slapstick is quite charming. And it’s a musical as well, although there is far less singing than there might be. I was surprised and pleased to note that there is some objectification of the men – how progressive! And they are some nice looking men, too.

I found this film to be more of a fun visual spectacle with great slapstick than such a great story. But there’s no question it was enjoyable – and classic.

Rating: 6 glittery diamonds (naturally).

6 Responses

  1. I was also born blond and now have mouse brown hair. I love Russell in this film. Have you seen His Girl Friday with Russell and Cary Grant?

  2. Duly noted. On the list!

    • There’s a scene when Grant and Russell are talking at the same time–it’s the first movie that had dialogue over dialogue. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see. And I have to suggest Bringing Up Baby–another Grant flick–a must see!

      • Glad to have the tips. 🙂 I don’t know when I’ll get to them, but it’s good to have a few names in mind when the odd night comes up, and I’m enjoying these older classics. I can’t wait. Thanks!

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