Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

I really enjoyed Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot so I decided to check out some more of her work. My first choice fell on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as I had heard of it many times before and was curious to see what it was about (yes, I still don't read plots before watching movies. I like it better that way). 

The film follows two showgirls and best friends, Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell). Lorelai is engaged to a wealthy nerd, Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan), whose father (Taylor Holmes) disapproves of their relationship and is convinced that Lorelei is only after his son's money. So when Lorelei and Dorothy go on a cruise together, Esmond Sr. hires a private detective, Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid), to keep an eye on her. 

The plot is basically non-existent, it's pretty silly and doesn't make a lot of sense --and it's not only because of the plot holes but because it is just a weak mess. And you can tell how it's going to end right from the start. And it isn't even the most interesting of the stories. 

However, that didn't bother me at all and didn't prevent me from enjoying Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The cast is what does the trick here. I think we can all agree that Marilyn Monroe isn't the greatest of actresses, but she manages to find a way to shine. She fits the role of the very shallow and dumb blonde who has a passion for diamonds and men with money very well, delivers well her lines and is great at making fun of herself. Jane Russell though completely steals the show. She has more sex appeal than Monroe if you ask me, and her performance as Dorothy, an intelligent and strong-willed woman, is more natural than Monroe's. The male actors, although they all portray pretty stupid and single-minded men, do a good job as well. As for the chemistry, it's incredible between Monroe and Russell but there's a huge lack of it between them and their male costars. 

20th Century Fox
It also helps that Gentlemen Prefer Blondes isn't just a romantic comedy, but a musical. I know I said I'm not a musical person many times before, and I'm still not a musical person, but the numbers are so dazzling, colourful and engaging, they actually improve the film. 

Something I really disliked about the movie? How it portrays women as shallow and golddiggers --but I guess it's normal considering how old the movie is. 


  1. Anch'io ho apprezzato molto "Some Like It Hot" e da tempo mi prometto di recuperare qualcosina in più della Monroe. Per quel poco di suo che conosco, concordo: non un grandissimo talento recitativo ma senza dubbio una presenza magnetica sulla scena :)

    1. Proprio così, ed è in film come questo che la presenza è molto più importante della recitazione.