GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES: DVD (1953)
Showgirls Dorothy (Jane Russell), and Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) leave on a boat trip to
Paris, where Lorelei intends to marry millionaire Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan). But Esmond's
father (Taylor Holmes) has hired private detective Malone (Elliot Reid) to go along to
make sure Lorelei isn't just another gold-digger. Dorothy falls for Malone, while Lorelei
meets precocious youngster Henry Spofford III (George 'Foghorn' Winslow) and flirts with
elderly diamond merchant Sir Francis Beekham (Charles Coburn).
Review by Louise Keller:
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is probably best remembered as the film that brought us the
unforgettable routine Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend, which subsequently became
synonymous with Marilyn. But, there are plenty of other delights in this frothy,
thoroughly enjoyable frolic, largely due to the seductive performances, amusing script and
easy-to-listen-to tunes. In fact you could be forgiven for watching this charmer simply to
goggle at the fabulous figure-hugging outfits and dazzling couture worn by Monroe and
Russell, the most famous Hollywood blonde and brunette of the day.
While most identify this title with Monroe, in fact it was Russell who enjoyed top
billing. Both girls ooze glamour from top to toe: from their coiffed hairdos to the
perfectly manicured nails and designer clothes. Monroe is ravishing as the dumb blonde
obsessed by wealth and diamonds, making the most of every opportunity to pout and seduce
with body language. Her philosophy? 'It's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as
it is a poor man.' And Monroe is very convincing, stunning in crimson, emerald, violet,
scarlet, charcoal and indeed every colour of the rainbow.
The story is straightforward with a pretty predictable outcome, but along the way we are
entranced by comical exchanges, delightful routines and a handful of beguiling characters
that are so darned likeable. There are plenty of great lines - like Russell's 'I think
you're the only gal in the world who can stand with a spotlight in her eyes and still see
a diamond in a guy's pocket.' When nerdy but rather likeable millionaire Esmond presents
Loreilei with a diamond ring, he asks 'Is it the right size', to which Monroe replies 'Oh
a diamond can never be too big!'
I love the musical numbers - from the opener of Two Little Girls From Little Rock (in
scarlet sequins slashed to the waist), Remember You're My Baby, When Love Goes Wrong (in a
Paris Café) and Russell's memorable routine Ain't There Anyone Here For Love when she
surrounds herself with skimpily clad muscly men flexing muscles in a rather interesting
routine in the ship's gym. But of course the showstopper is Diamonds Are A Girl's Best
Friend, with Marilyn draped in a candy pink gown, long matching gloves and enough diamonds
to warm anyone's heart on a chilly winter's night. The epitome of allure, she wiggles, she
struts and every man is putty in her hands.
Comedic banter becomes slapstick and there are plenty of memorable moments, like Russell's
Diamonds reprise in the Paris court, wearing a platinum blonde wig and showy, showgirl
outfit. Or the scene when Monroe is stuck in a porthole and the youngster George 'Foghorn'
Winslow helps her out of a pending jam with Charles Coburn's lecherous diamond collector.
The film itself is the star feature with a couple of extras - namely the theatrical
trailer, a couple of one sheet posters and a short Movietone news clip featuring Monroe
and Russell leaving an imprint of their hands and foot prints in concrete.
Published July 18, 2002
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GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES:DVD (1953) (PG)
CAST: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan
DIRECTOR: Howard Hawks
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Movietone News (Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell in cement); One Sheet postcard; One sheet; theatrical trailer;
LANGUAGES: English, French, German, Italian, Castellano with subtitles in seven languages including for hearing impaired.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 24, 2002 (as part of Marilyn Monroe: The Diamond Collection)
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.