Trust me; it is not just gentlemen who prefer blondes. Even we [the canines, that is] prefer those light haired beauties, of-course in our case, the more hair the better!
A tale of two friends desiring diametrically opposite qualities in prospective spouses, Gentlemen prefer Blondes is a captivatingly sensitive portrayal, highlighting the why and the what in women’s craving in the men they seek to marry.
Replete with fun and entertaining music numbers, the film showcases Marilyn Monroe‘s acting talents [ahem] as well as vividly capturing her haunting sexiness [now this part is entirely true].
Marilyn Monroe also sheds off her dumb-blonde label and shines for eternity for her vivacity, charm and intelligence [maybe the latter is pushing it].
The plot is as follows. Two show girls and best friends Lorelei Lee [Monroe] and Dorothy Shaw [Jane Russell] travel together to Paris. They are to perform at a night club there. Lee is angling for a rich husband so as to satisfy her inner urge to be laden with diamonds – which she feels are a girl’s best friend, and to be happy.
She has already found such a man in Gus Esmond [Tommy Noonan]. He is not only loaded with the right stuff but is eager to fulfil her every wish.
He is expected to travel with her to Paris to tie the nuptial knot but at the last minute he is not allowed to go along as his father holds the purse strings and considers Lee not good for him.
So she and Dorothy – who is yet to find a physically fit and good looking partner, sail together.
Gus senior plants a private detective, Ernie Malone [Elliott Reid] to report back to him on Lee’s movements. Esmond gives Lee a letter of credit also advising her to watch her step since any bad behaviour will hinder their marriage plan.
During the Atlantic crossing the girls meet a diamond mine owner, Piggy Beekman [Charles Coburn] whose wife’s diamond tiara fascinates Lee.
Malone spies Piggy and Lee together and clicks photographs of certain objectionable scenes. However, the two girls manage to retrieve the photos intelligently enough and Lee claims tiara as a gift for the retrieval.
But the damage has been done, for Malone flashes the news to Esmond’s father, leading Esmond to cancel the letter of credit.
Meanwhile Dorothy has fallen in love with Malone. However in order to save Lee from the charge of tiara theft alleged by Piggy’s wife, she tells Malone to not to meddle when Dorothy tries to impersonate Lee in the court room. Funny, funny stuff!
Esmond’s father arrives. By her wit and charm Lee smooths her way to marriage as the father realises she is intelligent and suitable for his son.
The film ends with double wedding.
On the whole it is light comedy, mindless on occasions, but pretty engaging.
The delightful musical numbers contain some super hits and the tale of friendship binds the whole film.
If nothing else, it is worth a watch for Monroe’s super performance too.
Rating 3.5 paws
By Joseph R
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- Why gentlemen don’t prefer a blonde after all (express.co.uk)
- Movie star Jane Russell dies at 89 (with video from ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ co-starring Marilyn Monroe) (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- Marilyn Monroe: 1926-1962 | Sunday marks 50th anniversary of blonde bombshell’s death at 36 (miamiherald.typepad.com)
- On the 60th anniversary of Gentleman Prefer Blondes’ release, Marilyn Monroe tops our collection of sexiest screen sirens (mirror.co.uk)
- Essential Film Performances 2013 Update: Part 8 (Feature) (popmatters.com)