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“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)

Genre: Musical
Director: Howard Hawks
Starring Cast: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Elliot Reid

Two little girls from little rock, club singers Lorelei (Monroe) and Dorothy are embarking on a transatlantic cruise to “Europe France” as Lorelei says. Dorothy wants to meet a nice, masculine man, though she is partial to opulence. Lorelei wants to meet wealthy men, though she already has a rich lover at home. She thinks her absence will persuade her lover to wed her, but she doesn’t know that he has sent a spy to keep an eye on her.

Lorelei primps for the elderly Sir Francis Beekman, who operates diamond mines, but Lady Beekman threatens to spoil the happy game when she notices her diamond tiara has been gifted to Lorelei. Dorothy is besotted with Ernie Malone but finds he has been paid by Lorelei’s beau’s father to spy on her. Then it’s time to go ashore and head for Paris, and the game gets tricky as the risks get bigger.

Marilyn Monroe’s performance is deftly funny because she is the ideal straight person. She is occasionally sexy and funny in her role in the movie but, aside from that, she plays it straight down the line. She is also a tremendous female pal; her interplay with other women on screen is candid and realistic. Then there is the delight of the musical numbers, and the fact she is an artiste on a cruise ship means that no extravagance is spared. The “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” dress is gorgeously pink, and an iconic image from one of Monroe’s best films.