Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

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 by EM

Do they though? And are diamonds really “a girl’s best friend”? Well, 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has a plot to contradict its own title. Starring as the enchanting blonde Lorelei Lee, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as the fun brunette, Dorothy Saw.

Where Lorelei has her eyes on the prize, which is always wealthy husbands (and diamonds of course!), Dorothy seeks company in any guy that suits her tastes.The former is engaged to Gus Esmond, a naive but rich guy whose source of wealth however, is his father. The latter will do everything to prove his son that Lorelei is a promiscuous woman who loves his wealth more than she does him.

And this doesn’t fall far from the truth. While travelling by ship to France, Lorelei meets Sir Francis “Piggy” Beekman, a diamond-owner. This information is sufficient for her to forget about Gus, and focus ,without really trying though, on charming Piggy. Meanwhile on the same ship, easy-breezy, fun Dorothy is spending her time with the all-male Olympic athletics team. But one guy will melt her heart; Ernie Malone. Too bad he’s the private detective that spies on her bestie, Lorelei, on behalf of Esmond Sr.

Marilyn Monroe in Howard Hawks' GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953).
Marilyn Monroe in Howard Hawks’ GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953). Courtesy Photofest. Playing 8/6-8/12

Now, on the one hand we have diamond-mine owners and rich men and on the other hand, private detectives and Olympic athletes. Guess who the gentlemen are… Yeah, Lorelei thought so too. That’s why she’s so surprised to see they are after all only “rats”, as Holly Golightly would say. And on top of that, even though she sings body and soul that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, Dorothy comes to disprove it. Come to think of it, that’s a lot of contradictions in one movie…

But hey, don’t take a brunette’s word for all this. Go see for yourselves.

 

 

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