Thursday, 26 February 2015

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

And which gentlemen would not prefer a blonde if she was in the shape of Marilyn Monroe? Really there’s no need to write any thing about Howard Hawks adaptation of the 1949 Broadway stage musical of the same name, just watch the You Tube clip of the big production number featuring Marilyn of Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend in her iconic pink dress against the beautiful red back drop and your know exactly what I mean, it will being a tear to your eye! 
Three of the original stage numbers by Jule Styne and Leo Robin are included but there were two new numbers by Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson. Its been modernised by Charles Lederer who wrote the screenplay based on the 1949 stage production reusing the principal characters and it was choreographed by the Jack Cole who was known as the father of theatrical jazz dance.
Jane Russell.
As well as Marilyn Monroe who plays Lorelei Lee we get a double dose of beautiful actress in the form of Jane Russell who plays Dorothy Shaw. Lee is a fortune hunter and Shaw is after a husband, both sail to Paris on a luxury liner. The story involves a private detective (Elliott Reid) who is collecting evidence to stop Lorelei Lee marrying the son (Tommy Noonan) of a millionaire, an oversexed diamond mine owner (the great comedy actor Charles Coburn) and a men’s Olympic team all of which are traveling to France. I wouldn’t worry too much about the plot; it’s that kind of movie.

Some great dance numbers.

Both Monroe and Russell have some great lines with Russell demonstrating great comic timing. But you can’t take your eyes off Marilyn; she must have the most gorgeous backside ever seen in the movie industry?   Maybe that is a sexist remark but you must remember that the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was made in 1953 when it wasn’t deemed a crime to comment on a women beauty! It was described in the original trailer as ‘an ear full and an eye full of tuneful delights’ how quaint is that?
Best of friends.
This was Marilyn’s first extravagantly expensive musical and she had to convince head of studio Darryl Zanuck she could sing by doing an unaccompanied rendition of the movie’s big number in his office - wow! The press tried to build up a feud between the two leading ladies, but they developed a strong friendship with Jane Russell saying that it was an interesting experience working with Monroe.  Following this movie Marilyn became the potent box office force in Hollywood with reviews in the main, very good. One critic remarked “Marilyn looks like she would glow in the dark, and her version of the baby faced blonde whose eyes open for diamonds and close for kisses is always as amusing as it is alluring”.[1]

[1] Otis Guernsey.

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