I’ve decided to start a new writing chapter for a while. From now on I’m calling it a reviewing Marilyn Monroe movies. Starting with one of the most famous ones of her collection: Gentlemen prefer blondes or as many tend to refer to as that Marilyn Monroe movie.
It’s easy to tell from the content of my blog that I’m kind of fond of Marilyn. I’ve written several articles about her, becoming her or drawing her. Here is the list of articles I wrote
Gentlemen prefer blondes:
Gentlemen prefer blondes is a movie older than my grandma. Therefore my own expectations were not very high. I was expecting some old ass, boring, black and white movie starring my favorite blondie and I was bracing myself for bad and cringy filming. I was postponing watching Marilyn Monroes movies because I was afraid that the old production would not be kind to the image of Marilyn I idolized. Never in my wildest dreams were I expecting to laugh and enjoy this movie so much.
Gentlemen prefer blondes is a 1953 movie directed by Howard Hawks starring already mentioned Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Those two names sound so promising and thankfully they did not disappoint.
It’s a simple story about two friends who sings at a cabaret and search for love. With a twist in a story, I don’t want to get too much into it. Both of the girls have a very different character and I can’t decide who I liked the most.
Marilyn Monroe plays Lorelei Lee. Typical stereotypical blondie. I felt like Marilyn was not even acting as this character was just what the general image of Marilyn was. Hot dumb gold digger. I was so pleased with the slow unrevealing of deeper features just like with Marilyn herself.
We get to see how smart and cunning she is. How well aware and ambitious she is. All of the witty comments and actions. Her important innocence that goes hand in hand with her manipulation techniques. Her love for diamonds and the material world as a means to provide for herself. My favorite Lorelei Lee quote I believe summarizes the character the best was this:
I can be smart when it’s important. But most men don’t like it.
-Lorelei Lee/Marilyn Monroe
There were many more quotes that took my breath away and I was not expecting that level of sarcasm in the 1953 movie.
While Marilyn is portraying a money-loving romantic soul, Jane Russell plays Dorothy Shaw, the quite opposite. Dorothy has different life views as Lorelei. She doesn’t give a damn about money and her loyalty is unshakable. Her friendship with Lorelei grows strong, in spite of the disapproval of Lorelei’s actions and the same goes the other way around. Dorothy’s cynicism and raw sarcasm are incredible. The chatting between those two girls is clearly not what I was expecting to hear from a lady from that time.
I was so surprised by how progressive and funny the dialogues were.
For a woman from the 50s, I must add.
Songs were a surprise to be. I only ever heard the basics about the Gentlemen prefer blondes, but never once did I heard about it being referred to as a musical. Or a comedy. Finally, I get to know where are those famous songs from. Diamonds and girls best friend was my favorite performance and song. I honestly had to rewind it a few times. It was like I finally understand some cultural references.
The whole status those 2 ladies represented was empowering. Sure, it was all about getting the man. But how they did it was way ahead of their time. From the title, Gentlemen prefer blondes I was expecting some love triangle, two main characters fighting over a man and the dream guy choosing by the physical appearances in the end. Preferring the blonde. I’m pleased I was mistaken. Ladies are the ones in charge.
I can’t ignore the spectacular costumes.
Sure, I’m a sucker for all the things vintage. But oh my god the outfits. Hot. Classy. Sophisticated. Elegant. Daring. Just wow.
I’m sure the outfits themselves were worth noticing. But I believe that the ladies wearing them added extra glam not only to their characters but to the whole production.
My first Marilyn Monroe movie was watched with a very little soul and it changed my expectation for the rest diametrically. I treated this movie with many prejudices and I was terribly mistaken.
Gentlemen prefer blondes is a great movie and clearly, you don’t have to be a classic movies fan to enjoy it as I did.