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.
I’ve never watched a Marilyn Monroe movie but she was absolutely stunning. It’s hard to believe shes still so popular along with Audrey Hepburn
Yes it’s great, i’d recommend this one
I can’t believe you’d never seen that film? Good you enjoyed it. She did make some excellent ones.😊 Not all older films are boring black and whites!😂
Yes i’m starting to realize that now 😀 thanks for your comment
She was shining in that one!!! She was a great actress, even as a scary babysitter. I am a great fan!
That’s true, thank you
This film and Some Like it Hot were her best movies.
I’m gonna check it out soon
I saw the film many years ago. It was fun. Marilyn was a decent actress.
Thank you for your comment
I enjoyed this one more than I expected myself and in a lot of ways agree with Lorelei 🙂
I always enjoyed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
If you want to watch a Marilyn Monroe movie where she plays a totally different character from some of the roles she’s most associated with, I recommend the movie Niagara where she plays a femme fatale role.
I’ve always been a big fan of classic films.
A lot of people tend to be prejudicial against them.
Saying they’re old, stodgy and boring.
The Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy and the W.C. Fields movies in which he starred with Mae West were both witty and sophisticated in their dialogue.
Those who say that old films had poor photography and cinematography have obviously never watched the Orson Welles movies Citizen Kane or The Lady From Shanghai.
And those who say that the special effects were never very good have never seen the late 1920s silent film Metropolis or the early 1930s Claude Rains film The Invisible Man.
I’ve always enjoyed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
If you want to see a movie where Marilyn Monroe plays a totally different role from those she’s usually associated with, I’d recommend the 1953 movie Niagara where she plays a femme fatale.
I’ve always been a big fan of vintage classic films.
A lot of people are prejudicial against them.
Considering them old, stodgy and boring.
These people have obviously never watched the Thin Man movies with Richard Powell and Myrna Loy or the W.C. Fields films he starred in with Mae West which were known for their witty and sophisticated dialogue.
Those people who say that old films had poor cinematography and photography have obviously never watched the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane or the 1947 Orson Welles film The Lady From Shanghai.
And those who say that old films never had impressive special effects have obviously never seen the 1927 German silent film Metropolis or the 1933 Claude Rains film The Invisible Man.
I remember a few years ago, some Hollywood actresses were complaining that female stars were never as big as male stars.
Totally forgetting the time period of the 1920s and 1930s when actresses like Norma Shearer, Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck were the biggest film idols and movie stars of the day.
Thank you so much for your comment
Awesome Talk I said Myself I prefered Over 40 years old It’s so much Sexy That attract me so much ahahah
I haven’t seen this one yet but great review!
This is probably my favorite Marilyn movie. She’s absolutely magnificent in this movie and has one of the best lines ever written. “You men are funny aren’t you. If you had a daughter wouldn’t you want her to have to the best man to take care of her and give her best life has to offer? Why can’t I want the same thing? Guys want a beautiful woman and women want a man to take care of her!”
That’s great quote as well 🙂
I enjoyed this post very much. It is great to look back at some of those movies .And yes…those quotes are pretty amusing!
You know, as iconic as Marylin is, I’ve never done anything more than briefly consider watching her movies when I see them on. I only really know about Marilyn in vague terms and ideas, but I do like what I know. Given this glowing review, I’ll definitely check out this “Marylin Monroe movie” next time I stumble upon it.
I totally understand, It used to be like this for me as well. Thank you for your comment 🙂
I have never been a huge Marilyn Monroe fan, preferring instead the sultry looks of Sophia Loren who seemed to ignite passion in her roles. Saying that though Marilyn was an Icon of the Silver Screen and yet Hollywood didn’t respect her enough to put her talents to the test with much grittier roles which I feel would have made her even bigger as a star. That said Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is probably the only movie I would watch with her in it. Visually especially with the costumes which accentuated the wonderful curves of this beautiful woman.
Whilst she was not a fave of mine I feel she was so let down by people around her which lead to her untimely death. She could have been a ega star but Hollywood and the people around her let her down badly.
Great post! I’ve always loved Marilyn movies
Thank you me too 🙂
Loved the article. I am probably your grandma’s age and saw the movies years ago. There is something to be said about those “classic” films. The humor was somewhat innocent and innuendo was the thing. In today’s movies such comedy schtick would not sell. I am glad you enjoyed the movie. And you watched it from the perspective of a blonde. Good work. 🙂
Thank you so much 🙂
Marilyn Monroe is great in this movie funny, sexy and likeable. No wonder she became an icon.