Monday, June 25, 2012

262. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Howard Hawks
Written By: Charles Lederer, from novel by Anita Loos and play by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos
Main Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan
Click here to view the trailer


Well it's good to be back here on the blog again, after a few days spent deep in the heart of Ohio. I did have a fantastic time in the Buckeye State, but am ready to finalize this 100 with the watching of these final fifteen films, including the final two installments in the "Hawks Week" festivities.

The film stars Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell as Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw respectively, two showgirls and best friends. Lee is a bit of a ditz, falling for any man with a large wallet and has a penchant for diamonds, proclaiming that they are a "girl's best friend". Dorothy is the exact opposite, holding detest for rich playboys and opening her heart to someone with less of a bank account. In the beginning of the film, Lorelei accepts the marriage proposal of a rich admirer, Gus (Noonan), and plans to set sail for France, where she plans to wed her new beau.  The problem is that Gus' father disapproves of Lorelei and therefore stops Gus from sailing with her. Lorelei decides to make the trip anyway, with Dorothy and Gus' father sends a private investigator aboard the vessel, to spy on Lorelei and report back to him. While aboard the ship, Lorelei is once again distracted by a rich man, in the form of the much older "Piggy" Beekman (Coburn), who owns a diamond mine and introduces her to the tiara ("I just love finding new places to wear diamonds"). Meanwhile, Dorothy falls for the private investigator, Ernie Malone (Reid), although she doesn't know he's a P.I...yet.

Well, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" was certainly a step in the right direction for Howard Hawks, as he comes off the heels of four stinkers, if you ask me. I can't say I loved as much as certain people obviously did, but it wasn't a hard ninety minutes to get through and it kept me mildly entertained throughout. Jane Russell was an absolute bombshell in her heyday and as far as my eyes could tell, she had no right playing second fiddle to Marilyn Monroe, who's character was more annoying than sexy. The first half of the film is filled with musical numbers and for the most part, they're pretty catchy little tunes. I particularly favored Russell's rendition of "Ain't There Anyone Here for Love", as she strutted around in a black, halter-like top and black, strappy sandals and ends the number being thrown into a pull, surrounded by muscle men, wearing only their skivvies. I really don't have much else to add to this one. It wasn't fantastic or blow-away or anything, but it wasn't a flop on my personal tastes, like "Red River" and "The Big Sky", so I can't really complain THAT much. The musical portion of the movie starts to fizzle out when we get to the second half and we're left with the thin plot to carry us to the end of the film and Monroe's rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend".

RATING: 6/10  Nothing worth writing home about, but nothing worth getting bent out of shape over. I'm still looking forward to "Rio Bravo" and have high hopes that it will conclude "Hawks Week" on a high note.


June 25, 2012  4:39pm

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