Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)

The beautiful pairing of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell with Producer/Director Howard Hawks couldn’t be more enjoyable than that. Opening with a Cabaret-like number the two stars present themselves as two little girls from little rock and the wrong side of the tracks. From the first lines they pronounce we clearly understand their motivations Lorelei (Marylin Monroe) loves diamonds and wealthy men while Dorothy (Jane Russell) likes to have her fun, well you know what they mean here. Lorelei gets engaged with the naive son of a rich man and they choose to get married in Paris. The girls are very different but also very close friends, Dorothy is the brunette always ready to party and to say a deadpan line and to crack up a joke at Lorelei’s naive but not stupid reactions. As the title says: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes isn’t really that important in the meaning except for one hilarious scene. However, one could easily find himself more interested in the brunette than in the blonde. The personality of Monroe isn’t to be discussed here since it is one of her most famous roles. But Russell’s performance really deserves a good praise. Her character has more depth than Monroe’s and is more closer to this reviewer’s tastes.

As I read on Ed Howard’s review of this movie, Hawks pretty much let the two girls do the talking, which they do very well and only their beautiful presence on film could have been enough for any gentlemen out there. However, the delivery of the lines and their reactions to each other is genuinely theirs and the chemistry between them is pure bliss. The Hawksian touch is palpable in the choreographed musical sections of the film. Those sections are well dosed and they don’t seem to break the action or the flow of the story. Like fellow critic Kevyn Knox stated before we kind of feel like there are some homo-erotic elements in the dancing scenes, see the US Olympic team training to understand. This scene doesn’t look like it is completely deliberate but like biographer Todd McCarthy writes Hawks has subconsciously sprinkled his films with lots of close male-male relationships.

Nevertheless, the conclusion when someone looks back at this refreshing musical/comedy one cannot forget the beautiful palette of Russell’s and Monroe’s dresses, the bright colors of the sets, the legendary musical numbers, the priceless one-liners, and the sexual subtext of Howard Hawks’ film. Since it stars one of the most iconic figures of Cinema this is a must see.


  1. I hadn't seen this film when you originally posted this review, but I have now. I enjoyed it, although I probably won't ever watch it again. My favorite part was when Russell was playing Monroe. I found it very funny.

    1. That scene is amazing! I love Russell and I prefered her character way more than Monroe's even if they want to sell the beautyful blonde as a sex symbol the one liners of Russell were my favorite part of the movie.
      Personally, it will become a film I will revisit with great enthusiasm. Not a deep filom but a quite funny one. Thanks for passing by Chip!


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