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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the sparkling 1953 musical comedy based on the Broadway musical that made Carol Channing a star and here does the same thing for another blonde...namely Marilyn Monroe. Monroe shines in the ultimate dumb blonde role: Lorelei Lee, who along with best pal Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are a couple of showgirls traveling on an ocean liner to Paris being tailed by a private detective hired by the father of Lorelai's latest beau, to get the goods on her.

The razor-thin plot is so not the issue here. The issue is the performances by the film's stars that absolutely light up the screen. Monroe, in particular, found the role of a lifetime here as Lorelei Lee, the seemingly dim-witted gold digger with a nose for diamonds and rich men, who has no shame about using her obvious physical assets to get what she wants. This is the role that most people look to when they say that Monroe was just a "dumb blonde", but if you watch closely, Monroe is just playing a "dumb blonde" and doing it better than probably anyone ever did. And never was there a clearer example of why the camera just loved Monroe.

Though the film is clearly Monroe's showcase, Jane Russell never allows herself to be blown off the screen and performs impressively alongside Monroe as the wisecracking Dorothy Shaw. Russell proves to have the same skill with a wisecrack that actresses like Thelma Ritter and Eve Arden did.

Elliott Reed, Tommy Noonan, Charles Coburn, and young George Winslow offer solid support in supporting roles as the various men (and boys) involved in the misadventures of Lorelei and Dorothy.

Musical highlights include the ladies' opening number, "Two Little Girls from Little Rock", "Bye Bye Baby", "Ain't Anybody Here for Love?", and Monroe's "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend", has become a permanent part of cinema pop culture.

Aided by breezy direction from Howard Hawks, this is a delightful musical comedy classic which features two beautiful and talented ladies front and center at the peak of their charm.