"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" Is Released
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 film adaptation of the 1949 stage musical, released by 20th Century Fox, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, with Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, Taylor Holmes, and Norma Varden in supporting roles. The screenplay by Charles Lederer is augmented by the music of songwriting teams Hoagy Carmichael & Harold Adamson and Jule Styne & Leo Robin. The songs by Styne and Robin are from the Broadway show, while the songs by Carmichael and Adamson were written especially for the film.
Second-billed Marilyn Monroe is the blonde in question in this second film version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Miss Lorelei Lee, whose philosophy is "diamonds are a girl's best friend." Together with her best human friend Dorothy (top-billed Jane Russell), showgirl Lorelei embarks upon a boat trip to Paris, where she intends to marry millionaire Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan). En route, the girls are bedeviled by private detective Malone (Elliot Reid), hired by Esmond's father (Taylor Holmes) to make certain that Lorelei isn't just another gold-digger. When Dorothy falls in love with the poverty-stricken Malone, Lorelei decides to find her pal a wealthier potential husband, and that's how she gets mixed up with flirtatious diamond merchant Sir Francis Beekman (Charles Coburn) and precocious youngster Henry Spofford III (George "Foghorn" Winslow). Most of the Leo Robin-Jule Styne songs from the Broadway show remain intact, including Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," a production number later imitated by pop icon Madonna. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide