In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the Marilyn Monroe mannerisms all combine in a very sexy explosion of music, comedy, and romance unequalled in the rest of her career.
She had previously had many bit parts – and one starring role in the steamy drama – but it was this film which saw Norma Jean Mortensen make her leap into the role of Blonde Bombshell.
Marilyn turned Anita Loos’s quintessential gold-digger Lorelei Lee into a parfait of dizzy, delectable delight singing Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, and screen beauty Jane Russell matched her every move as her brainy brunette roommate Dorothy Shaw.
Charles Coburn is delightful as Piggy, a horny old millionaire Marilyn sets her sights on (“I just love finding new places to wear diamonds, ” she gushes while the old man blushes) and six-year-old George Winslow – as a precocious kid who helps Marilyn squeeze her derriere through a ship’s porthole – is hilarious.
But it’s really the genius casting of the two stars, igniting the screen with their particular boffo appeal, and the lavish Jack Cole dance numbers created for them, that made Gentlemen Prefer Blondes a smash.
Sir Francis Beekman
Henry Spofford III
Gus Esmond Sr