Saturday, August 04, 2012

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Writing a review of a famous 1950s  movie with an even more famous star makes me a bit nervous - what is there to say that hasn't been said before? And is watching such a movie the cinematic equivalent of eating lamingtons - not something I should be promoting because it's brightly coloured,  not intellectually nourishing and it perpetuates stereotypes?

In case you haven't seen this movie (and I hadn't) or read any reviews,  I shall feel the fear and review it anyway.

Marilyn Monroe ( Lorelei) and Jane Russell ( Dorothy) play show girls who go on a boat trip to Paris to go shopping. Marilyn is engaged to a rich heir whose father is suspicious that she is only in the relationship it for the money. He sends a private detective on the voyage to look for evidence of impropriety.The US Olympic team is also on board, as is an elderly diamond mine owner. The girls make the most of the social opportunities, the detective gets some incriminating material and there are assorted mix-ups and high jinks but eventually Lorelei gets her rich man and Dorothy gets the detective.

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe
 This is a film based on a musical so the music and dance numbers are a big feature The dancing is not as good as a Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger's move but there's plenty of shoulder wiggling good fun..It's not all Jane and Marilyn in sexy frocks -  the (male) US Olympic team doing acrobatics in flesh-coloured shorts is just as memorable. The costumes are fantastic and the stars are beautiful. The film is visually stunning - technicolor in every sense and enough bright pink and bright red to dazzle you completely. The dialogue is funny and it's clear from the outset that this is not a film to be taken seriously. I'm taking a stand and saying that watching "Gentlemen prefer Blondes" could actually be good for you - genuinely escapist entertainment with non-anorexic women looking completely fabulous  and stupidity evenly distributed between the sexes.

My rating: 4/5

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