Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Marcel Dalio
Written by: Charles Lederer, based on the novel and play by Anita Loos
Directed by: Howard Hawks
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 91
Date: 06/30/1953

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

4 Stars (out of 4)


By Jeffrey M. Anderson

My personal favorite of Marilyn Monroe's films is Howard Hawks' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), which is also Monroe's first starring role along with the voluptuous Jane Russell. They play a pair of fortune hunters on board an ocean liner; Monroe hunting for a rich husband, Russell longing for a well-built hunk. Of course, they break into song from time to time. (It is a musical, after all.) Hawks uses the rich colors to make a kind of cartoon out of the proceedings, emphasizing unreality and the diametric opposites of Monroe's blonde and Russell's brunette. The best line comes when the girls climb on board the ship: First man: "Suppose the ship hits an iceberg and sinks. Which one of them do you save from drowning?" Second man: "Those girls couldn't drown."

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