Posts Tagged ‘Howard HAwks’

Movie Millisecond: This way to the monkeyhouse

October 28, 2011

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938).

Music and Movie Moment: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — Marilyn Monroe, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.”

January 9, 2010

Marilyn Monroe – Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953). Lorelei Lee, played by Marilyn Monroe, and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are a couple of good-time gals. The pair are a double act of nightclub singers from Little Rock, Arkansas who go to perform on a transatlantic cruise and have some fun adventures while at sea and in Paris.

Lorelei has a boyfriend, Gus, who is an heir to a fortune. They genuinely love each other and plan to marry, but his father is suspicious of Lorelei’s intentions where his son is concerned. Lorelei and Gus are supposed to go on a cruise to France together. However, Gus’s father forbids Gus to go along, so Lorelei convinces Dorothy to come with her instead.


Lorelei: Dorothy — Mr. Esmond and I are getting married!
Dorothy: What, to each other?
Gus: Of course to each other. Who else to?
Dorothy: Well, I don’t know about you, Gus, but I always figured Lorelei would end up with the Secretary of the Treasury.

Gus’s father catches wind of this and, hoping to catch Lorelei doing something unfaithful or illegal which will convince Gus of her unacceptability as a mate, he hires a private investigator named Ernie Malone to follow the girls abroad. For his part, Gus warns Dorothy to keep an eye on Lorelei while they’re on the cruise.


Gus: Dorothy Shaw. I want you to remember you’re supposed to be the chaperone on this trip.
Dorothy: Let’s get this straight, Gus. The chaperone’s job is to see that nobody else has any fun. But nobody chaperones the chaperone! [pauses] That’s why I’m so right for this job.


Dorothy: I’m not in condition to wrestle
I’ve never trained in a gym
Show me a man who can nestle
And I’ll pin a medal on him

I like big muscles
And red corpuscles
I like a beautiful hunk of man,
but I’m no physical culture fan.
Ain’t there anyone here for love? (“Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love,” Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson, 1953)


Malone, the private investigator hired by Gus’s father to tail the girls, falls in love with Dorothy, while Lorelei gets up to shenanigans with the owner of a diamond mine, convincing him to snag for her his wife’s sparkly tiara (Shiny object?! Dogpile!!! — oh, we ladies) and a shitload of trouble in the process.

During Lorelei’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” number, a scene for which the movie is justly famous, women serve as chandeliers, wall sconces, and candelabras.

Ah, the ornamental sex. The girls disembark in Paris and discover that Malone has sent Gus pictures of Lorelei’s flirtation with Beekman, the diamond mine owner, and Gus has subsequently cut Lorelei’s line of credit off. Penniless and stranded on an unfamiliar side of the Atlantic, the girls go with what they know and begin performing as nightclub singers there.

Despite being completely poor and in dire straits, the girls continue to dream big, impressed by the couture shops of Paris. They have no idea that their troubles have followed them.

Lorelei stands accused of theft by the wife of the diamond mine owner, and, in a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, Beekman steals the tiara back. The girls don’t know this so they try to find it when the police come looking for Lorelei, which of course would be disastrous for her hopes of marriage to Gus.

The only way for Lorelei to clear her name and end the whole mess is for them to find the tiara and return it to Lady Beekman, so the girls divide their efforts. Lorelei goes on the hunt while Dorothy dons a blonde wig and allows the police to arrest her, claiming to be Lorelei.

I will not now continue to spoil the details, I will only let you know it works out great and to everyone who ever claimed Marilyn was a “bigger” actress or what-have-you, sizing worked differently back then and I think this picture of both the lovely ladies proves that Marilyn was actually pretty petite for the era.

All of the pictures in this post are just a few of the wonderful stills that are posted on the Nostalgia Party No. 2 community, a lovingly curated collection of screencaps on the lj. The stills from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were posted by bowied. I strongly urge you to go and waste a ton of time in the community’s beautiful neck of the woods.

I’m sick as heck so I’m’a throw up a Daily Batman and hit the hay. It probably took me two hours to write this, and that is sheer nonsense. Good night, mainly!