‘Blondes’: A Diamond Musical

Writing for the Worcester Telegram, the redoubtable Liz Smith makes her case for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as ‘the perfect movie musical’:

“For Monroe onscreen, it solidified her burgeoning stardom in the role of a lifetime, the role indeed she was born to play. But it was seen as lightweight, transitory entertainment. Only one writer, Monroe’s first serious biographer, Maurice Zolotow, assessed the film’s impact correctly: ‘Twenty years from now, the critics of the art-film quarterlies will discover that Blondes was one of the excellent works of its time, for it was completely true to its genre. It crystallized a viewpoint, a style … it will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art and studied by scholars.’ History has sided with Zolotow.

Blondes remains Monroe’s most totally entertaining film — one that is free of the poignant, semi-autobiographical bits that leaked into her later work. It is also the great Jane Russell’s best. And a revelation in terms of director Howard Hawks, not known for his deft hand at musicals.”

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