‘Blonde Bombshells’ in San Francisco

As Pola in 'How to Marry a Millionaire' (1953)

Marilyn Monroe (1926-62) is the most famous Hollywood blonde, and she stars in several of the Blonde Bombshells movies playing the Castro Theatre from  Aug. 27-Sept. 5.

Bay Area Reporter

Friday August 27 – MM Double Bill

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3pm and 7pm

The Seven Year Itch 4:50 pm and 8:50pm

Saturday August 28 – MM Double Bill

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3:20pm and 7pm

How to Marry a Millionaire 1:30pm, 5:10pm and 9pm

Sunday August 29

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3pm and 6:45pm

Monday August 30

Bus Stop 3:20pm and 7pm

Friday September 3

Some Like it Hot 2:45pm and 7pm

Sunday September 5

The Misfits 2:30pm and 6:45pm

The ‘Blonde Bombshells’ season also includes films starring one of Marilyn’s favourite actresses, Jean Harlow, as well as Carole Lombard, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner and Jayne Mansfield.

Full listings here

Howard Hawks and ‘Blondes’

“Playing up the usual style gap between Monroe’s acting and everyone else’s, and playing down her often-cited vulnerability, Hawks oversees a remarkable comic performance, with terrific line readings like beat poetry (‘Sometimes Mr. Esmond finds it very difficult to say no to me’) and bits of business that hint at a bizarre inner life (confronted for the first time with a diamond tiara, Lorelei can barely restrain her hands from pouncing inappropriately; after the tiara’s departure, she happily improvises a scenario of future possession, using a napkin ring encircled by a necklace as a stand-in).”

Dan Sallitt

The Literary Lorelei

“One of the most famous lines from the book and film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is: ‘Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?’

In the film, Marilyn Monroe utters those words as the character Lorelei Lee but the lines were written first in the novel by American author Anita Loos.

And Lorelei Lee is one of the most memorable female fictional characters for Australian crime novelist Shane Maloney.”

The Book Show


Diamonds Are Forever

Entertainer Barry Humphries (alias Dame Edna Everage) made this rather catty remark in The Spectator diary, July 3:

“When Arthur Miller shook my hand I could only think that this was the hand that had once cupped the breasts of Marilyn Monroe. I visited Jersey yesterday to see a small Marilyn Monroe exhibition in the Jersey Museum. It was part of a private collection assembled by a colourful local ratbag. The depredations of time had de-eroticised these famous garments, though some of the songs lisped by Marilyn were playing in the background. Alas, few of her fans know that they were mostly mimed by the actress and actually sung by Marni Nixon and Gloria Woods.”

Thankfully, today’s Quote Unquote blog sets the record straight:

“I don’t know about Gloria Woods but that isn’t right about Marni Nixon, who inserted the high notes Monroe couldn’t reach in ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes– sounds to me as though the whole introduction and maybe a few notes at the end are Nixon not Monroe, whose voice is appealing but very different. But the main part of the song is definitely Monroe.”

June 26, 1953

Along with Jane Russell, her co-star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn’s foot and handprints were immortalised in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard on the historic ‘Walk of Fame’. To this day it remains a popular haunt for MM fans worldwide.

Video