“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).”
“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.”
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes screens at sunset (8.30 – 9pm) on July 16 at the southeast corner of Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
Concessions will be sold, and a limited number of lawn chairs available for rent. Admission is free, but donations to Three Dollar Bill Cinema are happily accepted. Proceeds benefit efforts to promote LGBT film and visibility.
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.”
At the Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto, July 3-6
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
7:30 (plus 4:00 Sat/Sun)
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.
Born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell on June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minnesota.
A new, digitally restored print of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is currently touring in selected UK cinemas, and can be viewed in Ipswich on Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 pm.
Tickets for all films £6. Cash and cheques only, please. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance. There are no adverts before the films.
Marilyn Monroe’s legendary gold dress, designed by Travilla for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), features in this exhibition of Hollywood wardrobe design, at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Philadelphia until September 5th.
Marilyn wore the dress while singing ‘Down Boy’, but most of the scene was cut.
Nonetheless, Marilyn modelled the dress for some of her most famous studio portraits, and caused a sensation when she was once again sewn into it for her appearance at the Photoplay Awards in March 1953, to accept her award as ‘Fastest Rising Star’.