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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
review by Zach B. and Anthony D.
Running Time: 97 minutes
Starring Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles
Screenplay by Charles Lederer
Directed by Howard Hawks
Retail Price: $24.98
Features: Restoration Comaprison, One Sheet Gallery,
One Sheet Post Card, Movietone News: Marilyn Monroe And Jane
Russel in Cement, Theatrical Trailers
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Frame, English Stereo, English
Mono, French Mono, English Closed Captions, English
Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (30
Oh to be young, gifted, talented and able to fit into a
red, for-fitting sequined dress! To be able to play dumb
when the occasion arises; but to be smart when brains need
to win out over beauty. Lorelei Lee (the breathy Marilyn
Monroe) needs to do all that in her quest for love as she
shares the spotlight with fellow love-seeker, Dorothy Shaw
(the busty Jane Russell). As "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds"
opens, we find the gals sharing an enormous nightclub stage,
extolling the virtues of being just "Two Little Girls from
Little Rock," in gaudy, gorgeous Technicolor®. But their
career on this particular stage is cut short by Lorelei's
engagement cruise to "Europe, France." Her fiance is the
wealthy but dim-witted "Daddy" Esmond (an unforgettable
Tommy Noonan) whose own father disapproves of his son's
relationship with a common showgirl, who for all intents and
purposes is a gold-digger. Armed with a letter of credit
good at any bank in Paris ("You can write to me EVERY day,"
Lorelei gushes to her hapless millionaire), the girls set
off on the Ile de France luxury liner - - along with the
American Olympic Team, a private investigator hired by Mr.
Esmond, pere, and several assorted millionaires, ranging
from the very under-aged Henry Spofford III (foghorn-voice
charming child actor George Winslow), to the very married
(specially-billed Charles Coburn as "Piggy" Beekman). During
the cruise, Dorothy engages in some feisty maneuvers with a
startling flesh-clad bevy of sinewy dancers, asking the
musical question, "Ain't There Anyone Her for Love?" Her
pleads fall upon silent ears, but the private investigator
(Elliott Reid as Malone) hired to watch Lorelei by the
Esmond family falls for Dorothy's brunette charms. Malone
even snaps compromising photos of Lorelei in a friendly
embrace with the very married, very wealthy diamond dealer,
'Piggy' Beekman, who promises Lorelei his wife's diamond
tiara. All sorts of mayhem ensues as the girls attempt to
get the photos back, but it's too late: by the time they
have reached their Parisian hotel, courtesy of a charming
taxi driver, Piggy has reported the tiara stolen, the
detective has squealed on Lorelei, and the luckless ladies
are left out on the streets. What are a couple of girls to
do on les boulevards? NO, not that! This is, after all, a
film from 1954! They rely on their talents. NO AGAIN! Not
THOSE talents, but rather their ability to burst into
spontaneous song and dance at a sidewalk café ("When
Love Goes Wrong"). Somehow their siren song reaches the ear
of their new ami, the taxi driver, who hooks them up at Chez
Louis, a high class nightclub in Paris. (It's odd, but in
Blake Edwards' "Victor/Victoria, Toddy (Robert Preston) and
Victoria (Julie Andrews) create a quite memorable melee in a
Paris nightclub, also named "Chez Louis.) Here at Chez
Louis, Lorelei or Marilyn, creates one of the most memorable
musical sequences ever put to celluloid, "Diamonds are a
Girl's Best Friend." (So memorable to non-baby boomers
thanks to Madonna's "Material Girl" video, which lifted
almost every one of Marilyn's movements to great effect.)
More chaos ensues as both the fiancé and the
fiancé's daddy arrive upon the scene, and the
gendarmes want to jail Lorelei for the "theft" of the
diamond tiara, but you can count on happy endings, and a
brilliant parody of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend,"
deftly danced by Dorothy (don't ask) in a Parisian
courthouse before the final fade-out.
The only Marilyn film in the Diamond Collection to
recieve a full frame transfer, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
looks really sharp and snappy. Colors tend to bleed at
points and seem a bit oversaturated at times, but overall
fleshtones are accurate and there's good levels of black.
Grain and blemishes appear and there's some "whirl" with
motion on screen... that is a bit distracting. Still, it's a
very strong transfer.
A newly remastered stereo track is included as long as a
mono track in English. There's some hiss and a little
distortion in the stereo track, but dialogue is clear and
the music sounds very good. The mono track sounds a bit
lower and much softer. The stereo sounds more fresh and new
and is the track to listen to. English subtitles and English
closed captions are included on this release, as well as
French subtitles. There's also a French mono track.
The usual Marilyn features are on this disc. The Diamond
Collection section shows off the other films in the set
while seperate from that is the full frame Theatrical
Movietone News: Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell In
Cement is truly a great, classic piece having the two
imput their handprints in cement at the Chinese theater in
Hollywood. Short and worth a watch.
A One Sheet Gallery is included as well as a
One Sheet Post Card to look at. Rounding the disc off
in features is a Restoration Comparison. It's quite
an interesing difference!
Another great Marilyn film... another great disc. With
good sound, good features and good picture, this is one
worth owning. Enjoy!
(4.5/5 - NOT included in
(3.5/5, NOT an average)