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Click above to purchase "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" at amazon.com

 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

review by Zach B. and Anthony D.

 

Not Rated

Studio: Fox

Running Time: 97 minutes

Starring Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn

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 Chapters)

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 Trailer.

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 final score)

(4/5)

(3/5)

(2/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

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