Movie Night: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

This is what usually happens: it’s Friday night and I’m too lazy to go out so I decide to stay in and watch a movie. I think of one I’d like to see right this minute and check the Netflix streaming options. Everything I want to watch is DVD only.

What happened the Friday before Christmas: I decided I was too lazy to go out and scanned my Netflix streaming watch list hoping I’d find something I’d want to see. I came across Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and went “What? I didn’t know I had this on my list! It’s exactly what I want to see right now!”

It was like an early gift.

Here’s why I love this movie with a sexist title, and released during the notoriously spirited-women-suppressing ‘50’s, but that is actually a kick-ass girl power film.

(Note: Mild spoilers)

The Adventure: Two small town girls leave home (Little Rock) and go on an exciting glamorous journey (cruise ship) and overcome obstacles (Olympic Swim Team curfew, rich eligible man shortage, and private detectives, just to name a few) and arrive at an exciting wondrous destination (Paris) where they triumph over their dark moment (broke and charged with theft) and return home with their prize (desired husbands and true love). Even when it comes to fun, glitzy musicals, the hero’s journey applies.

The Sisterhood: “Let’s get one thing straight. No one talks about Lorelei except me.” Throughout the mishaps and the misunderstandings and the falling in love, these two showgirls were always on each other’s side. Whether Lorelei was trying to find a rich prospect for Dorothy or Dorothy was trying to keep Malone from jeopardizing Lorelei’s engagement to Edmond, these girls were in it together.

The Clothes: From the sequined, lipstick red, cut up-to-here and down-to-there dresses Jane and Marilyn wear when performing “A Little Girl from Little Rock”, to the black sleeveless jumpsuit Jane Russell wears at the edge of the Olympic Swim team training pool, to the hot pink bow dress Marilyn struts around in for her famous “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number, the movie is a runway show of glamour and style. I see a faux fur swing coat in my future.

The Brunette: Belying the title, the brunette in the movie was no mousy sidekick. (Good news for brunettes like yours truly.) Dorothy was the beauty and brains combo pack who had most of the best lines and caught the eye of the only smart (and good-looking) man in sight.

gpbs_jane_russell_
Jane Russell as Dorothy Shaw in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The Wit:

“The Olympic Team. For me. Now wasn’t that thoughtful of somebody.” – Dorothy

“If a girl’s spending all her time worrying about the money she doesn’t have, how is she going to have any time for being in love?” –Lorelei

“The chaperone’s job is to see that nobody else has any fun. But nobody chaperones the chaperone.” –Dorothy

“Piggy was being the python and I was a goat.” –Lorelei

“What kind of a dinner party is this?” –Malone


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