GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953)
Directed by Howard Hawks
Cinematography by Harry J. Wild
For this week’s edition of The Film Experience’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we were asked to pick our favorite shot from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Along with being one of my favorite movies, it also features what’s probably my favorite of Marilyn Monroe’s roles. It’s a dazzling Technicolor musical filled with sumptuous shots, so it was fun focusing on the film’s composition upon my re-watch for this post.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has a ton of humorous moments, most having to do with Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe), who has no shame in marrying for money. A lot of these jokes are made funnier by her best friend, Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell), who always has a witty remark up her sleeve. I think this shot perfectly captures their personalities, with Lorelei having a pinpointed interest in diamonds and Dorothy watching her in amusement. I also have to add that Monroe and Russell have such wonderful chemistry together in this film, and really sell the depth of the friendship between the two women. I’d even go as far to say that, while the two actresses had their fair share of good leading men, they were each other’s best co-star.
While the title of the film may say what hair color gentlemen prefer in women, the brunette Jane Russell gives those blondes a run for their money. She very nearly steals the show as Dorothy, who’s stunning both in body and mind. This is my favorite shot of her, where she’s practically placed on a pedestal, ready to take her reign as queen.
Going into this week’s episode of HMWYBS, I knew my best shot would come from the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” number, so it was a matter of picking which one I liked best. While the choreography is rather simple and repetitive, the number remains mesmerizing, and these are just a few of the shots that struck my fancy.
Though she’s surrounded by glittering diamonds and decked out in them, it’s Marilyn Monroe’s smile that shines the brightest. She’s always been a magnetic presence in the films she starred in, and it’s especially true here. “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is a memorable song on its own, but it’s because of Monroe that it’s become ingrained in our pop culture subconscious for decades since.
Be sure to check out what others have chosen as their best shot from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes here!