An American showgirl becomes entangled in political intrigue when the prince regent of a foreign country attempts to seduce her.
One of the most charming, entertaining and colourful musicals of the 1950s.
Molly and Terry Donahue, plus their three children, are The Five Donahues. Son Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky and the family act begins to fall apart.
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
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For all the three-dimensional attractions of its two leading ladies, this is a rather flat cinemusical.
A naive but stubborn cowboy falls in love with a saloon singer and tries to take her away against her will to get married and live on his ranch in Montana.
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Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
In May 1953, LIFE magazine summed up the spectacle this way:
Back at the nightclub, Lorelei impresses Esmond, Sr. with a speech on the subject of paternal money, and also makes an argument that if Esmond, Sr. had a daughter instead of a son, he would want the best for her, to which he agrees and consents to his son's marriage to Lorelei. The film closes with a double wedding for Lorelei and Dorothy, who marry Esmond and Malone, respectively.
If there's a single film that could shatter Laura Mulvey's theory of the "male gaze" it's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
However one remembers the film, however, it’s clear from the pictures in this gallery, made on-set by LIFE’s Ed Clark, that in 1953 Marilyn Monroe was already a bona fide movie star, and that the production itself was going to be a memorable, high-energy affair.
Dorothy stalls for time in court by pretending to be Lorelei, disguised in a blonde wig and mimicking her friend's breathy voice and mannerisms. When Malone appears in court and is about to unmask "Lorelei" as Dorothy, she reveals to Malone in covert language that she, Dorothy, loves him but would never forgive him if he were to do anything to hurt her best friend, Lorelei. Malone withdraws his comments, but then reveals Piggy has the tiara, exonerating Lorelei.
Howard Hawks adds sly sexual insinuation to the blatantly sexual antics of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in this scintillating 1953 adaptation of the stage musical based on Anita Loos's novel.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.
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The movie is filled with comedic gags and musical numbers, choreographed by Jack Cole, while the music was written by songwriting teams Hoagy Carmichael & Harold Adamson and Jule Styne & Leo Robin. The songs by Styne and Robin are from the Broadway show, while the songs by Carmichael and Adamson were written especially for the film.
A divorcee falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle.
Lorelei and Dorothy are just "Two Little Girls from Little Rock", lounge singers on a transatlantic cruise, working their way to Paris, and enjoying the company of any eligible men they might meet along the way, even though "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend." Based on the Broadway musical based on the novel. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There's more warmth in [Russell's] fondly bemused looks at Monroe, whose friendship is a front-row ticket to the best show in town.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, an airline pilot pursues a babysitter in his hotel and gradually realizes she's dangerous.
Three women set out to find eligible millionaires to marry, but find true love in the process.
Monroe shines in the superbly photographed and choreographed production numbers, most notably Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend.
Lorelei Lee is harvesting diamonds again. Veteran of a novel by Anita Loos (1925), a silent movie (1928), a musical comedy (1949), she is now in a stupendous Technicolor talkie of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She is played by Marilyn Monroe, who is the least ingenuous of the Lorelei line but yields to none in cheerful rapacity.
A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth.
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The screenplay by Charles Lederer was based on the 1949 Broadway musical of the same name, directed by John C. Wilson, with Carol Channing as Lorelei Lee, which was written by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields. The stage musical was based on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Intimate Diary of a Professional Lady, a 1925 novel by Anita Loos. It was adapted for the stage in 1926, and then a 1928 silent movie, starring Ruth Taylor, Alice White, Ford Sterling and Mack Swain, which is now lost.
During the Atlantic crossing, Malone immediately falls in love with Dorothy, but Dorothy has already been drawn to the members of the (male-only) Olympic athletics team. Lorelei meets the rich and foolish Sir Francis "Piggy" Beekman (Charles Coburn), the owner of a diamond mine, and is attracted by his wealth; although Piggy is married, Lorelei naively returns his geriatric flirtations, which annoys his wife, Lady Beekman (Norma Varden).
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When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
As two couples are visiting Niagara Falls, tensions between one wife and her husband reach the level of murder.
Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected 37 reviews, and gave the film a score of 97%, while German film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder declared it one of the ten best films ever made.
For sheer, undiluted resonance, few entertainment-industry tropes can match the singular image of Marilyn Monroe informing the world that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
If camp comedy capering (don't call it a social satire!) isn't your thing, it's worth the ticket to see Monroe's iconic and flawlessly choreographed performance of Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (TM): a perfect four minutes of film.
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Classic musical romp with dated premise is silly fun.
You won't find a more elegant take on '50s va-va-voom vulgarity or a more joyous paean to the cheesecake self-empowerment of two little girls from Little Rock.
When his family goes away for the summer, a so far faithful husband is tempted by a beautiful neighbor.