Musical Monday: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Posted on March 12, 2007

Yes, it’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the sensational movie musical that teaches all girls the important lesson “There’s nothing you can’t have if you have a great set of tits!”


Our story starts with Lorelei and Dorothy, two showgirls modeling Laura Bennett originals and singing their impressive lungs out.


Lorelei is sweet on Gus. And when we say “sweet,” we mean “has her claws in” and when we say “Gus,” we mean “pussywhipped millionaire.” You see, Lorelei has a thing for money and a talent for getting what she wants. Gus’s father doesn’t approve, so they’re planning on running off to Europe to elope.

Somehow, in 5 minutes of rapid-fire dialogue, the plan changes and Dorothy is going to chaperone Lorelei as she heads off to Europe to meet up with Gus. Don’t ask. We don’t get it either.

The gals put on their finest (and the costumes in this film are fabulous with a capital FAB) and head on down to the docks to meet their ship. Dorothy is thrilled to discover…

…the “Men’s Olympic Team” will be traveling with them. You see, Lorelei has a thing for money, but Dorothy has a thing for penis.

We love Dorothy and want to be her when we grow up.

Gus checks Lorelei into their cabin and gives her as stern a talking-to as he’s capable. If she doesn’t behave herself on this trip, his father will never let them get married.

Okay! Conflict set up! Where’s Dorothy?

Of course.

We’ll let the following pictures illustrate our Dorothy love. There is literally not one man in the room that she doesn’t lay her painted claws on.




If we were her, this would be our Christmas card. Except the guys would all be shirtless.

Seriously, we love “Bye Bye Baby.” It’s catchy and sweet and Marilyn manages to make her part sound downright filthy.

Later, Lorelei is scanning the passenger list for rich men to set up with Dorothy. Dorothy rolls her eyes, gathers a table cloth around her and heads off to the pool to have sex with as many men as possible.

See? Put a Santa hat on her and call it done.

We have no funny caption here. He’s hot and the look on her face is priceless. She’s dying to lick it, you can tell.

Yes, we have a clip of the song, but what kind of mo’s would we be if we didn’t provide you some manmeat with your morning coffee?

And people ask “Why do the gays love musicals so much?”


Much has been made of the gay subtext in this scene and we have to laugh. SUBTEXT?! Granted, we gays aren’t always the most subtle things in the world, but still…

…okay, now they’re just fucking with us.

Seriously, watch the clip. It’s hysterical (even without the Chinese subtitles) and it has a surprisingly modern, even feminist approach to it. The men are objectified for the woman’s pleasure and serve to back up the woman’s performing. How refreshing. But we can’t help thinking that audiences in 1953 must have found this bit pretty vulgar.

Later, in what passes for a bar on what must be the tiniest cruise ship in the world, Lorelei and Dorothy meet Lord Beekham – “Piggy” – and they find out he owns a diamond mine. Dorothy’s all “Oh shit.” and Lorelei’s all “Daddy!”

Lorelei runs off to do Piggy on the dance floor while Dorothy flirts with Malone, who, unbeknownst to her, is a private detective hired by Gus’s father to keep an eye on Lorelei. She’s scorching hot and she picks this schlub? Lorelei’s right. She’s got lousy taste in men.

Later, Lady Beekham (or as we call her “Mrs. Piggy”) shows up and for no reason whatsoever – except that there’d be no plot if she didn’t – whips a tiara out of her purse and shows it off. Tacky bitch.

Later,the girls dress for dinner. Did people really dress like this on cruises back then?
No funny caption for this one either. They just look fucking incredible here and they know it. Look at their faces.

Ladies, print this picture out and stick it on your fridge. Your goal is not to look like they do – they are after all, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. No, you should make it your goal to feel like they do. They fucking owned that room the second they walked in. Confidence is hot. Of course it helps that they have those bodies and they’re wearing those dresses, but still.

Anyway, things start getting hot and heavy with Malone, so Dorothy dresses up for…a bullfight? A crucifixion? We don’t get it.

The next day, Dorothy makes a shocking discovery.

Not only is she falling for a private detective, she’s falling for a really lousy one.

Dorothy figures he got pics of Lorelei and Piggy in a compromising position, so the two ladies come up with a plan to get the film away from him.

Dress up…

…get him shit-faced drunk…

…and rip his pants off him. Now THAT’S a plan!

*sigh* It’s like they’re our fairy godmothers or something.

After they get the film, Lorelei tells the whole sordid tale to Piggy. He’s so grateful to her that he offers her anything she wants.

Do we really have to tell you what she asked for?

Anyway, the ship lands in France and the girls immediately spend all their money on clothes, figuring Gus’ll take care of them. Apparently, France makes smart women do really stupid things.

When they try to check into their hotel, Mrs. Piggy is there to stop them and demands that they return the tiara they stole. Malone’s all “By the way, Gus isn’t coming with the money. Dorothy, call me!”

Broke and in trouble with the law, they do what any of us would do.

Sing and dance inappropriately for little boys in the street. Was this code for something?

Somehow, the gals land a gig in Paris. They must have danced for a lot of little boys to set that one up. Gus shows up to be offended.

Backstage, he meets up with the girls, who give him the cold shoulder. They never performed in these outfits in the film, but it’s fun to try and figure out why they’re dressed that way.

Actually, we have no idea why they’re dressed that way.

Gus is all whiny and Dorothy tells him to take a seat for Lorelei’s next number. And then…

Honeys, sit down and watch. One of the MOST iconic performances of all time and with good reason. Everyone from Madonna to Nicole Kidman has tried to recapture this performance and no one’s come close. Sexy, witty, funny and glamorous, there is no one who can do Marilyn as good as Marilyn can. Look closely and you’ll see that that’s pretty much the entire “Men’s Olympic Team” on stage with her. Apparently, they didn’t put a lot of money into the “Hot Chorus Boys” line of the budget.


Like all buddy movies, the cops show up and the gals hatch a plan to escape out the back window. Bing Crosby and Bob Hope are all “Whatever, bitches. We’ve been doing that for ten years.”

At the last second, Gus shows up again to break it off with her. Seeing her chance, Lorelei grabs him…

…while Dorothy poses as Lorelei for the cops.

Okay, yes. The plot just went right off the rails.

Yaddayaddayadda. Everything ends happily. Seriously, that’s the last five minutes of the film. A mad rush to give every character a happy ending. Director Howard Hawks should have just walked in front of the camera and said “We can’t figure out how to wrap this up, so just pretend that we did.”

So, the girls get happiness, 1953-style. Which means, marriage to the two men who fucked them over because they couldn’t trust them. It also apparently means completely covering up all those secondary sexual characteristics they so proudly displayed for the previous hour and a half. Seriously, why don’t you just put them in burkas and call it done?

Feh. They should have stayed with the Olympic Men’s Team.

Next week, it’s all aboard for the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe, bitches! We’re doing the Harvey Girls!

Well, we’re not exactly doing them, we’re…oh you know what we mean.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • Vic

    This movie stays fresh and gets better with time. The older I get the more I ador it. As a child I would wonder why my parents were laughing at certain points. Now I like to think I know just a little bit more than them.

    Again, I don’t know which is funnier: The movie or you guys. Superb job. Thanks for the morning laugh.

  • Bill

    And did anyone pick out my favorite Greek-American, Puerto Rican, Scotsman, Olypmic Team member? That’s right, chorus boy hottie George Chakiris is in this one, too.

  • Bill

    Oh, and those black and yellow costumes that you see the gals in backstage were from a cut scene – the girls singing “Just Two Little Girls from Little Rock” in French.

    I love this movie. Jane’s gym scene made me crazy as a little gay boy. I taped it off a PBS once and used to play it over and over.

    I’m sure we’ll hear about her on future Muscial Mondays, but note that singing voice to the stars Marni Nixon dubbed some of Marilyn’s higher notes in this movie.

  • yawningdog

    My favorite scene is when Lorelei figures out down to the minute how long it will take to get the money out of Gus. And when she admits to her soon to be father-in-law that she isn’t after Junior’s money, she is after HIS money.

    You just can’t argue with a big busted girl that really understands finance.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, why don’t you just put them in burkas and call it done?
    They didn’t have to, they made them wear 1950′s lingerie and moved them to the suburbs where they developed secret drinking problems while the husbands nailed their secretaries in the city.
    MT

  • snf in va

    Like most Mondays, today was shaping up to be a dreary wasteland of a day, until I read this…

    Thank you, Gay Boys, and to everyone who posts comments! :o)

  • snaillady2

    I have officially enrolled my officemate in our “Monday manmeat musicals.” I think we need a shirtless musical number EVERY Monday morning (or just a repeat of the one here will work).

  • Jessica

    why? WHY was there no screen shot of the bondage chandelier?

    it’s seriously the best part of the movie.

  • mike.motaku

    Later,the girls dress for dinner. Did people really dress like this on cruises back then?
    No funny caption for this one either. They just look fucking incredible here and they know it. Look at their faces.

    Seriously. They’re projecting “Come get some. You know you wanna.” in a way drag queens have been trying (and failing miserably at) for decades.

  • Gorgeous Things

    Musical Mondays just make my week! Promise me you’ll send me one of your Christmas cards????

  • thombeau

    FABULOUS!

  • ToddNY

    “…okay, now they’re just fucking with us.”

    LOL. HOT HOT HOT!

    Thank you, boys! You two are FABULOUS! Musical Mondays are the best!

  • LittleKarnak

    Always loved this musical and you guys just made it that much more enjoyable! Love Jane Russell wielding the tennis racket in the Olympic Team number! Musical Mondays almost make it worth it to get up and go to work on Monday!

  • BrianB

    How can anyone have one favorite moment in a movie like this? It’s just one big favorite moment tied up in a big glitter bow! I think this was one of those movies my parents wouldn’t let me watch because they didn’t want me to get any ideas!

    Bill 9:11 AM, I noticed George with his spray white temples! How about Alvy Moore, shortest of the guys in the first Men’s Olympic Team screen capture, who went on to play Mr. Kimball the County Extention Agent in Green Acres? I’m kind of glad we didn’t see HIM in his swim trunks! At least compared to all the real meat in that scene!

    I’m kinda sorry there isn’t a screen capture of Marilyn stuck in the porthole during her scene with George “Foghorn” Winslow! I especially love when George offers his delicate little hand to “Piggy” to kiss when he’s hiding under the blanket! Marilyn’s facial expressions are hilarious! Other than trying to put Lady Piggy’s tiara around her neck this is Marilyn’s wackiest scene.

    I could never figure out Elliot Reid as Jane Russell’s romantic lead. Maybe he had something in person that didn’t translate to film, although he was hilarious when he did a guest shot in Desiging Women years later!

    Great way to start the week!

    BrianB

  • Muse of Ire

    This is one of the few musicals I still really like. Sure, it’s nonsensical and sexist, but it’s got such an arch, not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously tone that I really don’t care.

    It’s this movie that made me understand why Marilyn really was Marilyn.

  • JPD

    I’m coming out of lurkdom to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for that. I loveeeee all your blogs, but this is by far your best post ever. I cried from laughing. GPB was already my all time favorite movie, but you just made it a million times better. You have made my week with this post!

  • macasism

    Jane Russell was hot. I love how flesh colored those gym outfits are! How did they get away with that!

  • Sewhat?

    I Love you Boys.

  • Peppermint Patty

    Add my 2 1/2 year old daughter (also a blue-eyed curly blond) to the list of imitators of “Diamonds…” She started copying Marilyn’s moves the moment she saw the dance start. Cute, but a little frightening….

  • Embeedubya

    RE: the backstage costumes, the Internet Movie Database says: “At least one other number was shot, then cut. In the original theatrical trailer, Jane and Marilyn were shown among dancers, climbing the steps of a slide in a children’s playground. The song was a French version of “Two Little Girls from Little Rock”. Marilyn and Jane wear the costumes when Tommy Noonan corners them backstage in the French nightclub.”

  • Cat

    My TiVo has developed a sudden love for Turner Classic Movies since Musical Mondays started.

    And as far as GPB goes, I always wanted to be Jane Russell. She had her priorities right in this one. (Or Rosalind Russell. Mmmm – if there’s a Non-Musical Monday in the future, how about the 1958 “Auntie Mame”? Not, alas, the dreadful Lucille Ball/Bea Arthur 1974 musical – they should have gone with Angela Lansbury.)

    Er. I got sidetracked. Sorry. :)

  • TLo

    Darlings,

    Thank you so much for all the lovely emails. We love you all!!

    You asked for it, and here they are:

    More screen captures of the guys here, here, here, here AND here (what a stud!).

    XO
    T&L

  • TLo

    Jessica said…

    why? WHY was there no screen shot of the bondage chandelier?

    it’s seriously the best part of the movie.

    Here, darling!

    XO
    T&L

  • Allen

    Um … what’s Harvey Girls?

  • DivineQueen

    Fabulous, as usual, guys. Thank you so much for doing one of my all-time favorite movies.

    ” macasism said…
    I love how flesh colored those gym outfits are! How did they get away with that! “

    I said the same thing to my friends. Pretty daring for the time I might ad.

  • brilliant!

    Confidence is hot. Of course it helps that they have those bodies and they’re wearing those dresses, but still.

    Ah, yes! The days when women were allowed to look like women on film. Alas, now those GORGEOUS ladies would be considered too “fat” for Hollywood. Idiots.

    Bring back curves, damnit!

  • thombeau

    Thank you, T&L, for the extra screen grabs. And that "bondage chandelier" really does push the movie into the stratosphere. It's my favorite part!

  • brilliant!

    Thanks for the extra screen shots. What’s up with the bondage chandelier? Context, please.

  • Say What?

    “…the sensational movie musical that teaches all girls the important lesson “There’s nothing you can’t have if you have a great set of tits!”

    And an 18-hour bra!

    What a day! I turned on the tv this morning to get the weather, and what do I get? Yul Brynner in "The King and I" (now there is one that could use a T&L viewpoint) then I come here and it is "Battle of the Cone Bras and wussy men!" My word!

  • Anonymous

    With the possible exception of "Some Like It Hot" (I had the great fortune to meet Tony Curtis on a film set in 1995– gorgeous man; very open and loved to reminisce– gave up lots of dish on "SLIH")I'm not that big on MM. Jane Russell OTOH, POW! A Dame A Broad & A Babe all in 1 pkg. I think she was very underrated as a singer, dancer, actress. The consensus has always been had she played "The Game" in Hollywood she would've been MUCH bigger.

  • Suzanne

    “Apparently, France makes smart women do really stupid things.”

    You mean like get married?? :-)
    j/k

    Those clips of the gym scene were insane!!!

  • valpal

    Bill! You amaze me! Naturally, I love the T&L commentaries, but I so look forward ro reading whatever it is you add to the pot…

  • TLo

    This will probably make Bill blush, but honest to god, we write the Monday Musical posts with him in mind. This morning, while writing this post, we said “Leave out the bits about Marni Nixon and George Chakiris. Bill will handle that part.”

  • annabelle

    I love this movie! “Ain’t there anyone here for love” is my favorite song it it. Everything about that movie is fabulous.

  • Sewhat?

    I think Jane Russell was the most under used and under appreciated actress of her era. And maybe a couple of other eras, too.

    Plus my Mom looked just like her when she was young and sang for the USO.

    And ‘brilliant!’ how sad that you are right about MM and JR being too big for today’s screen. Kind of makes you wonder who we will never see on the screen or stage because she doesn’t fit ‘the mold’.

  • Anonymous

    Loved it!
    Does anyone know if Jane Russell was supposed to fall in the pool? Looks like an accident.

  • TLo

    Anonymous said…
    Loved it!
    Does anyone know if Jane Russell was supposed to fall in the pool? Looks like an accident.

    Bill, darling, do you want to handle this one?

    XO
    T&L

  • Anonymous

    Today was quite possibly the worst Mon. I’ve ever had–I got fired today! Silver lining: I got to come home early to read Musical Monday. I laughed so hard. And I love the pic of the bondage chandelier! As always, thanks so much for the service you provide. You really helped to brighten an otherwise traumatic day.

    Nancy

  • Bill

    Boys, you are correct. I am blushing here. And valpal just brightens my day. It’s so nice to have my cinematic factoid mania appreciated by someone other than my Trivial Pursuit partners.

    Jane Russell’s buoyancy test (was there ever a doubt with those flotation devices?) was indeed an accident. The last driver knocked her in by mistake. Director Howard Hawks reshot the diving scene but ended up going with the first take.

    And let’s face it, Jane soaking wet in the pool with all those Olympians is hotter than if she stayed dry on the pool’s edge watching the boys frolic on their own (well, okay, hotter to some. I happen to prefer the all-male wet frolic).

  • Bill

    brianb – I never noticed Alvy Moore before. But when I went back to look at the picture, I notcied someone else from childhood TV.

    When Dorothy is pawing all the guys in her stateroom during the boarding cocktail party, check out the screen capture where Dorothy has both arms wrapped around the Olympian’s neck. It’s Noell Neil. She got a bit more famous the same year as GPB by appearing as Lois Lane in TV’s The Adventures of Superman.

  • Young offender

    Bill–

    you’re fascinating.

    how do you know all this stuff? it’s so random. lol

  • Vera

    Another fun fact about the gay olympian chorus (I mentioned it in the post about Brigadoon) is that one of them is Jane Russell’s brother. You can see him really well in the shot where they’re all doing squats (and I mean really well, in those shorts I think we’re 1 centimeter from dangly man bits). He’s on the viewer’s right, Jane’s left. Not the most ripped in the group, but he’s a cutie.

    This post made my week. I just loved it. Bill, I always thought the black-and-yellow get-ups must have been from a cut number, thank you for confirming! I wish they’d release a DVD with extras on this one, how fabulous would that be?

  • Vera

    I must add;

    As a very busty girl, Jane is one of the biggest reasons that, at 16, I stopped wearing big loose shirts to hide my bosoms from drive-by sexual harassment and instead invested in a push-up bra and started practicing my Rose Queen parade wave. She is an inspiration to girls with tig ol’ bitties the world over.

  • KingRoper

    Great wrap-up, boys!

    But I want to know about those earrings Jane is wearing in ‘Anyone/Love’… are they scales? Upside-down crosses? I prefer to think they’re the latter, which makes that scene even MORE subversive (if possible).

  • Bill

    young offender – my mom used to refer to me as a “font of useless information.”

    Whenever the Million Dollar Movie (NY metro area, WOR Channel 9) or the 4:30 Movie (ABC weekdays) was on, my mother would drop all these little tidbits of movie & celebrity info and gossip from the 30's, 40's & 50's. I was a sponge and completely fascinated by it.

    I also used to read the TV Guide as a child (and I mean every line). All the movie descriptions and cast listings, every inch of it. What a geek!

    All the trivial effluvia just sticks in my head. Don’t ask me how to do Calculus or Chemistry. None of that made a dent.

    But I’ll tell you about Matt Mattox being one of the Olympian/Diamonds Dancers in GPB and also being Caleb Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (7B47B?). Check back at that Musical Monday post and look for the bearded brother who fell into the yellow Rit Dye. Then try to find him in the GPB shots.

    Vera – I didn’t know about Jane’s brother being in the movie. One more item to pack in with all the other random bits floating in my head. Thanks.

  • FashionFanatic

    ” KingRoper said…

    Great wrap-up, boys!

    But I want to know about those earrings Jane is wearing in ‘Anyone/Love’… are they scales? Upside-down crosses? I prefer to think they’re the latter, which makes that scene even MORE subversive (if possible). “

    Now you got em thinking. they do look like up-side crosses.

    “Vera said…
    (and I mean really well, in those shorts I think we’re 1 centimeter from dangly man bits).”

    I don’t know how they got away with it. They look like they’re naked.

    Fabulous post, PRG boys!

  • BrianB

    Bill – Thanks for the heads up on Noell! I was too busy checking out the Cornell Wilde lookalike in that screen capture to notice her in the background! Didn’t Noell have a bit in “An American in Paris” as the girl who was checking out Gene Kelly’s paintings on the stone wall, minutes before he meets The Fabulous Nina Foch? I kind of think it is but maybe she’s another stock player I’ve seen else where.

    Don’t you apologise for your movie trivia knowledge, it’s thrilling! I love that your Mother would tell you all that stuff, what a lot of fun! Part of why I find these tidbits so fascinating is that you see people now and then who are well before their fame and you realize they had to earn their star status. It also gives you an idea of what it was like working in the studio system where in one movie someone would be doing screwball comedy and the next they would be in film noir, then a “women’s picture”. In fact I think lately I watch movies for the bit players more than the stars!

    My favorite bit player moment was pointed out to me recently. In “The French Line” starring today’s subject, Jane Russell, there’s a production number with Jane and several women, I think in evening gowns, and one of them is Kim Novak! Later there’s a brief glimpse of her running out of a dressing room, but it’s real quick.

    Oh and of course you know that Lady Piggy had a recurring role on TV as the addled British neighbor in “Hazel” with Shirley Booth!

    OK, I need to stop!

    BrianB

  • snf in va

    A word about dress sizes for these two girls…don’t be fooled, they weren’t as hefty as one might think, if you go by dress size. Voluptuous, curvy, etc., YES. Overweight, NO!

    Marilyn was about 36-23-36
    Jane was about 38-25-36

    Clothing manufactures no longer use the standard dress sizes that were in use in the 1940′s and 1950′s, so what was a size 12 back then would be about a size 4 now.

  • mike

    On Jane’s number, I always loved her “Doubles, anyone?” comment…. soooo tacky and funny

  • Krisha

    OK boys and girls, I have been slacking. I just spent 15 minutes on the phone with my sister who was berating me because I hadn’t read this post. And watch out, Gayboys…we decided our friends commenting are *almost* as much fun as reading the post itself.

    Lorelei: Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?

    I will be singing “Just Two Little Girls from Little Rock” and “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” all day while dancing and holding my tits….at least one dance move in both numbers has the girls clutching their chests. I am assuming to keep them from knocking out a small country.

    What a great post…sigh….

  • bungle

    Ok, please forgive the billing order, but may bill and thegayboys continue to rock on.

    I feel sorry for the world of people who miss out on this blog.

  • valpal

    Ever since Bill enlightened us about Jane’s “buoyancy test” I’ve been thinking about how truly professional the actors of that era were. Talk about the show-must-go-on! An improvisation to cover up a major gaffe makes it to the big screen! And it wasn’t simply Jane who responded so brilliantly; the supporting cast (pun intended) did, too. They made it seem intentional.

    Try imagining current actors/singers/dancers in the same scene. Who among them would have been able to stay in character, in time with the music, and come up looking as ravishing as Jane? Perhaps some of our reigning stage actresses, but any of the People Magazine film stars?

  • KingRoper

    Sorry valpal, but if you look again you will see that there is an edit between Jane going into the pool and the end of the number – it was not done in one take. But what a happy accident… Jane dripping wet (almost) makes you take your eyes off the boys for a moment!