Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
I nearly chose The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), my obsession as a teenager and for the many midnight screenings I attended, or Grease (1978) or Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) or Once (2007) or The Lure (2015). They are all films I have loved and can, or have, watched multiple times. But there is something about this Howard Hawks classic, based on a play by Anita Loos, that gives me joy whenever I watch it.
It’s a product of its time and, I’ll admit, is occasionally racist and sexist, but it is delightfully subversive and is about the power of female friendship as much as it is about love and conformity. Marilyn Monroe is the star as Lorelei, who knows how to portray a femininity that men crave, but it is Jane Russell as her best friend Dorothy who really shines. Where Lorelei aims for wealth and security, Dorothy is all about desire and respect; a highlight is the song and dance number with a scantily-clad Olympic men’s diving team. The friendship between the two women is never compromised and the message is clear that their choices are defined by the the society, not themselves.
What’s your favourite musical film? Is it a classic from the ‘golden age’ of musicals and something more contemporary?
Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.
Coming Next: Day 16: A film everyone else loves but you hate