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Posted: January 31st, 2022

The Analysis of the Film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953

The Analysis of the Film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a 1953 musical comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, is a quintessential example of Hollywood’s golden era. The film, based on the 1949 stage musical of the same name, follows the adventures of Lorelei Lee, a blonde showgirl, and her best friend Dorothy Shaw, as they embark on a transatlantic cruise to France.
The film’s main themes is the portrayal of gender roles and the societal expectations placed on women during the 1950s. Lorelei, played by Monroe, is portrayed as a ditzy and superficial blonde who uses her sexuality and charm to manipulate men for her own gain. Similarly, Russell’s character, Dorothy, is portrayed as a smart and independent woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. Together, they challenge the traditional gender roles of the time and subvert the notion that women should be submissive and dependent on men.
A theme that is prevalent in the film is the idea of American culture and values being exported to the rest of the world. The film takes place on a transatlantic cruise, with the characters traveling from New York to France, and the contrast between the American and European cultures is highlighted throughout the film. The American characters, including Lorelei and Dorothy, represent the ideal of the American Dream, with their carefree and optimistic attitudes, while the European characters are portrayed as more sophisticated and cultured but also stuffy and uptight.
The film’s musical numbers, such as “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Bye Bye Baby,” are iconic and have become cultural touchstones. The film’s use of vibrant color and costume design, as well as the choreography, contribute to the overall visual spectacle of the film.
However, the film has also been criticized for its portrayal of women and its use of racial stereotypes. The film’s portrayal of Lorelei as a manipulative and superficial blonde reinforces negative stereotypes about women, and the film’s use of racial stereotypes in the portrayal of African American characters has also been criticized.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a film that is both a product and a reflection of the societal and cultural values of its time. The film’s portrayal of gender roles and the contrast between American and European cultures, as well as its iconic musical numbers, make it a significant film in the history of Hollywood. However, the film’s portrayal of women and its use of racial stereotypes are also important to consider in a modern context.

Works Cited
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Directed by Howard Hawks, performances by Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, and others, Twentieth Century Fox, 1953.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/title/tt0046251/.
Hohls, Vyonne Linda. The illustration of girls in Hollywood movie musicals: a qualitative, essential and visible evaluation of gents choose blondes and 9. Diss. 2017.
Howard, Hawk. Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. 1953
Mendelman, Lisa. “Sentimental Satire in Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” The Sentimental Mode: Essays in Literature, Film and Tv (2014): 36-55.
Wagner, Johanna M. “Repositioning Lorelei’s Training: Thoughts, Physique, and Intercourse (uality) in Anita Loos’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Faculty Literature 44.four (2017): 644-674.

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