Flashback Friday-Actor Spotlight- Marilyn Monroe- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) & How To Marry A Millionaire (1953)

Marilyn Monroe is without a doubt an icon. She is also the subject of this actor spotlight and this Flashback Friday Post.

Two of her movies were released in 1953.

The first movie is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are showgirls. Lorelei is engaged to Gus Edmond Jr. (Tommy Noonan). Gus’s father does not approve of his son’s choice of a wife.  On a boat sailing to Paris, Dorothy’s task is to keep Lorelei clean so her future father in law will bless his son’s future marriage. Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid) is a private detective who is trying to prove that Lorelei is a gold digger. Dorothy will be distracted by the swim team and Lorelei will be distracted by a wealthy older man. Can they get to Paris without causing trouble?

Russell and Monroe are the perfect ying and yang. The smart, sassy brunette and the dumb but beautiful blonde are archetypes, but in a good way. It’s not all bad, but one must consider the era that the movie was made in.

The second movie is How To Marry A Millionaire.

Loco (Betty Grable), Pola (Marilyn Monroe) and Schatze (Lauren Bacall) are models living and working in New York City. Tired of meeting poor schlubs, they rent a fancy apartment in hopes of attracting wealthy men. But love and life are complicated. It’s not easy to tell the millionaire from the working class man. Will the ladies stick to their plan or will life direct them elsewhere?

This movie is very much a movie of it’s era. As much as I enjoy it, I find it a little disturbing. While there are many movies where the female character’s motive is men and marriage, this movie is just a little strong on that subject for me.

Do I recommend these films? As a fan of classic cinema, yes. As a feminist who cringes at the stereotypes and the antiquated ideas about what a woman’s future should be, I’m not sure that I enjoy them.


Author: Writergurlny

I am Brooklyn, NY born and raised writer who needs writing to find sanity in an insane world. To quote Charlotte Bronte: “I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.”

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