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DCA Archive

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Howard Hawks

No Hollywood filmmaker was as versatile as Howard Hawks. Check any list of great Westerns, gangster films, or screwball comedies and a Hawks film will be on it. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was his foray into the musical and it deservedly remains one of his best loved films.

"...a delight from start to finish."

The film’s enduring popularity can be summed up in one word: charm. This screwball story of two young ladies from Little Rock – Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, no less – who embark on a transatlantic cruise in search of wealthy husbands is a delight from start to finish. Russell and Monroe are wonderful comediennes, and they have genuine chemistry. The supporting cast is spot on and the script is snappier than an alligator. The highlight, however, has to be the immaculately staged Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend number – four perfect minutes of film which elevated Monroe from a contract player to a megastar.

Our first collaboration with V&A Dundee is a cinematic celebration of Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, the first exhibition to fully explore the design and cultural impact of ocean liners on an international scale. We hope this eclectic mix of films will inspire you to explore how the movie industry chose to depict life on board – sometimes glamorous, sometimes dangerous – but always exciting. Ocean Liners: Speed and Style is the first in a series of major changing exhibitions at V&A Dundee.