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June 23, 2024

Behind the Scenes Photos of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on the Set of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)

For sheer, undiluted resonance, few entertainment-industry tropes can match the singular image of Marilyn Monroe informing the world that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

The scene in which she sings those words arrives midway through the classic 1953 comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as Marilyn’s character, the refreshingly loot-happy Lorelei Lee, performing in a cabaret in a form-fitting pink satin sheath, rebuffs the attentions of a gaggle of eager (and unmistakably not rich) male admirers.

The song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is just one of many from a movie that, six decades later, still retains much of its carefree if largely camp appeal. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was not only a huge box office success but proved, once and for all, that Marilyn Monroe could truly anchor a movie as its star. Her co-star in the film, Jane Russell, was wonderful in the role of showgirl Dorothy Shaw, Lorelei’s best friend, but through the years the film has increasingly and unduly been celebrated as Monroe’s triumph alone.

This was Jane Russell’s only film with Marilyn Monroe. They got along well and according to Russell’s 1985 autobiography, she called Monroe “Blondie” and was often the only person on the set who could coax Monroe out of her trailer to begin the day’s filming.




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