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Howard Hawks: The Measure of Man

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
7:00 p.m. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Howard Hawks (U.S., 1953)

Student Pick!

You want bombshells? said Hawks’s musical comedy to the American public; I’ll give you Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell dressed as some kind of sequined Amazons. You want Technicolor? I’ll blind you with brash reds and lurid purples. You want money? I’ll give you diamonds! Russell and Monroe are two golddiggers on sabbatical from Little Rock who prove that big rocks are a girl’s best friend. The film’s satire on the vulgarity of it all exposes a world of caricatures—Russell even dons a blonde wig at one point, to pass as Monroe—but Hawks is good-natured: he looks, but does not judge, and even admires his two professional Women, just as we cannot fail to admire Russell and Monroe, who excel at a smiling send-up of themselves.

—Judy Bloch

• Written by Charles Lederer, from the play by Anita Loos, Joseph Fields, from the novel by Loos. Photographed by Harry J. Wild. With Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid. (91 mins, Color, 35mm, From 20th Century Fox)