I love these Life magazine photos by Edward Clarke of Marilyn Monroe (Lorelei Lee) and Jane Russell (Dorothy) on the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. What gals! What gams! And the dancer showing them "a little this-a, a little that'a, with an emphasis on the latter" is none other than the great Gwen Verdon!!
The musical was taken, of course, from the book by Anita Loos. In perusing Regina Barreca's The Penguin Guide to Women's Humor the other day, I came across this delicious passage from the sequel, Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. Lorelei is describing one of their sojourns in Paris:
And when a girl walks around and reads all of the signs with all of the famous historical names it really makes you hold your breath. Because when Dorothy and I went on a walk, we only walked a few blocks but in only a few blocks we read all the historical names, like Coty and Cartier and I knew we were seeing something educational at last and our whole trip was not a failure. I mean I really try to make Dorothy get educated and have reverance. So when we stood at the corner of a place called the Place Vandome, if you turn your back on a monument they have in the middle and look up you can see none other than Coty's sign. So I said to Dorothy, does it not really give you a thrill to realize that that is the historical spot where Mr. Coty makes all the perfume? So then Dorothy said that she supposed Mr. Coty came to Paris and he smelled Paris and he realized that something had to be done. So Dorothy will really never have any reverance.
|Jean Harlow and Anita Loos|