Gentlemen Prefer Blondes confirms that Marilyn Monroe should always be thought of as a comedian first. She and Jane Russell star as a pair of showgirls—Marilyn is Lorelei, Jane is Dorothy—in pursuit of very specific men for very specific reasons: Lorelei is after money; Dorothy’s after sex. As Lorelei explains, it’s not that they’re opposed to love, but that love would be even better with that stuff, so why not start there? Lorelei is an exaggerated sendup of Monroe’s bombshell persona—the baby voice, the eyes that are either alien wide or seductively narrowed, the shimmying—yet there’s enough of a hint that Lorelei knows she’s playing a part to suggest that Monroes knows that, times 20. (Not true dingbat could have such perfect comic timing.) Indeed, both Lorelei and Dorothy seem to understand that the world is going to judge them based on their bodies anyway, so they might as well exploit it. Monroe gets the most famous number—“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”—and it’s a pink-and-red stunner, but Russell more than holds her own in the beefcake extravaganza “Anyone Here for Love?” (Actually, she’s content to let the Olympic athletes in the background hold it.) And then there is the pair’s early, cheeky duet, “Bye Bye Baby,” a facetious ode to long-distance love that lets Russell play flirt while Monroe plays siren. Oh yeah, I’ve been so distracted by them both that I almost forgot to mention that the great Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo) directs.