I recently bought Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes by Anita Loos. While cracking it open yesterday and reading the introduction about the groundbreaking characters of Lorelei and Dorothy, I couldn't help but reminisce about the silver screen version I've seen a billion times.
Dorothy (Jane Russell) and Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) are "just two little girls from Little Rock" with big dreams and dollar signs in their eyes. Lorelei's rich and innocent fiance sends her to Paris, with Dorothy as chaperon, but neither of them realizes that a private detective hired by her future father-in-law is keeping a close eye on them...Dorothy in particular, wink wink! Full of fun over-the-top musical numbers (my favorite being "When Love Goes Wrong"), including the famous "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," this film is colorful and witty. Marilyn sparkles and has some hilarious lines as the not-as-dumb-as-you-think blonde, and Jane Russell is dynamite.
The real star, however, is author Anita Loos herself for creating these characters in her novel back in 1925. Loos was one of the Hollywood's first noteworthy screenwriters (girl power!) and went on to write the screenplay for the scandalous Red-Headed Woman (1932) starring Jean Harlow, and contributed to dozens and dozens more films. She's a fascinating character in her own right...I recommend her autobiographies A Girl Like I and Kiss Hollywood Good-by for more about this acid-tongued trailblazer!
Remember: a kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara lasts forever!