Gaby Dunn Inspired by ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’

Comedian, writer and activist Gaby Dunn, who hosts the Bad With Money podcast, cites Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as a favourite movie in an interview with The Cut.

“I have a few very favorite movies. One of them is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I watch a lot of old movies, but I did not realize that the sexual politics of old movies were actually kind of progressive. Essentially, these two girls — Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe — are best friends. And Jane Russell’s whole thing is that she likes hunks and wants to find love, and she has a whole song where she’s with the water-polo team from some college, and she’s like, ‘I like them all!’ And then Marilyn Monroe’s character’s like, ‘No, you’ve got to marry for money.’ But it’s mostly about their friendship — female friendship. This is a movie about two women who have very different ideas of relationships, and neither of them feels the need to be overly prim and proper. So I was surprised, when I started watching a lot of old films, how the sexual politics of it wasn’t what you would expect from the 1940s or 1950s. I love Jane Russell, and I love Marilyn Monroe, and I think it was formative in some ways because I had this bare-bones idea of feminism and then I was like, Oh, Marilyn Monroe was actually smart. She has to be very smart to play comedy the way she does. I think I had this idea that women like that are not like me, but seeing her made me think that that’s some bullshit second-wave misconception.”