Marilyn Monroe - Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friends

Marilyn Monroe sings 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friends' from the 1953 motion picture 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'.
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The song is performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Monroe's character, Lorelei Lee, has been followed on a Transatlantic ocean liner by a detective hired by her fiance's father, who wants assurance that she is not marrying purely for money. He is informed of compromising pictures taken with a British diamond mine owner and cancels her letter of credit before she arrives in France, requiring her to work in a nightclub to survive. Her fiance arrives at the cabaret to see her perform this song, about exploiting men for riches. Diamonds are an element in another story line in the movie, in which Lorelei is given a diamond tiara by the mine owner, in gratitude for her recovering the photographs. In a later scene, Jane Russell, who played opposite Monroe, sang 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' in court, while pretending to be Lorelei.

Most of the song in the film is Monroe's own voice but she needed help in two phrases -- 'These rocks don't lose their shape, diamonds are a girl's best friend', and at the beginning with a series of high-pitched 'no's', all of which were dubbed in by the soprano Marni Nixon.

The song was listed as the 12th most important movie song of all time by the American Film Institute.

Monroe's rendition of the song has been considered an iconic performance and since been copied by other entertainers ranging from Madonna, Beyonce Knowles, Geri Halliwell and Kylie Minogue to Anna Nicole Smith. Madonna's video 'Material Girl' uses a similar set and costumes for the singer and her male dancers.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes co-starring Jane Russell was directed by Howard Hawks. Her role as Lorelei Lee, a gold-digging showgirl, required her to act, sing, and dance. The two stars became friends, with Russell describing Monroe as 'very shy and very sweet and far more intelligent than people gave her credit for'. She later recalled that Monroe showed her dedication by rehearsing her dance routines each evening after most of the crew had left, but she arrived habitually late on set for filming. Realizing that Monroe remained in her dressing room due to stage fright, and that Hawks was growing impatient with her tardiness, Russell started escorting her to the set.

At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Monroe and Russell pressed their hand- and footprints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Monroe received positive reviews and the film grossed more than double its production costs. Her rendition of 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend' became associated with her. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes also marked one of the earliest films in which William Travilla dressed Monroe. Travilla dressed Monroe in eight of her films including Bus Stop, Don't Bother to Knock, How to Marry a Millionaire, River of No Return, There's No Business Like Show Business, Monkey Business, and The Seven Year Itch.

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