Single On the Sea

Technically, Marilyn Monroe isn’t the star of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell’s character, Dorothy Shaw, delivers the movie’s wittiest line, and the dramatic arc stays with her. When asked about her second-billing status, Monroe reportedly said, “Well, whatever I am, I’m still the blonde.” Really, this 1953 adaptation of a Broadway hit works best as a dual showcase, a nearly unprecedented at the time (and still rare) female buddy comedy. Russell’s Shaw and Monroe’s Lorelei Lee play “two little girls from Little Rock” who perform as cabaret singers on a trans-Atlantic cruise. Lee advocates marrying for money, making her case musically with “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Shaw responds with “Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love?” but her frequent, saucy, proto-Sex in the City quips establish that she’s no moping romantic. The film screens at 7 tonight at Tivoli Cinemas (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-5222). Tickets cost $3.

Tue., July 1, 7 p.m., 2008