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Jane Russell

February 10, 2010

She’s had a long and varied career, but she’ll always be Dorothy Shaw to me. I first saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, one of my favorite movies, when I was in college. It made me want to quit college and become a showgirl. Briefly, until I figured out that showgirls weren’t quite the same anymore as they were in the movie, and maybe they never had been. The music! The costumes! The glamour! The gentlemen suitors buying your cigarettes and lighting them for you! (I used to smoke, what can I tell you?)

Jane’s down-to-earth sarcasm always makes me laugh, and is a perfect fit for the role. I always thought I’d love to have a cup of coffee with her.

Here she is in her solo number from Gentlemen, Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love? (the story of my life.)

The ending, where she accidentally gets knocked into the pool, really was an accident that they left in, because it was funny, and because the moment she resurfaced she stayed in character and didn’t miss a beat.

Here’s her part of Bye Bye Baby:

Am I In Love, With Bob Hope from Son of Paleface:

And there are many more on YouTube, if you’re so inspired.

Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?

Bye Bye Baby (the whole thing, with Marilyn’s part too)

When Love Goes Wrong (with Marilyn)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 11:08 pm

    What’s with the two guys crouching in the background?

  2. February 11, 2010 5:05 am

    She was terrific wasn’t she? And really underrated now.

    My girlies saw Blondes on TV when they were about 7 and 6 and absolutely loved it….!

  3. February 11, 2010 1:38 pm

    I must’ve been about that age the first time I saw it and I was completely taken with it. I still get that magical feeling whenever I see it or hear the songs. I love Bye Bye Baby and Two Little Girls From Little Rock and When Love Goes Wrong… and just about everything else.

    Thanks for these, Dane.

  4. February 11, 2010 1:54 pm

    I adore Jane Russell, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is one of my favorite movies, too! Though I have to say I hate the part in her solo number where she’s dancing around with the tennis rackets. It just never looked right to me. I didn’t know that part about her really getting knocked into the pool. It makes me love her even more.

  5. Dane permalink
    February 11, 2010 11:05 pm

    Joe: I think they’re training for the Olympic synchronized crouching event.

    Davy: You let your little ones watch and listen to all the good stuff! They’re lucky kids.

    Greer: Yes! I love all those songs.

    Nikol: And she comes up for air still singing!

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