Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1957) *

No Marilyn, admittedly, but how a film directly linked to one of the most popular Hollywood movies of the fifties can be this forgotten remains a mystery. All the reference books write it off as a disaster, and nobody I've ever spoken to has actually seen it.
Part of the reason it got such a bad rap, I suspect, is because it's just not the film people expected it to be, let alone the film they wanted it to be. Unlike the Anita Loos novel from which it blithely and opportunistically takes its title, it's not a sequel to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Jane Russell does not play the same character, or even a similar one: in actual fact she's far more like Lorelei than Dorothy - she's the shallower, ditzier one - and Jeanne Crain is the level-headed half of the team. This is a whole new story about a sister act attempting to make it in Paris, where their aunts - also played by Jane and Jeanne - had been stars in the twenties. And it's a hoot.
The main reason usually given for its lowly status is that the song numbers are subpar, but are they? I enjoyed them all. And the costumes. There's plenty of good jokes, Rudy Vallee plays himself, Jane comes on in old age make-up at the end (it's the sort of corny finale you expect of a Road movie) and the male lead is Wilbur from Mr Ed. It's obviously not a big studio production.