Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (lost first-adaptation silent comedy film; 1928)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1928 American silent comedy film directed by Mal St. Clair, co-written by Anita Loos based on her 1925 novel and starring Ruth Taylor as Lorelei Lee and Alice White as Dorothy Shaw. It is the first adaptation of Anita Loos novel which later had a 1949 Broadway version starring Carol Channing as Lorelei Lee and more known 1953 film adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee.
The film was released on January 22, 1928, by Paramount Pictures.
The plot involves the notorious blonde gold digger Lorelei Lee (Ruth Taylor) books passage on an ocean liner for herself and a friend, Dorothy Shaw (Alice White), with money "borrowed" from Chicago button king Gus Eisman (Ford Sterling). Also bound for Europe on the liner is America's richest bachelor, Henry Spoffard (Holmes Herbert), who plans to investigate reports of immoral activities of American tourists in Paris. To amuse herself while Spoffard is seasick in his cabin, Lorelei persuades Sir Francis Beekman (Mack Swain), a wealthy Englishman who is attracted to her, to give her money to buy his wife's diamond tiara.
In Paris, Lorelei lures Spoffard to her room, then hides him in a closet while his mother, their lawyer, the Beekmans, and Gus Eisman all come demanding explanations. The situation is finally resolved; Spoffard and Lorelei marry on the return trip to New York.
The film has been lost for many years, and only a few stills, newspaper advertisements, and lobby posters are known to have survived.