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Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and her friend Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are a pair of showgirls, Dorothy the sassy one looking for true love, Lorelei the blonde hoping to marry a millionaire, with her sights set on Gus Esmond, a wealthy nerd stuck under his father's thumb.
When Lorelei and Dorothy take a transatlantic cruise to Paris, an undercover detective follows to find out if Lorelei is really a gold-digging schemer. Unfortunately, the irrepressible Lorelei is a born flirt and soon finds herself in a compromising position with Sir Francis Beekman (Charles Coburn), owner of a diamond mine. The girls have to use all their wits to get out of trouble and still find love and marriage.