“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1959 / Director: Billy Wilder / Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis ... / DVD released 09 October, 2000 at MGM Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Black & White, Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen „
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The movie "Some like it Hot" is about two musicians - a bass fiddler (aka double bass) and a saxophonist - who accidentally witness the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to hide from the mobsters who want them dead, they dress in drag and get jobs with an all-girls band leaving town which just happens to be short exactly one sax and one bass fiddle player - imagine that! Things start to get sticky when the sax player falls for the band's lead singer (and ukulele player). But he can't woo her as a girl, so he disguises himself once again, as a rich oil magnet. To keep up appearances (and impress the girl with a yacht), he has his bass fiddle player buddy keep the real millionaire and owner of the yacht busy with a romance of their own. Throw into the mix a meeting of all the major organized crime heads (including those who are after the musicians) at the exact same hotel where the band is playing and you've got yourself one rip-roaring comedy.
Despite the obvious holes in the story line here, this classic comedy certainly has enough twists and set-ups to keep the laughs coming. While many are typical clichés, they still work. For instance, when the sax player has to make a quick change after a performance to meet the girl, of course he almost forgets to take his earrings off. Or how about when the sax player can't get the motorboat into gear and he ends up driving it in reverse all the way to the yacht? This film is just chock-full of just such fun bits.
But that isn't even the least of it. Take for instance the script. Here Wilder, who also wrote the screenplay, brings his greatest wit with a slew of lines that will make you laugh out loud, and many people quote even to this day. How about the line when the sax player tells the band leader that they're the new girls and the bass fiddle player chimes in with "brand new!"? Then there's the line when the sax player suggests the bass fiddle player distract the millionaire so he can get in a date with the singer. His immediate response is "Not tonight, Josephine"! Okay, so taken out of context this may not seem all that funny. But if you've seen the film, just remembering the look on the bass fiddler's face when he delivers the line is enough to make you laugh. Moreover, there are those who have put the origin of this phrase as having been said by Napoleon Bonaparte to his wife when he didn't want to have sex - so how appropriate that it be used to try and keep the sax player from getting into the singer's pants? Aside from that, this was also the working title of this film before it got renamed.
Wilder even put in some historical comedy when the sax player says "... Suppose the stock market crashes. Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks. Suppose the Dodgers leave Brooklyn!" These are all things that actually happened, but only long after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Another thing that makes this movie special is that even though this movie was made in 1959 and takes place a full thirty years before then, this ages so well, that even today's audiences would enjoy it - and not even mind it being in Black & White. Part of what makes this so is the slathering of sexual innuendo that Wilder threw into the lines combined with the most anti-homophobic ending one could ever imagine.
But the thing that makes this movie a truly sparkling star of the Golden Age of Hollywood has got to be its cast. To begin with we have the most talented sexpot of her day playing Sugar Kane - the one and only Marilyn Monroe. Although she was already having problems when she did this film, it doesn't show up in her acting. What you might see, however, is that she is quite on the chubby side here, and if you look carefully, you'll notice that in the scenes where she goes to the yacht, the back of her dress is unzipped because she gained too much weight to close it. Next in line is Jack Lemmon, playing the bass fiddle player Jerry/Daphne who didn't make the most attractive of girls, but got so into the character you actually believe he's falling for his millionaire. Together with these was the pretty boy Tony Curtis playing the sax player, Joe/Josephine. Curtis was so handsome at the time that he actually makes a beautiful looking woman! What's more, here he got to also make a nod at his own acting idol, Cary Grant, by imitating Grant's voice when he's dressed up as "Shell Oil, Junior." It is no surprise that when Curtis passed away last year that this film was named by almost everyone who eulogized him as being one of his best performances. Sadly, none of the awards seemed to recognize Tony's work here, and all the accolades went to Monroe (who got a Golden Globe for her part here), Lemmon (who won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for this film) or Wilder. The Oscars being notorious for ignoring comedies nominated both Lemmon and Wilder, but this film only went home with an Academy Award for costume design.
Despite some of the silliness in the plot, there is actually almost nothing one can fault this film for. If one was to choose the greatest film Billy Wilder ever directed, one would be hard pressed to pick any that could top "Some Like it Hot". The script is dazzlingly witty, the direction is sprightly, the movie runs along at a swift pace that would put a racehorse to shame and the acting is top-notch. Put this all together and you've got a classic comedy that everyone can enjoy, and worthy of ten stars out of ten!
Davida Chazan © June 2011 (updated July 2011)
The special edition of this film is available new on DVD from Amazon for £3.99 or through their marketplace from £2.47.
Run Time: 120 minutes
When two luckless band members unwittingly witness the Valentine's Day Massacre, they flee from criminal boss Spats Colombo. When they join a band heading for Florida, they realise they've bitten off more than they can chew when it turns out to be an all female band. However, when faced with the choice of being murdered or dressing up and pretending to be women, the hilarious result is the latter. When they meet the gorgeous Sugar, they must keep their lust in check in order to keep their cover and stay safe.
Despite having heard a lot about this film, I had never actually watched it until the other month. Immediately, I saw not only the usual charm and wit from Tony Curtis, as he stands proud and gives a stellar performance, but also the incredible comedy timing of Jack Lemmon, an actor I really must see more of. These two play our hapless musicians Jerry and Joe, and they play women surprisingly well.
Marilyn Monroe adds the glamour, and looks absolutely stunning as Sugar. What her entry into the film does is make it more difficult for Jerry and Joe to maintain their facade. However, they also realise that this could also be a way into Sugar's heart, and as they try and find a way to successfully woo her without giving up their disguises, it becomes a rollercoaster of comedy scenes. Director Billy Wilder mixes the various plot threads together very well, making sure that the romantic comedy and gangster thriller elements interweave seamlessly, and also harmlessly. Never once does any threat of death seem more than just a reason for them to stay in drag, and it's hilarious watching them run around in heels, quite clearly not used to doing so. In fact, the first scene we see them walking in them almost ends in disaster.
Curtis and Monroe are wonderful in this, it's true, but for me the thing that makes this excellent is Jack Lemmon. Just the way he slots into the role of a woman seems worringly natural, but he does it with such an air of visual comedy that you just can't help smiling whenever he's on screen. In his guise as a woman, he befriends Sugar and becomes like a best friend to her, and adopts traditional female traits and poses with such ease that I marvelled at such natural acting ability. He continues this all the way to the bitter end, even getting so involved in the role that he starts entertaining the attentions of a wealthy older gent who really wouldn't know what he's getting himself into.
Wilder uses cameras and music very well, with an excellent scene involving a crowded train berth, a chase around a hotel, clever shots of Spats' shoes to show his presence and the screwball comedy from Curtis and Lemmon all accompanied by the right setting to make the mood just right. The film trundles along at a very good pace, the scenes rolling off each other and the one liners from both male leads being interspersed with Marilyn's sensuality and complete innocence when it comes to the real identities of her tow new best friends. Of course, it's plainly obvious that it's two men dressed in women's clothing. There's not the convincing get up like Hoffman's Tootsie or Williams' Mrs Doubtfire here - it's pure wig, dress, heels and a bit of lippy, and putting on a higher more feminine voice. In a way, that's what makes it so entertaining. We know they're really men, but no one else does, despite it being obvious. Wilder does this very cleverly, and it merely adds to the overall enjoyment.
Some Like It Hot is a brilliant comedy, with great acting and direction and is the sort of film I'd happily watch multiple times. My wife has seen it loads, and was just as entertained when we watched it together the other month. No doubt we'll do the same again at some point. It's just one of those timeless comedies that can brighten up any day. Recommended.
One of the best comedy gems ever created, Some Like it Hot is surely the comedy by which nearly all other comedies are now measured because it's so good and is so original.
Written by comedy team Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond, and directed by Wilder himself, this was filmed in 1959 and starts Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Maralyn Monroe with fabulous support from George Raft and Joe E. Brown
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis star as Jerry and Joe, two struggling musicians who are able to get away from a police raid, only to wind up witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre first hand when they go to pick up a car. Again able to get away, they realize that they Gangs will come after them so they take a job in a band that is travelling to Florida, only to discover that the band is all female.
However, after seeing a newspaper headline that talks about the 'witnesses at the massacre', they make a decision that they will both dress up as women and join the band.
Immediately arriving at the station to get on the train, they are both dressed up as women, but are struggling to cope with the clothing. At that point, both see 'Sugar' (Maralyn Moneroe) and both are initially memorized, particularly Jerry. They get on the train and travel to Florida, both getting to know Sugar as they do.
Arriving in Florida, they continue to move forward with the band and perform with them. By this time, Jerry isn't so interested in Sugar anymore, but Joe is because he's got to know he so well. So Jerry pulls back from her, only to end up being chased by an old oil tycoon called Osgood Fielding III. Joe continues to pursue Sugar.
Unfortunately, The Mafia have a convention (The 'Friends of the Italian Opera) in Florida, and soon those that can recognize Joe and Jerry come to Florida as well.
So being dressed up as woman, one having fallen in love and the other being chased by a tycoon and the Mafia arriving, Joe and Jerry have to make come clever choices, leading to one of the best and funniest climaxes in film comedy.
This really is a sparkling jewel of comedy. The idea is brilliant, and both Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are on superb form. Maralyn Monroe adds for some wonderful support as Sugar. But the man who really steals this is Joe E. Brown as Osgood, the dirty old man. Nothing in this film is boring, and it really flies along with some classic and memorable lines.
Although I'd certainly watched "Some Like It Hot" at some part of my short life, I'd never really knowingly watched it so this time decided to see what all the fuss was about this hit comedy from 1959 starring the glamorous Marilyn Monroe and cheeky Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.
A rather risque storyline is pulled off superbly by silly but convincing acting, the story revolves around two male band members that witness the Valentine's Day Massacre and seek to flee Chicago to avoid death at the hands of Spats Colombo, they opt to dress up as women and join a female band that is heading for Florida.
The main entertaining factors in this are down to two things: Will they get caught and will people find out they are not girls? Throw in the odd situations they find themselves in with the girls who think they are girls too, the men who fancy their chances with them and the general antics of the pair who are frustrated with their new looks. Part of the reason it works so well is the viewer knows that they are in drag but the other characters in the film don't.
Perhaps the best part of this film is when Tony Curtis takes on a 3rd personality in the film and starts to woo the band's lead singer, Sugar Kane and Daphne's relationship with wealth, desperate and relentless Osgood Fielding the 3rd heats up!
The film has such a happy ending, not quite what you'd expect but definitely appropriate for such a silly but enjoyable film, the kind of film that reminds you not to take life to seriously!!
Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis amaze me. While it's not the pinnacle of their acting careers (for Lemon that would come with the sublime Glengarry Glen Ross), it made sure that their names would never be forgotten, immortalised for their gender-bending performances during a time in which to do such was very controversial. This is not only another robust comedy from Billy Wilder, but a sterling examination of gender roles, and a film totally elevated by its star power, perhaps thanks to no one more than Marilyn Monroe.
Lemmon is Joe, and Curtis is Jerry, two men who ultimately wind up cross-dressing as female personas in the wake of some of the terrible gangster violence that has occurred nearby (although thankfully this isn't focused upon so as to make the film's tone lopsided). Jerry also impersonates another person in order to attempt to get with the luscious Sugar Kane, who is played by Monroe.
This film may be the best instance of the screwball comedy, as things build more and more absurdly to a hilarious climax. It rests a lot on the fact that the audience knows who Joe and Jerry really are when they dress up as women, and it's a trick that's been replicated many times since, but never as successfully. It also ratchets up the humour with some pretty daring jokes for the time, which has no doubt helped it remain in the cultural consciousness.
I'm not a big musical fan in general, so some of the song numbers aren't the best they could be, but overall it's hard to fight against the film's persuasive power. It is a charismatic, fast moving, and hilarious film that makes the best of its three leads, and ensures that they will never be forgotten.
This is such a great film, you can always depend on it to make you laugh out loud, even if you're miserable, whatever your age!
Directed by Billy Wilder, the film, starring Mailyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, may have been released on MGM in 1956, and may be in black and white, however, this is one of the most fun and metaphorically colourful films ever!
Set in the 1920s America, the time of the prohibition of alcohol, gangsters and jazz, the film basically follows two male musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), who find themselves struggling finicially, and, being some how always in the middle of any chaos, manage to stumble across a gang shooting in a garage while simlpy trying to put fuel in their car!
They are then wanted men; as the witness to this crime, the gang wish to hunt them down in order to silence them. Therefore, Joe and Jerry decide they need to leave town quickley! However, visiting their manager, the only gig available is one which needs a sax and a double bass (which Joe and Jerry play respectively) and leaves Chicago for sunny Florida - perfect! There's one problem though...it's a women only band!
However, in desperation, Joe presuades Jerry to glam up and join the band, and together, they must fool everyone into thinking that they too are women. Things are going well for them; they manage (with difficulty) to walk in high heels (this brings a new-found respect for women!), they have the make-up and the hair, they even adopt feminine voices and adopting new names. Joe becomes Josephine and Jerry becomes obviously, Daphne!?
However, things get a little complicated along the way when the guys meet Sugar (Marilyn Monroe). Of course they both take a shine to her, however, it is Joe, who creates an alter-ego of a millionaire with a yacht, who wins Sugar's heart, while Daphne wins the heart of real Millionaire, Osgood Fielding III. With things already complicated, things get much worse when they bump into the mob which they were trying to escape!
It's an interesting trip to Florida then! But a true comedy classic, everyone finishes up smiling!
Jack Lemmon is just amazing in this film, soooo funny, and Tony Curtis and Marilyn are also perfect choices for their roles, which makes for a great cast and great acting.
This film, now over 50 years old, will never really age, because it's sweet and innocent and funny and just wholesome really! There's nothing nasty in it, which makes it a nice safe film which is ideal surely for every film collection.
Jerry: "I feel like everyone is staring at me."
Joe: "With those legs, are you kidding?"
Sugar: "The story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."
Daphne: "Better have a drink first.
Sugar: "That'll put hair on your chest."
Daphne: "No fair guessing."
Jerry: "Now you've done it!"
Joe: "Done what?"
Jerry: "You tore off one of my chests!"
Jerry: "Osgood, you don't understand! We can't get married at all... I'm a man."
Osgood: "Well, nobody's perfect."
Rated PG, the film runs for approximately 1 hour and 57 mintues and can currently be bought from HMV for for £4.99 and Amazon for £4.18 - worth every penny because you'll probably watch it over and over again!
My wife loves this film, and while I had heard of it I was never drawn to watching it. Sometimes I can be a bit of a "boy", in that if it sounds girly then I will avoid it. However, my wife insisted that we watch this film and so one holiday away in Scotland we did. What did I think, well read on to find out!
To set the scene, We are in Chicago at the time when the mob ruled. Joe and Jerry are to musicians that accidentally see the shooting of someone the mob didnt want around any more. Realising they need to disappear quickly before they are made to disappear forever, they board a southbound train to Florida. To really hide away they disguise themselves as Josephine and Daphne, the two newest members of an all girl jazz band. The disguise couldnt be better until a singer falls for "Josephine and an a-typical playboy falls for "Daphne".
As I was not expecting much from this film which I couldn't believe it when I found out that this film was nominated for 6 Acadamy Awards and was a winner for costumes. This peaked my interest and I have to say that I was not disappointed. If your expecting something similar to Nun's on the Run or something like that where a man disguises himself as a woman and comedy ensues, then that would be a good starting point. However, in my mind this film was the original of that film and blows the others out of the water.
Just because I wanted to prove my wife wrong and hate this film, I was trying hard not to laugh, but I found it almost impossible to resist some of the scenes are sheer genius. I now know why this film has acheived classic status and rightly deserved.
The boys/girls are played by Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis and are fantastic in these roles. The chemistry between them makes you instantly believe that they have been friends for years. Marilyn Monroe also stars and very often steals the scene but not in a bad way.
The director is Billy Wilder who also directed Sunset Boulevard, and with this film he has not only created a funny satire with some classic one liners but perhaps a very original film comedie that other directors have tried to recreate only to fall short of this masterpiece.
I have looked around and currently Amazon are offering this film for £2.29, however, for those of you that dont want to wait for delivery I picked my copy up for only £3 in HMV. You don't get any special bonus features other than the original trailer, however at 1hr 57mins, £3 is a small price to pay for an excellent addition to your DVD collection.
This film is amazing! The dialogue alone is outstanding but factor in the great performances, comedy, interesting fast paced story and great chemistry between characters as well and you have one fantastic film!
Two out of work musicians take a job in Florida to escape from some gangsters they saw massacre a group of men, the problem is they have to pretend to be women!
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis provide excellent performances both as men and women. There is great on screen banter between them that is truly hilarious. Monroe as well is at her sugariest best as the gold digging singer of the all girl band. And then of course there's the besotted Osgood Fielding, who falls for Jack Lemmon into drag, and almost manages to convince him that he really is a girl!
This film has stood the test of time and is just as entertaining now as it was upon release. Some people may be put off by it being black and white but it is such a clever and well-written film that colour is really not an issue.
The dialogue is very memorable, this is definitely one of the best films I've ever seen for dialogue, nothing is clichéd, its just comedy genius throughout.
"Some like it hot " may be the perfect film. It certainly features in the lists of any right thinking film buff - so why do I get so many blank stares when I cite this as one of my top ten? Has a 1959 classic really been forgotten in favour of Adam Sandler movies? You might think so, judging from conversation with the average twenty something in the street.
Briefly, the plot; It is 1929, and Joe and Jerry are two musicians living in Chicago. Unfortunately they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and witness the famous St Valentine's day Massacre. On the run from mobsters who are not going to give up the chase, they need to get out of town fast. Luckily there is an orchestra with a couple of vacant spots and it's heading to Florida. Perfect! Except it's an all girl band.
Well, what would you do?
Joe and Jerry are reborn as "Josphine" and "Daphne," and are soon firm friends with all the ladies in their new ensemble - especially with the aptly named Sugar Kane. (Marilyn Monroe) .She's all curves, big eyes and whispery voice, but somehow her vibe is more innocent child than femme fatale - she truly isn't aware of the effect she has on men (even when tottering along on her heels - "Like jell-o on springs.")
Under the watchful eye of the band leader "Sweet Sue" the two boys both try to charm their way into her affections. But what's the use, when she thinks you're a girl?! Maybe these "ladies" will have to settle for what they can get - a couple of gossip sessions and an alcoholic slumber party.
Joe comes up with the idea of having an alter ego - a millionaire whose pronunciation is suspiciously close to Cary Grant's (Tony Curtis starred with him in Operation Petticoat, also released in 1959). "Junior" is so lonely, he needs a woman to make him feel alive again, and the wide-eyed Sugar is swept away by her new beau. Meanwhile Jerry is starting to identify a little too closely with his new feminine persona, resulting in some hot dates with the irrepressible Osgood (Joe E. Brown).
If all this isn't complicated enough, it seems the gangsters haven't yet given up the hunt.... will the cover be blown?
There is no way to describe this film that will do it justice. It's probably Marilyn's best film, although Billy Wilder (director) was in no hurry to work with her again, as she was routinely late, refused to come onto the set, or fluffed her lines. It's a testament to Tony Curtis' and Jack Lemmon's acting skills and professionalism that their performances are flawless - as presumably after the 20th take, the one Marilyn got right would be the one to get printed. (This might also go some way to explaining where that "Kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler" quote came from.)
Despite being made in 1959, the film is black and white - ostensibly because the drag makeup looked "too garish" in colour, although Billy Wilder has since admitted that he simply preferred the look of black and white. I'd say it also helps to keep the film in its 1920s gangster setting - watch out for George Raft playing the classic tough guy, Spats.
This film moves so fast it will take several viewings to get all the jokes - I would quote more lines here, but frankly, it's the way they tell 'em. The action and dialogue both move at a whip cracking pace.
Tony Curtis convincing Sugar that he "feels nothing" in the hope she will try to prove otherwise, Jack Lemon and Joe E. Brown dancing a passionate tango, Marilyn Monroe at her most buxom and sugar-voiced (she sings, too!) and some of the most classic lines in movie history - if you haven't seen his film, you NEED to.
Watch it twenty times, and it will make you want to burn down your local blockbuster. They truly don't make them like this anymore.
'Some Like It Hot' - everything about it seems to have perfectly synchronized – cast, script, and direction - to create a flawless film. The performances by Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are priceless and can be enjoyed again and again. The dialogue is so fast and sharp that it demands to be watched more than once to appreciate fully the verbal comedy. I have watched this film countless times and each time it makes me laugh and makes me feel real delight and every time I watch it I am struck by how perfect it is. It is a fast comedy of the Hollywood 'screwball comedy' genre but Billy Wilder (director) and the cast constantly push at the boundaries of 1950s Hollywood prudishness and the whole film is a play on gender and sexuality with its cross-dressing and gender confusion. It also satirizes Hollywood's tendency to type-cast and its conception of female and male roles which seem to have been set in concrete at the time. For me, it remains the best satire of gender on film – it is so playful in a truly modern way. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are two unemployed jazz musicians who witness the St Valentine's Day massacre perpetrated by Spats Colombo (George Raft) and his gang. Joe and Jerry are so terrified that they become women – Joe becomes Josephine and Jerry becomes Daphne. They flee Chicago and the pursuing gangsters by joining an all-girl jazz band, 'Sweet Sue's Society Syncopaters', who are traveling by train to Florida for a summer booking. To keep their jobs Joe and Jerry strive to maintain their female identities. They meet Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), the love-weary, slightly nihilistic lead singer of the band who constantly challenges Sweet Sue's prohibitions about booze and staying up all night. By the time the band arrives in Florida Daphne/Jerry and Josephine/Joe have become good friends with Sugar, but complications ensue as Jose
phine/Joe becomes attracted to Sugar. As Josephine/Joe devises ways to woo Sugar, Daphne/Jerry begins to receive the attentions of millionaire Osgood E. Fielding III (played by Joe E. Brown). To meet Sugar's hopes of the ideal man, Josephine/Joe adopts another persona as 'Captain Shell' who is rich, bespectacled, shy and embarrassingly inexperienced with women. The opportunistic Josephine/Joe takes advantage of Daphne/Jerry and her admirer to use the millionaire's gifts and yacht to continue the wooing of Sugar. As the gender confusion spins out, Spats and co. arrive at the hotel for a 'Lovers of Italian Opera' convention – the denouement is pure bliss with the best punch-line in the history of cinema. What makes 'Some Like It Hot' so special and funny is not only its playfulness with the cross-dressing Joe and Jerry but the way it also plays with the screen personas of Monroe, Curtis, Lemmon, and Cary Grant for good measure. Curtis camps up his 'Brooklyn Romeo' screen persona as the hot-blooded saxophonist Joe and gives a fantastic caricature of Cary Grant when he adopts the 'Captain Shell' character to pursue Sugar. Lemmon takes shots at his 'New York Neurotic' screen persona both as Jerry and as the clucking-hen Daphne. But it is Monroe's screen persona which is really taken to pieces in the part of 'Sugar Kane'. The part was specially written for Monroe by Billy Wilder and I.A.L Diamond and with it they and Monroe completely satirize the burgeoning Hollywood and public perception of Monroe as a slightly tragic, dizzy dumb-blonde sex goddess. For me, Monroe gives her best screen performance which is at once sensitive, tragic, emotional and also incredibly funny. Monroe camps it up as 'herself' or rather as the iconic image of herself that was under construction at the time – an image which persists today. Wilder, through his script and direction,
completely succeeds in drawing out her sense of humour and commented that “she was an absolute genius as a comic actress with an extraordinary sense for comic dialogue“. Monroe's playfulness seemed to backfire on her, however – the film amplified and calcified the Monroe sex icon myth, she commented later about the film: “That's it! I'm stuck. I'm a dumb blonde for ever now. I've ruined everything for myself“ – her own sense of fun and comedy contributed to the cage that Monroe as an actress became trapped in. But Monroe's performance as Sugar should settle any lingering doubts about her giftedness – her genius lay in convincing you that the part she was playing was 'her' in an unselfconscious and natural way. The satire on Hollywood's type-casting and stereotyping of male and female roles in 'Some Like It Hot' is delicious and showcases Wilder's scriptwriting ability. Whilst Joe (Tony Curtis) struggles to make a successful transition to become Josephine, Jerry clearly relishes the opportunity and embraces womanhood announcing to the girl band “Hi girls! Just call me Daphne!“ In Greek mythology, the nymph Daphne permanently transformed herself into a laurel tree to escape the attentions of Apollo. In 'Some Like It Hot', Daphne/Jerry becomes increasingly reluctant to relinquish her female persona culminating in the fantastic scene between Daphne and Osgood E. Fielding III which is the highlight of the film. Being Jospehine does give Joe greater insight into women and in his role as confidante to Sugar he becomes more sensitive. It is sensitivity with a twist though - as Sugar sings a heart-felt rendition of “I'm Through With Love“, Josephine approaches the stage and passionately kisses Sugar whispering to her “None of that Sugar, no guy is worth it“. It is the best screen kiss since Marlene Dietrich snogged her
female onlooker in 'Morocco'. The pace and rhythm of 'Some Like It Hot' is amazing – it never misses a beat. Every set piece - from the train scene, the Lovers of Italian Opera scene, the night-club scene with Daphne's dancing, to the Daphne and Osgood scene – is played to perfection. 'Some Like It Hot' is the apotheosis of screen comedy and has been paid homage to and referenced in films since. 'Con Air' in particular owes a huge debt to 'Some Like It Hot' with its biting of the hand that feeds it, its p***-take of action films and with John Malkovich and John Cusack camping it up and obviously enjoying satirizing their own screen personas. Buying a copy of 'Some Like It Hot' is a sound investment, it is guaranteed to bring enjoyment with each viewing.
Read any professional film critic’s Top 10 All Time Favourite Films, and I guarantee you that Some Like it Hot will be in there somewhere. Indeed it recently came in at number 5 in FilmFour’s All Time Top 100. It was the only out-and-out comedy in the entire Top 20, and one of very few black and white movies in the whole list. So what is it about this 1959 film that makes it such an enduring classic? The Stars Some Like it Hot stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, three of the biggest actors of the day who have all received loads of critical acclaim for their lives’ work. The Director SLIH was directed by Billy Wilder, veteran of other classics in different genres such as Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, The Apartment and The Seven Year Itch. A master of timing whether he was making suspense or comedy, Wilder was at his absolute best on this film and keeps up a relentless pace. Gags – both visual and spoken – come thick and fast, thanks both to the direction and the sparkling script which Wilder co-wrote. The Plot Lemmon and Curtis are two violin players who witness the St Valentine’s Day Massacre. On the run from the mob, they dress up as women and join an all-girl band in a rich holiday hotel. Along the way Curtis falls for Marilyn Monroe – Sugar, the band’s singer – and Lemmon gets to like being a girl a little too much, half-falling for a rich old man called Osgood in the process. Much of the plot and comic suspense derives from the will-they-won’t-they get found out theme, and there are plenty of moments when they almost do. This movie played with cross-dressing and gender identity at a time when to treat it seriously would have been strictly taboo. It was a groundbreaker in bringing the issue into the public domain, even if it was playing strictly for laughs. At the film’s end, the m
ob reappear at the hotel for their annual conference and Lemmon and Curtis are unmasked, leading to a fantastic and hilarious ‘chase’ through rooms, under tables and down drainpipes. The Performances Lemmon and Curtis are impeccable. Their attempts at femininity, their timing and their facial expressions are hilarious. They do not waste one single line or shot. Lemmon’s increasing relaxation into the female persona is a joy, and the dance scene with him and Osgood never fails to get me giggling. In contrast, Curtis’s detestation of his own ‘feminine side’ is equally engrossing. The scenes between him and Lemmon arguing over gender issues are fantastic. Witness also Curtis’s other persona in the film, masquerading as a rich playboy wooing Marilyn to his yacht. It’s pure Cary Grant and absolutely brilliant. And now to Marilyn. For me it’s her finest performance ever. Cute, ditzy, but also sharp as a knife and worldly-wise and melancholy, she squeezes every ounce of humour and pathos out of her lines. Mention must be made too of Joe E Brown as Osgood, a deliciously flirtatious and passionate woman-hunter who sets his sights on Lemmon and delivers the best line ever to end a film. (Though I won’t tell you what it is!) The Gossip As much has been written of the events surrounding the film as of the film itself. First there is Curtis’s famous remark that kissing Monroe was ‘like kissing Hitler’. Then there are the tales of the troubled, chubby Marilyn (who may or may not have been pregnant and miscarried during or just after filming). They never knew from one day to the next whether she would turn up or not. And when she did, she might not emerge from her trailer all day. Clothes didn’t fit, she drank, she cried. All of this adds to the mythology that now surrounds this movie.
Conclusion Nothing worth doing is ever easy, and legend has it that making this film was a nightmare. But was it worth it! There are no special effects. There is not even colour. There is just a cracking script, a top-notch director, a terrific story and three masterful actors. Recently voted by the American Film Institute as the Best Comedy of the Century, Some Like it Hot is a consistently funny, sharp, witty and unique satire that has never been surpassed for sheer class.
This film is the best film of all time! It is absolutely hilarious, extremely entertaining. The main stars are Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon who play some musicians who are in need of a job, run into some gangsters while witnessing a killing. Two of them decide that the only way out is to get a job far away, Florida to be precise, however this is no ordinary band; it is a female blond only band. So they dress up as women and go through with the charade, this is where they meet Sugar, played by Marilyn Monroe, who is the classic Monroe part, the ditzy blond. To find out what happens in this classic comical film you have to watch it for yourself. This is my favourite film and I have watched it to many times to count, it is one of those films that no mater how many times you watch it, the laughter never ends.
aka "Not tonight Josephine!" Stars: Marilyn Monroe (Sugar Kane (Kowalczyk)) Jack Lemmon, (Jerry/Daphne) Tony Curtis (Joe/Josephine) Directed by Billy Wilder (the man responsible for one of my other all time favourites – Double Indemnity (1944)) Some Like It Hot is a film *everyone* should see, and the sooner the better. I have spoken to people who have seen it (it was re-released in selected cinemas recently) who can’t believe they have not watched it before now. This has got to be one of the best films of all time, well one of the most original anyway, and I’m about to tell you why… Well I’ll begin at the beginning, seeing as that is probably the best place to start. Jack Lemmon (Jerry) and Tony Curtis (Joe) play two jazz musicians looking for work in Chicago, who mistakenly witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. They have to get out of town fast, and preferably undercover, and so get in touch with their agent to try and arrange a gig away from Chicago. The boys overhear a conversation between their agent and someone on the telephone who wants a Saxophone player and a Bass player for a band travelling to Florida. Joe and Jerry are immediately enthusiastic, as well as desperate to get out of town, and jump at the chance without knowing the terms and conditions of contract, these being, that they have to be women, as it is an all-girl band! This is the main source of humour throughout the film, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women, and all the associated “readjusting of boobs” and straightening the seams of their tights, and having their wigs on the right way around etc… Monroe as always looks fantastic, and at one point is wearing a dress on stage whilst playing in the band, which almost looks as if she is topless! She has the dumb blonde role yet again, but plays it perfectly. She is bubbly and voluptuous, and an instant attraction for
her leading men, although Tony Curtis did say those famous words of her after this film, that: “Kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler”. She is wonderfully flirtatious, and her voice is incredibly sexy, as well as her magnificent ukulele playing *wink wink*. The cross-dressing humour is just one of the aspects which makes this movie so funny the other, is the casting. Jack Lemmon is one of my favourite actors of all time, and he is just fantastic as “Daphne”. The humour created between the shenanigans of Lemmon and Curtis is nothing short of brilliance! They are a perfect double act, virtually laying the foundations for Lemmon’s Felix Unger in 1968s The Odd Couple in which he starred with the late Walter Matthau. A lot of the confusion occurs when Tony Curtis’ character develops an attraction to Sugar, but, being as he is “supposed” to be a woman, and Sugar’s friend at that, he cannot make a move, and instead, has to dress up yet again, as the rich captain of a mooring yacht in order to attract Sugar’s attention. One of the best scenes is when the girl band are travelling on the train, and Jerry/Daphne decides to have a party in her (his) quarters of the train to entice Sugar to join him, and eventually *all* the girls turn up, and try and cram themselves into the tiny bunk bed space. This has to set the record for the most people in a bunk bed, on a moving train, on film. Some Like It Hot does so much better than so many of those fifties sex comedies. It is genuinely funny, and cute, and incredibly watchable. There are pretty dolls, funny guys, funny dolls that are guys, the occasional mobster, and some great acting by Lemmon and Curtis. Monroe is every bit the sex icon in this film, with her breathless seductive voice, platinum hair and shimmery dresses, she makes the ultimate focus for her male leads. However, despite Curtis’ rumoured “Hitler” reference to h
er, this was only part of her problems on set. Apparently, she had notorious difficulties just reading simple lines, one in particular being “Where’s the bourbon?”, which Director Billy Wilder had to tape to the inside of a draw, so that Marilyn could remember it! Interestingly, Monroe’s character is particularly attracted by “a man with glasses”, and this was one of the reasons she was attracted to playwright Arthur Miller in real life. A classic film, which has been given the credit it deserves (and an albeit brief cinema re-release!). It has a terrific soundtrack, with Marilyn’s superb voice - “I Wanna Be Loved By You”, “I’m Through With Love”, and lots of hairy jazz, terrifically magnetic characters, and ridiculously funny situations. Go and watch it now! Classic Quotes: Daphne/Jerry: Have I got things to tell you! I am engaged! Josephine/Joe: Who is the lucky girl? Daphne/Jerry: I am! Sugar Kane: It's the story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Josephine/Joe: But you're not a girl, you're a guy! And why would a guy want to marry a guy? Daphne/Jerry: Security!
Maybe "nobody's perfect", as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy". Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behaviour. The results, however, are sublime. --Robert Horton