Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot

4.8 36
Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon


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The launching pad for Billy Wilder's comedy classic was a rusty old German farce, Fanfares of Love, whose two main characters were male musicians so desperate to get a job that they disguise themselves as women and play with an all-girl band in gangster-dominated 1929 Chicago. In this version, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) lose their jobsSee more details below


The launching pad for Billy Wilder's comedy classic was a rusty old German farce, Fanfares of Love, whose two main characters were male musicians so desperate to get a job that they disguise themselves as women and play with an all-girl band in gangster-dominated 1929 Chicago. In this version, musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) lose their jobs when a speakeasy owned by mob boss Spats Columbo (George Raft) is raided by prohibition agent Mulligan (Pat O'Brien). Several weeks later, on February 14th, Joe and Jerry get a job perfroming in Urbana and end up witnessing a gangland massacre in a parking garage. Fearing that they will be next on the mobsters' hit lists, Joe devises an ingenious plan for disguising their identities. Soon they are all dolled up and performing as Josephine and Daphne in Sweet Sue's all-girl orchestra. En route to Florida by train with Sweet Sue's band, the boys (girls?) make the acquaintance of Sue's lead singer Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe, in what may be her best performance). Joe and Jerry immediately fall in love, though of course their new feminine identities prevent them from acting on their desires. Still, they are determined to woo her, and they enact an elaborate series of gender-bending ruses complicated by the fact that flirtatious millionaire Osgood Fielding (Joe E. Brown) has fallen in love with "Daphne." The plot gets even thicker when Spats Columbo and his boys show up in Florida. Nominated for several Oscars, Some Like It Hot ended up the biggest moneymaking comedy up to 1959. Full of hilarious set pieces and movie in-jokes, it has not tarnished with time and in fact seems to get better with each passing year, as its cross-dressing humor keeps it only more and more up-to-date.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Billy Wilder's legendary cross-dressing comedy, Some Like It Hot, satisfies on split levels: silly and sophisticated, sweet and salacious, feminine and masculine -- often, all of these at once. Set in 1929, the film costars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as a pair of down-and-out Chicago musicians trying to escape the wrath of vicious gangsters. Posing as women, they sign on for an all-girl gig in Florida, where they both fall for the act's sexy lounge singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe). Lemmon's classic observation about Monroe, that she moves "like Jell-O on springs," is just the tip of the iceberg here. Some Like It Hot's snappy, sexually charged dialogue never lets up. But the movie’s more than just talk: Wilder displays storytelling virtuosity, unfolding his madcap tale at a giddy pace through a series of endless twists and turns. Yet, through it all, the characters and situations are realized with a clarity on the order of a Shakespearean comedy. Some deliberate male-female stereotyping early on yields quickly to subtle, urbane explorations of sexuality and sexual roles. Lemmon and Curtis prove to be perfect matches for this material, sliding in and out of drag and female personae with ease, with Curtis indulging in a sly Cary Grant caricature to boot. Monroe, meanwhile, is at her most vulnerable and voluptuous, serving as the explosive catalyst in one of the screen's greatest love triangles. Add to this Monroe's breathy renditions of "I'm Through with Love" and "I Wanna be Loved by You," and it's easy to see why Some Like It Hot is one of the most beloved comedies ever to come out of Hollywood. They don't make them better than this.
All Movie Guide
Possibly the best cross-dressing film of all time, Some Like It Hot is a testament to both the humor of hairy men in heels and Billy Wilder's ability to stretch a one-joke premise into a two-hour film. Still hilarious after all these years, Some Like It Hot was remarkably ahead of its time, providing both timeless laughs and sly gender commentary. The film also stands out as a classic example of the heights to which all-out farce can aspire, achieving an uncontrived giddiness through both plot manipulation and the finely tuned work of its performers. As the film's reluctantly dragged-up musicians, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis give almost flawless fish-out-of-water performances. Their frustrated befuddlement when confronted with the terrors of walking in heels or adjusting fake breasts still feels fresh and unforced, unlike the self-conscious posturing of other actors in subsequent drag films. As the aptly named Sugar Kane, Marilyn Monroe is at her bubble-headed, sexy best, her voluptuous sensuality providing a perfect foil for Lemmon and Curtis. One of Wilder's best films, Some Like It Hot retains its intergenerational appeal, proving that under the frothy icing of 1950s sex comedies lurked some very dense cake. Some Like It Hot remains one of the few films that can still make drag seem a novel and innovative subject.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio commentary featuring an interview with Tony Curtis, archived interview with Jack Lemmon and commentary by Paul Diamond (son of I.A.L. Diamond) and screenwriters Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel ; The making of Some Like It Hot ; The legacy of Some Like It Hot ; Nostalgic look back documentary ; Memories from the Sweet Sues featurette; Virtual hall of memories ; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marilyn Monroe Sugar Kane
Tony Curtis Joe/Josephine
Jack Lemmon Jerry/Daphne
George Raft Spats Columbo
Pat O'Brien Mulligan
Joe E. Brown Osgood E. Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff Little Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee Sweet Sue
Billy Gray Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone Toothpick Charlie
Dave Barry Beinstock
Harry Wilson Spats's Henchman
Beverly Wills Dolores
Edward G. Robinson Johnny Paradise
John Indrisano Waiter
Tom Kennedy Bouncer
Grace Lee Whitney Actor
Mike Mazurki Spats' Henchman
Marian Collier Olga

Technical Credits
Billy Wilder Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Edward Boyle Set Decoration/Design
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
I.A.L. Diamond Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Doane Harrison Associate Producer
Edward S. Haworth Art Director
Charles B. Lang Cinematographer
Fred Lau Sound/Sound Designer
Emile LaVigne Makeup
Sam Nelson Asst. Director
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Milt Rice Costumes/Costume Designer,Special Effects
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
Allen K. Wood Production Manager

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