When two Chicago musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness the the St. Valentine's Day massacre, they want to get out of town and get away from the gangster responsible, Spats Colombo. They're desperate to get a gig out of town but the only job they know of is in an all-girl band heading to Florida. They show up at the train station as Josephine and Daphne, the replacement saxophone and bass players. They certainly enjoy being around the girls, especially Sugar Kane Kowalczyk who sings and plays the ukulele. Joe in particular sets out to woo her while Jerry/Daphne is wooed by a millionaire, Osgood Fielding III. Mayhem ensues as the two men try to keep their true identities hidden and Spats Colombo and his crew show up for a meeting with several other crime lords. Written by
Marilyn Monroe required 47 takes to get "It's me, Sugar" correct, instead saying either "Sugar, it's me" or "It's Sugar, me". After take 30, Billy Wilder had the line written on a blackboard. Another scene required Monroe to rummage through some drawers and say "Where's the bourbon?" After 40 takes of her saying "Where's the whiskey?", 'Where's the bottle?", or "Where's the bonbon?", Wilder pasted the correct line in one of the drawers. After Monroe became confused about which drawer contained the line, Wilder had it pasted in every drawer. Fifty-nine takes were required for this scene and when she finally does say it, she has her back to the camera, leading some to wonder if Wilder finally gave up and had it dubbed. See more »
During the opening chase, the police zip by a Chevron gas station. Chevron was known as Standard Oil in 1929. See more »
What Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis do in "Some Like it Hot" would be par for the course in modern movies every other month, similar fish-out-of-water movies premiere with men posing as women ("Tootsie"), women posing as men ("The Associate"), black people posing as white people ("White Chicks"), and on and on. What makes "Some Like it Hot" different is two things: the strength of its comedy, and the presence of Marilyn Monroe, then at the height of stardom.
Lemmon and Curtis turn in admirable performances both as Joe and Jerry, and as Josephine and Daphne. Tony Curtis does Lemmon one better by creating a third identity, "Junior", in order to woo Sugar Kane (Monroe).
Tying the pair's story into the Chicago Valentine's Day Massacre, where a gang war spilled over into a parking garage, leaving a number of people lined up against the wall and shot, is a deft touch (though the serious tone of these gang sequences contrasts sharply with the bulk of the movie).
The movie does an excellent job building the far-fetched stakes of the movie ever-higher, from their finding refuge from vengeful gangs in a women's jazz band, to their showdown in the Florida hotel, to the eventual revealing of Curtis' and Lemmon's identities. The movie's surprisingly suggestive and risque content is at odds with the time frame of the movie, and even with the period of the movie's creation. The many smart double-entendres and plays on words are very well-written, and alternate between lowbrow and highbrow comedy,
The films only fault might be a couple of overlong musical numbers, performed either by the whole band or soloed by Sugar Kane. Though to be expected in a Marilyn Monroe film, these musical acts are literal "show stoppers" that bring the comedic momentum of the film to a screeching halt. However, it is easy to over look these minor defects in the movie as a whole, because by and large it is quite funny no wonder it s considered a classic and after all, "nobody's perfect".
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