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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some Like It Hot is a retelling of a West German tale titled Fanfaren
der Liebe (1951) (Fanfares of Love) beautifully directed by Billy
Wilder with an all-star cast including the eternal beauty of Marilyn
Monroe, and comedy styling's of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. With a
central prolific theme that has been told more than once and yet is
just as prevalent today as it ever was or will be: What we want and
what we need are often two separate things. However, under the
expertise of Wilder, the pure star quality of cast and crew shine out
all the more. The gags come thick and fast with almost every sequence
either a set up for the next gag or a gag in the making. Some Like It
Hot is a tale that begins with a bitterly cold February in Chicago
1929, which two musicians find themselves on the run from the mob,
after witnessing the Saint Valentines Massacre. Our intrepid hero's Joe
(Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) disguise themselves as female
musicians Josephine (Curtis) and Daphne (Lemmon), and join an all-girl
orchestra bound for Miami.
Leaving behind a bitter Chicago winter, they meet the intoxicating Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe), which Jerry remarks "Look how she moves. Like Jell-O on springs. She must have some sort of built-in motor. I tell you, it's a whole different sex."(Jack Lemmon Some Like It Hot 1959) Henceforth comedy ensues with the gags coming thick and fast, lightening reflexes with the dialogue between Joe, Jack and Sugar and perfect comedic timing between them.
A testament to all that is womanhood, has yet to be a finer than Marilyn Monroe, seemingly poured into the gowns lovingly crafted by Australian costume designer Orry-Kelly, with neck lines and translucent qualities that would even have the censors of today raising eyebrows. With her classic solo of "I Wanna Be Loved by You." Albeit Marilyn does not have the best singing voice, which is superfluous when one considers the situation, a pretty girl standing in front of an orchestra and singing a song. Monroe and Wilder turn it into one of the most blatantly sexual scenes in the movies.
Monroe wears a clinging, see-through dress, gauze covering the upper slopes of her breasts, the neckline scooping to a censor's eyebrow north of trouble. Wilder places her in the centre of a round spotlight that does not simply illuminate her from the waist up, but toys with her like a secondary neckline, dipping and clinging as Monroe moves her body higher and lower in the light with teasing precision.
All the time Monroe seems oblivious to the effect of singing this song so innocently. To experience that scene is to affirm as to why no other actor since, male or female has more sexual chemistry with the camera.
Underneath all the frills, bold sexual symbolism, and gender bending, the movie is ultimately about Joe and Jerry (Curtis and Lemmon) with truly outstanding supporting characters like Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown) and Spats Colombo (George Raft). While Joe (Curtis) when not in drag introduces himself as the Shell Oil heir and wickedly parodies Cary Grant's unmistakable accent in brilliant fashion, so much so that when Daphne/Jerry (Lemmon) says accusingly "And where did you get that phoney accent? Nobody talks like that!" Jerry (Lemmon) gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop taking the selfless route and entertains a real millionaire whose yacht is being used by Joe (Curtis) in an attempt to seduce Sugar (Monroe). Daphne (Lemmon) is so unlike a real woman in mannerism as much as appearance that when real millionaire Osgood (Joe E. Brown) attempts to wine and dine him, it is hilarious that he cannot see behind Jerry's (Lemmon) disguise. With Osgood seducing Jerry (Lemmon) on the dance floor and Joe (Curtis) seducing Sugar (Monroe) on the yacht is both romantic and wickedly funny at the same time. The payoff happens during the following morning, when Joe returns to their room to find Jerry now engaged to Osgood. Keep an eye Jack Lemmon (Jerry/Daphne) during this scene; he is so energetic, so full of life, almost to the point of hamming it up with his castanets. Jerry/Daphne (Lemmon) is exquisite in this sequence. He is deliriously happy at finding his soul mate. He is so hilariously convincing that even when asked by Joe (Curtis), "Why would a guy want to marry a guy?" that we completely buy it when he answers, "Security!" Even though the violence in this gem of the silver screen is neither satire nor comedy but visceral and grim, which adds to the overall feel that the Hero's (Joe and Jerry) very lives are in peril and we joyously buy every gag and punch line that Billy Wilder expertly delivers to us. I do not believe I am alone in the opinion that Wilder was one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. Escaping Europe before World War II, Wilder set about commenting on the world around him with a sensibility and awareness seldom seen in cinema today. Yet he could create a film that, yes has a darker undertone of the mob's ruthlessness, but oh so wonderfully light hearted and romantic characters that once they realized what they wanted wasn't what they needed, and that they needed no pretence to attain what they desired. Simply put Some Like It Hot is one of those timeless classics that are just as relevant and amusing today as it was when it was released. It captured one of those great moments in movie-making, where a film no longer is a simple representative of its period, but has transcended itself to become something that is truly timeless. Osgood (Brown) delivers the best curtain line in the movies. If you have seen the movie, you know what it is, and if you have not, you deserve to hear it for the first time from him.
Greetings again from the darkness. Billy Wilder's classic was the
latest in the comedy series sponsored by Dallas Film Society and Dallas
Morning News. It is almost always ranked as one of the top comedy films
of all-time, and often the best ever. While that's a bit higher than I
would rank it, there is little doubt that it has earned its enduring
place in cinematic history. To fully understand the impact of the film,
it helps to remind yourself of the times ... it was filmed more than 50
years ago. What we might call tame today, was incredibly risqué and
daring for the times.
What really stands out while watching the film is just what an incredible screen presence Marilyn Monroe possessed. It is quite challenging to take your eyes off her during any of her scenes. I am at a loss to come up with any other actor or actress who even comes close to this level of camera-cornering. Greta Garbo and Marlon Brando were great, but Marilyn is transcendent while on screen. Of course, the reports of her personal issues are legendary. Supposedly on this film, she was constantly 2-3 hours late, couldn't remember her lines and had to be coddled by all involved. Still, the final product is stunning and director Billy Wilder understood that no other actress could be substituted. Sadly, Marilyn only made two more films and was dead 3 years after this film was released.
As wonderful as Marilyn is, this is really the story of Joe and Jerry, or Josephine and Daphne, or even Junior. Those five characters are all played with crackling comedy timing by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. Lemmon, as Daphne, is especially terrific as he tango's the night away with Osgood Fielding III (played by Joe E Brown). Curtis is at his best when courting Marilyn's Sugar Kane while sporting his Cary Grant impersonation and driving the boat backwards.
There are so many classic comedy moments in this film, and though it is based on a 1935 French farce titled Fanfare d'Amour, Wilder and his co-writer and frequent collaborator I.A.L. Diamond made it their own by adding the gangster story line. Seeing notorious movie bad guy George Raft tied to the 1929 Chicago St Valentine's Day Massacre adds a dimension that many writers/directors would be unable to handle. Instead, Wilder adds his frenetic dialogue and mixes in some wild double-entendre's, a touch of Marx Brothers, and the sensuous singing of Marilyn to deliver a world class comedy.
The Florida scenes were filmed at the historical Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, which remains a very popular resort location even today. Marilyn sings "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "I'm Through With Love" in such a way that her character's naivety adds a dimension that breaks the heart of Joe (Curtis) and mesmerizes the viewer. Billy Wilder is certainly one of the Hollywood giants and delivered such classics as Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Irma laDouce, and Witness for the Prosecution. His excellence spans numerous film genres, and we admire his patience and proficiency in juggling the issues required to pull off Some Like it Hot ... and avoid the fuzzy end of the lollipop.
I haven't seen a more perfect comedy and cast than this in a while.
Watching this in 2012 and I still find myself laughing my heads off. Thinking, "So this is comedy cross-dressing is supposed to be." (that is looking at you Big Momma and Tyler Perry) Ranked as the greatest American comedy by AFI (as at Oct 2012), the movie is a remake of a 1935 French movie, Fanfare d'Amour and was meant to be shut in color but as the makeup of both Curtis and Lemmon was obvious it was then shut in black and white.
Marilyn Monroe can carve a M in to a rock with her smile and her acting is so well done that you are intrigued to see her anytime. Monroe is known mostly as a sex icon, and this movie assisted in such claims as the dresses she wore were more too seductive to be classified as funny. To say she had the movie by the balls will be a statement men will agree to, when they are watching this flick.
The plot is about two male musicians who will do absolutely anything for money as they are constantly broke. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness a mobster performing his "executionary" duties. This made them run off while being shut at.
To hide from their pending death, they took a job as musicians in an all-girl band. So to fit in they shaved their legs, wore makeup and wore a dress to pass as women.
But things took a turn for the worse when Marilyn Monroe strolled by.
The film was awarded an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. It also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy. Marilyn Monroe won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy, and Jack Lemmon for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy.
Billy Wilder the director is one of only five people to have won Academy Awards as producer, director, and writer for the same film (The Apartment). Tony Curtis has been in over a 100 films and he is the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Lemmon is popular in these days as the actor in the movie Odd Couple.
Some Like It Hot, is a movie I advise you watch over and over again. Like the last line of the movie goes "Nobody is perfect" I say I'm not the perfect comedy judge but I wanna know if you agree with me.
Having just enjoyed last year's 'My Week with Marilyn', where Michelle
Williams plays Marilyn Monroe, the epilogue says that Some Like It Hot
was her next film and how it was a huge hit.
After the semi-scandalous shenanigans that occurred during the filming of that crazy, doomed film in question - The Prince and the Showgirl, it indeed would be very fitting to re-watch (the sixth, or seventh time?) this bubbly frothy classic, that actually starts out as a Prohibition- set gangster movie.
Few films manage to instill one with excitable anticipation at a seventh viewing but this Billy Wilder scripted/directed one still does. It's more than mere comedy, it has literally everything with a perfect cast playing, well, perfectly, with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag (to fool the gangsters after witnessing a shooting) one of the most enduring double acts of all time. And, of course, the real shame is that Marilyn wasn't able to treat us to more of this sort that she plays so naturally - she really does shines and fizzes effervescently.
It's indeed, the subtle but clever innuendo that is the icing on the cake - we don't need to be shown any more or hear anything stronger to know exactly what is going on. This helps makes it so timeless.
Many know and love the film and cite it as one of their all-time favourites - it's to them that I say, sometimes you need the merest of an excuse to indulge, as you would with some special chocolates or fancy bottle of wine. Some Like It Hot is the perfect antidote to dark, wet and stormy afternoons, is non-fattening and actually very good for you, as laughter is indeed, the best medicine. It remains an essential DVD for every collection - sometimes only the best comedy will do!
There is always a thing about Classics, even before you absorb the
first frame; you are burdened with huge expectations. But, Some Like It
Hot is one of those jet planes where you got to tight your seat belt
and forget everything else to enjoy the joyride or you would fall off
I feel casting in a movie is one of the most under discussed elements of movie making amongst general public but it plays a very significant role in the success of a movie and SLIH is the prime example of it. Apart from Jack Lemmon, none of the protagonists were known for their superior acting skills and they would not have made the cut for a Billy Wilder piece. But, in retrospect, who other than Tony Curtis who had a boyish look and at the same time possessed sharp features could have played a saxophone playing woman charmer who could cross dress to be a part of a woman band. You can only get a flawless performance from a bad actor only if he/she is playing himself/herself and that is the exact reason why Marilyn Monroe wows you in every scene of Some Like It Hot. She is playing a dumb, vivacious and vulnerable damsel who can sing, doesn't mind sleeping with a charming guy whenever she gets a chance and then dips herself in a whiskey bottle when left all alone with herself. Jack Lemmon with a broad muscular jawline was surely the one who had a better chance of getting caught as someone not in the right clothes, but that is very small price to pay, as an actor of his caliber was indispensable to the cause of SLIH. He has an amazing sense of timing when it comes to humor; he is almost chaplinesque when it comes to expressions and the confidence with which he delivers his lines puts him right at the top of stack.
I am not sure when was the concept of black humor introduced in the world of cinema, but, SLIH has to be one of the better examples from the old times where black humor is integrated in the comedy. The black humor is there only to make its presence felt and nothing more. Other than that SLIH is a fun filled journey of Gerald (Lemmon) and Joseph (Curtis), two musicians on the run from dangerous Chicago gangsters who are after their lives. They find their safe house in an all-woman band that is off to Florida for a string of performances. This is where they meet the gorgeous Sugar (Marilyn) and try their luck on flattering her. It is all about how Joseph manages to get ahead in the race and Gerald like a true friend tags along without any explaining or pleading by Joseph. This is what makes SLIH sweet. The necessary salt is added to the movie by little moments like women having a party on train, Sugar hiding whiskey in her stocking, Fielding (Joe Brown) hitting on Dalphe (Gerald disguised as a woman) and further complications that set in because of these. What makes this classical comedy special is the fact that it makes you laugh at so many occasions without being slapstick or cheap or using the chaos technique. And when it doesn't make you laugh, it makes you smile. Most importantly, the movie stays with you.
The manner in which the movie begins, it suddenly makes you wonder - that's too much of real car chasing and shooting for a black and white movie of 40's and then you realize it's done in 1959 and the movie was intentionally produced in black and white. The first scene itself is a cracker and will create a cocktail of emotions, with words like liquor, crime, party, death, music all floating around at the same time. There are plenty of scenes where the camera pans out from one object to another capturing multiple things with different moods and complexion in the same scene and that is a technique which I guess wasn't used quite frequently back then. Make-up job of Curtis and Lemmon is too good for those times and it would have been so important for that to have been correctly done as that is absolutely central to the whole plot. Marilyn's costumes are way modern and she carries them effortlessly.
Some Like It Hot is without any doubt a classic but, probably in no other movie would have the last line played such an important role as in this. The finishing frames where Joe Brown utters the unexpected leave you pleasantly surprised and I am sure it would have had far better impact on the audience 50 years back.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some Like it Hot is an exhilarating comedy that follows two struggling
musicians that witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago 1929
and they try to escape the Mob. To get away from the Mob they joined an
all women's band going to Miami but the only problem is they're both
men. Joe and Jerry both pull off the role of women perfectly because
they acted like women good enough that it fooled other people to think
that they were women. I would say that the element of disguise is a
good way to describe both of them. Both of their instruments played a
pivotal role in why they got to Miami, Joe and Jerry play two
instruments that the women's band needed. I would say that it provided
Joe and Jerry with an escape and way to get away from the Mob and start
a new life in Florida once they were done with disguising themselves
In the movie I believe that Joe and Jerry played the role of two women perfectly and it was good writing. They disguised themselves well enough to blend in with the band and become one of the girls. None of the women in the band thought that they were men. With both of the personalities that they were given in the movie as men, Joe and Jerry transferred it as women very good. For me this is the earliest movie of guys disguising themselves as women and during the time this movie was made, it was done very well. There are some things that come in pairs or grouped together in this movie. During that time that Joe and Jerry are women they both attracted to the same woman, Sugar Kane, who is played by Marilyn Monroe in this film. They both fall for her when they realize that she in the same band that they "joined". They also go on dates, but Joe dresses up as a rich man to impress Sugar, while on the other hand Jerry "attracts" a rich man named Osgood. Also there is an important shooting scenes that happened that can go together. In the beginning, Joe and Jerry witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, where the Mob leader, Spats and his men kill another gang in a parking garage. At the end of the movie the head Mob boss has a "surprise" for Spats. They had a cake for Spats but what he didn't know was that there was an assassin in the cake who shoots Spats and his men.
From watching a few movies similar to Some Like it Hot I kind of knew that to expect, but there was some stuff that I saw that I didn't expect to see in it. I was surprised that the girls in the band wouldn't see the signs that Joe and Jerry could possibly be a man and that adds to the creativeness that they had to blend in like women. I think today it would be a lot easier for a girl notice that a guy is disguising themselves as a girl. Back in the late 20's, women really wore the same clothing and looked the same, so blending in with late 20's women society would be easier back then, than doing it today. All Cross dress runaway films are comedy. Some like it Hot is my MLK film, therefore it is a comedy.
From watching this movie there are some new things that I learn. Even though this is the first time that I have seen Some Like I Hot, there are a few things that I recognized. It seemed really easy for Joe and Jerry to be like the women in the band because they just acted the opposite of their personality and they seemed to blend in very well. From what I also saw, it seems that women are still looking for the same type of men that women are today. Women would want the kind, gentle, down to earth gentleman that would treat a woman right. I saw that in the movie and I believe that is what women wanted in a man back in 1929.
Some Like it Hot is an exciting Comedic film that follows two musicians that witness a shooting, who escape Chicago and try to restart their lives. Trouble is they have to dress up as women to join a band to get out, I guess cross dressing does work.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went to see this because of Marilyn Monroe. Of course I was not
disappointed. She is not as dumb as she describes herself is. And she
sings well too.
But it was Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis who make this comedy alive. You can sense the sparkles between them even when they first appear in the show in Chicago. Then, when they pose as women it was so amusing and pleasant!
Yet their performance would not have been so engaging if not for the witty lines and intriguing plot. There is literally not a dull moment throughout the whole movie. The plot develops very well and the pacing was just right.
Although the Osgood Fielding III character (Joe Brown) seems to be annoying in the beginning, he turns out to be instrumental in later part of the story and the heartily conversation in perfect tempo between him and Lemmon on the speed boat is so memorable.
Some Like it Hot is perfect in all sense: acting, script, direction, costume (Oh how Monroe's dresses keep me gazing), music. It is such a classic that we will probably never have anything like this for a long, long time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What a fun movie, I can't believe I never saw it before tonight.
Somehow, I have seen "Seven Year Itch" more times than I need to, but
this one seldom comes on, caught it in full on youtube, thank goodness.
The acting is wonderful; was especially impressed by Tony Curtis, as I never thought he had such range. Jack Lemmon and Marilyn were at their best in this film. It moves very quickly, even though there are a few spots that go on a bit too long, i.e chase scenes toward the end. Marilyn's outfits were pretty eye-popping for 1959. I felt like I was watching a film actually made in 1929, as it was set, at times.
All in all, very funny, the men as women were as funny and perfect as could be. Everything since, including "Tootsie" was playing catch-up to Jack and Tony in their roles, especially Jack as Daphne. I can see why he was nominated for an Oscar.
Strange in my 70 plus years I had no seen this delightful movie until yesterday. It entails two goofy characters in drag taking the old steamy night train from Chicago to Miami Beach California (cannot be Florida as mountains appear on the horizon).They are heading to the ocean for a variety of reasons, basically for survival. Plenty of laughs involved. MM was a really good comedienne but most just remember her full figure (not quite the ideal by early C21st standards but terrific for the 1950s though surpassed by France's less voluptuous but more sexy BeBe and Grace Kelly's superb cool beauty). Like Casablanca the best part of the film is the last sentence in the script "Well, no one is perfect".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A movie that is synonymous to the Internet jargon LOL(Laugh out loud)
and ROFL(Rolling over the floor laughing). I must first shower
encomiums on the out-of-the-world script. And what an actor Jack Lemmon
is. This movie also established the long-term association between Jack
Lemmon and Billy Wilder in making movies together.
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis gave one of the greatest performance by transvestites. While a luscious Marilyn Mornoe is there to seduce you, sing and shake and make you swoon, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis provide unlimited rib-tickling humor.
Oh, i just forgot to mention what a brilliant, funny writing it was. There are umpteen phrases that make you reiterate.
AFI rightly placed it at the helm of '100 greatest laughs'.
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