Friday, 9 September 2016

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Two down on their luck musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), witness a massacre committed by the mafia and are then wanted by the gangsters. They decide to dress as women and join an all female band travelling to Miami under the guises Josephine and Daphne. On joining the band they meet Sugar 'Kane' (Marilyn Monroe), a lonely ukelele player. Joe/Josephine soon finds himself falling for her, and a wealthy millionaire finds himself falling for Jerry/Daphne. When the gangsters turn up at the hotel chaos ensues.

Some Like It Hot remains one of the best loved comedy films of all time. The AFI even voted it their top comedy film in their 100 Years…100 Laughs list. This owes much to Billy Wilder's direction but also to the impeccable timing of Lemmon. Despite the film being filled with wonderful performances Lemmon as the bubbly Jerry/Daphne is the highlight. Jerry embraces his female persona whole heartedly with his high pitched voice, bouncy way of walking, excited re-naming and giddy excitement at his engagement. It is also a brilliant performance from Monroe who looks stunning and is sweet yet world weary.

Some Like It Hot was filmed in black and white despite the increasing popularity of colour film. Supposedly this was because the makeup worn by Curtis and Lemmon made them look green! The film was well noted for its troubled production, Monroe battling a pill addiction which made her habitually late and caused her to forget her lines. Yet it is a testament to her strength and talent that she gives a wonderful performance. The film is also well remembered for the slightly risqué Orry Kelly gowns Monroe wore in a number of key scenes.

Whilst the film was a huge success it did create some controversy with some condemning it for its use of cross dressing and perceived homosexuality. It was a challenge to the censors and became instrumental in the eventual end of the Hay's Code.
Filled with witty lines, hilarious gaffes and an all star cast, Some Like It Hot, is truly a feel good film!


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