Today, August 5th, marks 54 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe. So today I’m going to have a little talk with you about my favourite film starring the most iconic actress – Some Like it Hot. If black & white films aren’t really your thing, or you want to get into them but aren’t really sure where to start, this film is easily in my top five recommendations so stay tuned to find out why.
Some Like it Hot is about two guys who are saxophone & bass players & become witnesses to the infamous St Valentine’s Day Massacre. They’re now being hunted by this gang & have to get out of town fast, so without any money the best way for them to do this is to join another band – but there’s only one hiring. So, Joe & Jerry become Josephine & Daphne to join an all female group leaving for Florida the next day to perform in a hotel. While in Florida, Joe (as Josephine) falls for the bands lead singer & ukulele player Sugar Kane; & a millionaire bachelor falls for Jerry as Daphne. Also then the gangsters finds them.
The storyline is obviously brilliant, & the rest of the film totally lives up to it. Written & directed by Billy Wilder, Some Like it Hot absolutely stands the test of time.
The acting is so brilliant. Tony Curtis stars as Joe/ Josephine, Jack Lemmon as Jerry/Daphne & Marilyn Monroe as the sultry Sugar Kane. And the supporting cast is just as brilliant, most notably Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding the third who is just hilarious to watch as he falls in love with ‘Daphne’. The comedic timing from everyone is superb, & will still makes you laugh today fifty seven years on. And that ending line is KILLER. One of the best last lines in cinematic history for sure.
And the costumes, oh the costumes – they are STUNNING. Orry-Kelly’s designs won the film’s only Academy Award for Best Costume Design in a Black & White film, & it was so deserved. Marilyn’s costumes alone are considered to be some of her most valuable items of clothing & intact, the sheer black & nude beaded cocktail dress she wears whilst singing on top of a grand piano in this film is expected to sell for $200,000-$400,000 in an auction being held at the end of this year. The costumes worn by Marilyn were all beautiful but actually quite scandalous, even today perhaps. And then the gowns worn by Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon are just perfect.
The film was all shot on location, & features the National Historic Landmark that is the Hotel del Coronado. It opened in 1888, & at the time it was the largest resort hotel in the world, but still holds the title of second largest wooden structure in the United States which is pretty impressive. The actual hotel is in California & is on my bucket list to see for sure.
I don’t really want to say much more without giving it all away. All I can say is that this film is perfect, & if you want to see Marilyn in her prime I can’t recommend this enough. Though it was widely reported to be a difficult film to make with her it has undoubtedly gone down in history as one of not only her best films, but as one of the best from the whole era of the Golden Age of Hollywood. You will love it.