[IMDBTop100] #78: Some Like It Hot (1959).

some_like_it_hot“Real diamonds? They must be worth their weight in gold!”
Sugar Kane.

This outrageous 1959 comedy tells the story of struggling musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), who accidently witness a mob execution and are chased by gangsters who want them dead. In order to make a quick escape from town, Joe and Jerry and are forced to disguise themselves as women in order take a job with an all-girl band travelling to Florida.

Upon meeting the band under the guise of ‘Josephine’ and ‘Daphne’, the boys befriend and quickly begin to compete for the affections of the beautiful Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) whilst struggling not to reveal their identities.

Sugar reveals her plan to find and marry a rich millionaire out in Florida, so upon arriving Joe adopts the alternate disguise of Junior the heir to Shell oil, in order to get closer to her. At the same time Jerry is hard at work fighting the advances of actual millionaire and eccentric multiple divorcee Osgood Fielding III (Joe  E. Brown).

At the same hotel, a conference in honour of Friends of the Italian Opera is held which is actually just a front for an annual meeting of mobsters. Trouble ensues when the very mobsters from Chicago who are searching for Joe and Jerry arrive in Florida for the meet.

1959 must have been a wonderful time to be alive! Back in the day when the old comedic gag of a man dressed in women’s clothing was still funny and not the horrible cliché it has now sadly become, Today, drag humour seems to be the fall-back of failing comedians like Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence when they are completely out of ideas and are looking for a cheap laugh. That’s not the case with ‘Some Like It Hot’, which actually succeeded in making the whole gag enjoyable,

If you’ll forgive me for minor spoilers, this film in brief, is about a gold-digging ditzy blonde bimbo who plans to marry some rich guy for his cash, but instead falls for Tony Curtis who actually spends the entire 2 hour runtime lying to her and pretending to be not one, but two different people! Though much of the romance ends up off screen, if they actually did sleep together I’m almost certain that’s classed as a form of rape? I suppose we’re expected to forgive such a vacuously immoral plot based on the fact that it’s a supposed to be a light hearted comedy, but the fact that Sugar and Joe fall in love despite the fact that Joe spends the entire time lying about who he is really got to me. I don’t know, maybe I was in a bad mood at the time?

Anyway, despite my slightly uppity reservations, the film wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be. Apart from a stellar performance from Marilyn Monroe as the self confessed idiotic Sugar Kane, the film has only few really hilarious moments in what’s actually quite a long film (2 hours!). I’d go so far as to say the funniest gag in the entire piece is actually the one which closes the movie.

I’ve probably been a little bit to harsh in this review, there were some spectacular one-liners, Marilyn Monroe is breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly casted and it’s worth watching for the comedic timing and on-screen chemistry of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis alone. Go into this one with lower expectations that I did and you might enjoy it a lot more.

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About Ryan

This site is intended as a dumping ground for my interests and thoughts, but above all it's a here to record my progress on my ever expanding list of life goals. I want to impove myself, to learn new things, to see the world and to experience everything I possibly can. It's a simple goal which has led me half way around the world and given me some amazing memories to keep, stories to tell and friends to cherish. I try to enjoy my life as much as anyone can and I record these memories and thoughts for my own purposes, but the hope is to inspire.
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