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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Some Like It Hot, a movie released in 1959 and starring Marilyn Monroe, has been acknowledged to be one of the top 10 movie comedies of all time, with the American Film Institute calling the movie as the greatest American comedy film of all time. The movie stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as 2 men on the run from gangsters (having witnessed a massacre), and using the guise of women to try and get away from the gangsters. In between, they meet Marilyn and fall for her, while a very rich man falls for one of them (in his disguise as a woman).
The movie was directed by Billy Wilder, and was adapted from a story written by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan. The same story with some differences had already been used in a German movie called 'Fanfaren der Liebe' (made 8 years ago in 1951).

Some Like It Hot (1959)

The movie was condemned by religious groups (with the Catholic Legion of Decency criticizing the movie). For a number of decades, Hollywood had been under a Production Code (that covered the morals of movies). It was on its way out, and this movie was one of the movies that contributed to its passing, released after not having received an MPAA logo. The movie was received well, and nominated for 6 Oscars. It won one Award, Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Orry-Kelly).
The movie is about these 2 struggling musicians, who are trying to escape Chicago after seeing a mob maasacre. However, it is difficult to find a job, and they find that the only out of town job they can get is 2 positions in a All Girls Band that is going to Florida. They join in, dressing as woman (and this is part of the reason why the movie was made as a Black and White movie, since the makeup to make them look like woman was not letting the movie look good in color); and calling themselves Josephine and Geraldine (later changed to Daphne). Soon, they also find themselves head-over-heels for the vocalist and ukulele player, "Sugar Kane" (Marilyn Monroe). It is a bit difficult to express your emotions openly when you are dressing as a woman, so that part is a struggle for them.
Joe becomes enterprising, taking on the role of a millionaire and romancing Sugar in that role; it is Jerry who gets into more trouble. An actual millionaire, Osgood Fielding III, falls for his female disguise, and Jerry plays along in the hope of making some money from this transaction. And then the finale, where the gangsters arrive at the hotel for a conference, and spot these 2. They run from the mobsters, finally reaching the yacht of the millionaire, where the drama continues to happen. Sugar reveals that she has fallen for Joe, and to Jerry's horror, Osgood keeps pursuing him, right to the end when Jerry reveals that he is a man, a very famous line is spoken by Osgood, "Well, nobody's perfect."

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