9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2005
It's impossible to overrate this film. The dialogue sparkles, the plot is hilarious, and the pace never falters. Everyone has a favorite scene. Mine is in the train when all the girls in the band decide to pile into Jack Lemmon's bunk bed for a midnight party. Best line? When Marilyn Monroe explains how in her love life she always gets "the fuzzy end of the lollipop".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2013
Brilliant old school 1950's comedy and hilarious performance by all actors. Hadn't seen this in 30 years but still enjoyed like it was the first time. Definitely a mandatory part of any film collection. Highly recommended and looks terrific in HD.
67 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2000
What more can be said about this all-time comic classic? Probably Billy Wilder's best movie, 'Some like it hot' has all the key elements for hilarious entertainment: sharp and snappy dialogues, esp. between Curtis and Lemmon, disguise, embarrassing situations and of course, rivalry and romance. Starting with a rather grim 1929 gangster hunt, the movie soon lightens up in an exotic setting. Marilyn sings some of her best known songs, like 'Running Wild' and 'I wanna be loved by you'. As far as the DVD is concerned, from MGM you'd expect a little more respect for their own heritage: the feature film has smudges, blotches, dust and scratches and looks rather unprocessed and fuzzy, at some places even out of focus. There is a great deal of visual noise in the pictures, especially in the darker parts. It seems as if they've sent the first reel they could get their hands on to the encoding factory. Extra features are virtually non-existent - only the original trailer in very poor quality is included. Definite pro's (at least for the European mainland) are the additional sound tracks in German, French, Spanish and Italian and a wealth of languages in subtitling. The original aspect ratio of 5:3 (set in a 4:3 letterbox) is beautifully preserved.
Yep, I'm about to take on another much loved movie. After hearing about Some Like It Hot for years, I finally sat down and watched it. And you know what? It doesn't live up to the hype.
Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) are struggling jazz musicians in 1929 Chicago. They are barely managing to put food in their mouths in fact. They wind up in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness a mob hit. In an effort to get out of town fast, they disguise themselves as women and join an all girl band going down to Florida for a three week tour.
It's not too long before they meet up with Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), the singer of their new band. She is blond, gorgeous, and a potential problem for the two men who are both very attracted to her. Will either of them win her? Will their attraction blow their cover?
I have a feeling that my dislike of the movie was the simple fact that I've seen it done before and better. With people in disguise and mistaken identities, I was expecting some rather funny slapstick. And there were some funny scenes and some lines that did make me laugh. But there weren't nearly enough of them. In fact, several times I was thinking, "That scene could have been funnier." Not the best reaction to a comedy.
And I've got to say that Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are just ugly as women. I kept having to remind myself it was just a movie and the fact that no one would buy their disguise for a minute was me expecting too much reality from a comedy.
This is the first movie I've seen with Marilyn Monroe, and I certainly understand why she is still so famous. That woman is beautiful. It's a shame it sounds like her personal life was a mess, but I get the attraction.
Um, now that I look completely shallow, let's move on, shall we?
Acting. Yeah, that's a good change in topic. I'm not going to fault anyone's performance here. They were delightfully over the top in the scenes that were supposed to be funny and managed to dial it back for the more serious scenes.
The movie was filmed in black and white, but that doesn't spoil the locations at all. The resort where much of the second half takes place looks magnificent.
Then there's the ending. It felt like everyone was in a rush to finish things up, or at least finish the script. That last scene was so rushed it took the movie down another peg. I had a hard time believing some of the characters would actually behave the way they did. Only in a comedy, I guess. And there I am expecting realism from a movie again. Having said that, I can't criticize the final exchanges of dialogue one bit. They are some of the best moments in the film, and the last line is a classic for a reason. It got the best laugh of the movie from me.
Overall, however, Some Like It Hot didn't live up to its reputation. I think for modern audiences to appreciate it, they need to view it more in its historical context. It's good for a few laughs, but it's not nearly as funny as it could be.
on 19 July 2014
Seven decades on and funnier than ever. While the appeal of The Apartment - Billy Wilder's more challenging, bittersweet collaboration with Jack Lemmon - seems to wax and wane with audiences over the years, Some Like It Hot is always hot. It's simply a masterpiece of the medium; a triumph of screenwriting, direction, editing, and performance. It's an easy sell to anyone with even a modicum of interest in film as an artform.
The plot is preposterous. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are struggling big band musicians who happen to witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. So, naturally, they flee Chicago for Florida as part of the all-woman outfit "Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopaters". Amongst the troupe is Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), with whom both men fall head over heels, but with whom Joe is willing to go the extra scheming mile, adopting the seductive, Cary Grant-esque persona of a fictional magnate named Shell Oil Jr. Meanwhile, Jerry finds himself swooning over millionaire playboy Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown). But it just so happens that the gangsters are in town for a mob meeting masquerading as an opera convention, and Joe & Jerry/Josephine & Daphne must make their escape once more.
The setup is ideal for a perfect balance of physical comedy, wisecracking, and social satire. Given the context of Hays Code Hollywood, some elements are amazingly risqué for the time - not least Miss Monroe's dresses. Monroe was famously hell on set but what matters is she's heaven on film: magnetic, charismatic, genuinely funny and impossibly sexy. Her character is a stumbling romantic, appearing drunk on the dream of love (notably, Sugar gives up bourbon the moment she believes she's snared her man), still holding onto the hope that the hairier sex isn't entirely comprised of louses and "grabbers".
The script is sharp enough to cut steel: the perfect antidote to today's hit `n' miss improvised gross-outs. At times the banter flows like notes on a symphony stave. This is largely thanks to the genius odd coupling of Curtis and Lemmon. Both Joe and Jerry are confident in their own way, the former with boldness and swagger and the latter with adorable puppy dog eagerness. Wisely, the script rarely acknowledges the fact that they look nothing like women or that Curtis is built like a boxer. This incongruity is a simply another stream of wit running in the background.
Beneath the silliness is the serious theme of human sexuality, revealed in its absurdity like a naughty silhouette behind a dressing screen. The script plays on our assumptions about heterosexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, and any other arbitrary label with which we categorise love. "Why would a guy wanna marry a guy?" asks Joe. "Security!" answers Jerry. The fact that such exchanges still sound like satire today is testament to how progressive this film was and how timeless it remains.
Some Like It Hot opens with a masterful example of visual storytelling (a police chase, a coffin filled with booze, and a title card reading "Chicago 1929") and ends with the greatest line in comedy history. In the two hours between there's scene after classic scene of highly detailed precision comedy performed by some of the best comic actors of their day. What's not to like?
Billy Wilder's 1959 film of the transgender exploits of jazz band players, Tony Curtis' Josephine and Jack Lemmon's Daphne (a role for which Wilder had originally intended to cast Frank Sinatra), is, for me, one of the most exuberantly funny (and timeless) films ever made - two hours of non-stop action, fuelled by Wilder, and co-writer I A L Diamond's, razor-sharp, witty script. Of course, it being Wilder, Some Like It Hot is also a masterly visual experience, with cinematographer Charles Lang Jnr. creating superbly evocative night-time shots of prohibition-era Chicago (during the film's first half) and then sun-drenched Miami for the film's latter sections. To round things off, Wilder commissioned a rousing (at times, even Bernstein-like) score from composer Adolphe Deutsch, as well as featuring the 1920s' popular song Running Wild, a recurring theme which helps to maintain the film's frequently manic pace.
I must admit I have always favoured the film's initial 45 minutes or so, as our two musical stars, at this point still in their Joe and Jerry guises, suffer cop, Detective Mulligan's (the superb Pat O'Brien) raid on gangster Spats Columbo's (convincingly played by George Raft) illicit drinking club (disguised as a funeral parlour), before finding themselves innocent witnesses to a (or perhaps the) 'Valentine's Day Massacre' and thence on the run from Spats and crew. These initial sections are brilliantly authentic, fast-moving and hilarious as ladies' man and gambler Joe persuades Jerry that the opportunity to spend time on tour in Miami, Florida, even as two female musicians, is an offer they can't refuse.
Of course, what the first sections of the film lack is the presence of the luscious Marilyn Monroe (in one of her most alluring and perceptive film performances, at a time of great personal trauma for her), as serial 'loser in love', drinker, and band singer and ukulele player Sugar Kane Kowalczyk. Her legendary film entrance, tottering on heels up the railway station platform ('like jello on springs'), as a steam train blast brings up her rear (so to speak) is pure cinematic magic. Thereafter, the band, Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators (led by the officious Joan Shawlee as Sue, assisted by Dave Barry's geeky Mr Beinstock) make their way to sunny Florida, where Joe (adopting his nerdy, sexually frigid, Cary Grant-like, heir to the Shell oil fortune, persona) attempts to lure Sugar into his clutches. The pace hardly lets up during the film's later stages with a series of killer scenes such that of Joe emerging fully clothed from the bath, Daphne tangoing (with maracas) the night away with Joe E Brown's elderly, wealthy suitor Osgood Fielding III, Sugar giving a sultry rendition of I Wanna Be Loved By You and the 'birthday' surprise that has been planned for Spats' gang by rival mobsters, during a convention for Friends Of Italian Opera.
As the film nears its close, Wilder and Diamond come up the with the novel (and hilarious) idea that Daphne should actually fall for Brown's serial seducer, Osgood, despite the physiological challenges that this presents, an idea that is carried through to the film's legendary 'Nobody's perfect' punch-line.
In my book, certainly one of the funniest of all comedies to come out of Hollywood, ranking with the likes of another Wilder masterpiece, The Apartment (in which Lemmon again excels) and Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2009
We really enjoyed this DVD, We Did'nt expect this film
to be as good, (i.e.the recording, what with the age), but
it is very good, we would recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2000
Probably the best Marilyn Monroe film. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in fine form, some of the best one-liners ever heard on screen. It is a classic and everyone should own a copy !
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2011
Unfortunatelly, the subtitles were not sufficient. They appeared in the movie only and not in the special features that were really interesting. It contains an interview with Tony Curtis and an interview with some of the actresses in the movie. These interviews were taken some years ago. Very interesting features, I had never heard of them before. But please, give us the full subtitles! Marilyn, the scenario, the costumes, the music, the cast, just excellent! You will love it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2004
Easily one of the great film comedies of all time - 'Some Like It Hot' has a kind of perfection, precision and wholeness about it that sets it apart.
The Billy Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond writing partnership created dialogue and situations full of wit, irony, pace, timing, comic tension and fun.
Wilder was a versatile writer and director whose career achievements are considerable and he is on unassailable form here.
His work is complemented by Lemmon, Curtis & Monroe turning in superb performances, as well many others from the sort of outstanding character actors that seemed so in abundance in those days.
Any DVD issue deserves this good print transfer to do justice to Charles Lang Jr's bright and rich cinematography.
This film has to be in any serious DVD library and this edition adds worthwhile extras.