Some Like it Hot received widespread critical acclaim, and received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Lemmon and Best Director and Best Screenplay for Wilder, the latter along with I.A.L. Diamond. It was voted as the top comedy film by the American Film Institute on their list on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs poll in 2000.
By 1962, the film had grossed $14 million in the US.
Roger Ebert wrote about the movie, "Wilder's 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasures of the movies, a film of inspiration and meticulous craft." John McCarten of The New Yorker referred to the film as "a jolly, carefree enterprise". The Guardian's Richard Roud claims that Wilder comes "close to perfection" with the film.
Rotten Tomatoes reports a score of 96%, with an average score of 8.9 out of 10.
In 1989 this film became one of the first 25 inducted into the United States National Film Registry.
Despite critical accolades, at the time of release it was the only American film to receive a "C" or Condemned rating by the Roman Catholic Church's Legion of Decency.