Some Like it Hot

Some Like it Hot Study Guide

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. The film is based on the French movie Fanfares Of Love, a film with a nearly identical plot. Fanfares of Love, like Some Like it Hot, is about musicians who dress in drag in order to hide from gangsters who they accidentally witnessed committing murder. The film was produced in black and white despite color film's increasing popularity, partially because the male stars' makeup and female disguises looked much more realistic in black and white. Additionally, the movie studio also hired a famous female impersonator named Barbette to coach Curtis and Lemmon on gender illusion for the film.

The film was shot in California in the summer of 1958 and used the Hotel De Coronado in San Diego as a stand-in for the Seminole Ritz in Miami. Throughout filming, Marilyn Monroe had difficulty with punctuality and concentration. Billy Wilder said that despite the difficulties she played the part wonderfully, and it is perhaps her most beloved onscreen performances. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis were also praised for their comedic turns as the bumbling, cross-dressing musicians, Jerry and Joe.

While some worried that its racy subject matter and themes—cross-dressing and some risqué allusions to homosexuality—would hold it back, Some Like It Hot received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. The success of the film served as evidence for the irrelevance of the Hays Code, and the film instantly became known as one of the most charming comedies of all time. It received 6 Academy Award nominations (including Best Actor and Best Director) and opened to a slew of positive reviews, and is now rated the number one comedy of all time by the American Film Institute. Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe both won Golden Globe Awards for their performances, and the film won Best Musical or Comedy.