Not too many directors would be confident enough to feature a comedy with a violent massacre of unarmed men. The depiction of Spats Columbo's cold-blooded murder of Toothpick Charlie and his friends, inspired by the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, is a violent image. While we do not see explicit violence, the guns are loud and we (as well as Joe and Jerry) are not spared from seeing Spats' ruthlessness. This scene, and Billy Wilder's confidence to make it so explicit, signals that Some Like it Hot is a comedy that can get pretty dark. There is nothing inherently funny about the gunning down of the gangster in a garage, but it does set the plot in motion and the desperation on the faces of Jerry and Joe is the engine that drives the outlandish lengths to which they are willing to go to survive.
The Sleeper Car Party
If there is one image that sums up the exuberance of Some Like it Hot, it is the sneaky party that "Daphne" enjoys with the rest of the girls in the sleeper car on the train. What starts out as an attempt to seduce Sugar soon becomes a raucous, giggly, girlish slumber party. Beautiful girl after beautiful girl pours into "Daphne"'s tiny bunk, and the girls immediately begin drinking liquor, smoking, chatting, and telling jokes. The compartment soon becomes a party for nearly every member of the girl band, and they barely fit. The imagery is very funny: beautiful women surround Jack Lemmon in drag, chattering, screeching, and giggling late into the night. Their jubilance and girlishness crammed into the tiny compartment, strikes a humorous tone.
Sugar at the Train Station
One of the most iconic images from Some Like it Hot is the first time that Jerry and Joe see Sugar Kane. She comes strutting down the train platform with a steamy confidence in her high heels as brassy horn music plays. Sugar is the sexiest woman either has ever seen, the living embodiment of sex appeal and feminine glamor. The train makes a whistle and steam flies out the side as if it too is turned on by the sight of Sugar. Portrayed by the iconically beautiful and appealing Marilyn Monroe, Sugar is a study in feminine allure, a wide-hipped blonde bombshell.
Joe in the Bath
After Sugar meets "Junior" for the first time, she tells "Daphne," who knows that "Junior" is just Joe in disguise. Hoping to prove to Sugar that "Junior" is an act, Jerry rushes Sugar up to "Josephine"'s room, hoping to expose the lie. When they arrive, however, Joe has beat them, changed into his "Josephine" wig, and hopped into the tub. Jerry is unable to unveil Joe's schemes, but once Sugar leaves, Joe emerges from the tub, wearing his "Junior" costume still, now covered in water and bubbles. The sight of Joe in a woman's wig and a sailor suit emerging from a bath shows just how many directions he is being pulled in, and the number of deceptions he is keeping up.
Some Like it Hot Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Some Like it Hot is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.