Some Like it Hot

Introduction

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, and Nehemiah Persoff. The screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Michael Logan from the French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. The film was produced in black and white, even though color films were increasing in popularity. Despite Monroe's contract requiring color film, she agreed to film in black and white after seeing that Curtis and Lemmon's makeup gave them a "ghoulish" appearance on color film.[1]

Some Like It Hot opened to largely positive reviews and is today considered to be one of the greatest films of all time.[2] 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. In 2017, the film was voted the best comedy of all time in a poll of 253 film critics from 52 countries conducted by the BBC in 2017.[2] In 2005, the British Film Institute included this film on British Film Institute list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

The film is also notable for featuring cross dressing, and for playing with the idea of homosexuality, which led to its being produced without approval from the Motion Picture Production Code. The code had been gradually weakening in its scope during the early 1950s, due to increasing social tolerance for previously taboo topics in film, but it was still officially enforced. The overwhelming success of Some Like It Hot is considered one of the final nails in the coffin for the Hays Code.[3]


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