movie film review | chris tookey

Some Like It Hot

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  Some Like It Hot Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
9.82 /10
Jack Lemmon , Tony Curtis , Marilyn Monroe
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Directed by: Billy Wilder
Written by: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond

Released: 1959
Origin: US
Length: 122


Two musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) witness the St Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 and escape from Mobsters by joining a touring all-girl band (including Marilyn Monroe at her most gorgeous and vulnerable, pictured centre).

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A comedy classic. The plot construction is meticulous, the dialogue is witty, and the amusing male performances are augmented by Marilyn Monroe at her most stunning - gorgeous, sexy, innocent and vulnerable. Under all the low comedy, there's a sophisticated and surprisingly uninhibited examination of sexual identity. Some critics on the film's release found the dialogue more redolent of the 50s than the 20s (a fair comment), the humour vulgar and the whole movie much too long. Compared with most modern comedies, though, it's a model of taste and economy. See it now, and you'll probably wish it were longer.

A Note on Marilyn Monroe:

Marilyn's co-star in Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis, complained that she mispronounced words, forgot her lines and generally drove her fellow actors wild with frustration. Then, when her colleagues were exhausted and no longer capable of giving their best, she would throw in one miraculous take, invariably the one that the director used on screen. "Kissing Marilyn," said Curtis bitterly, "was like kissing Hitler."

If Curtis detected the calculation and ambition behind her sex appeal, you can see why directors as good as Billy Wilder would humour her. There have been hundreds of more consistent, versatile actresses. Yet no one has ever been able to light up the screen like Marilyn.
If you want to see star quality, watch her in Bus Stop, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or The Seven Year Itch.

Yes, she was usually typecast as a scatty, sexy "dumb blonde". But look beyond that, and there's an innocence mixed up with her sensuality. Much of her charm lay in the skilful way she hinted at layers of vulnerability and emotional fragility.

Compare her with the stick-thin starlets of today, and her sex appeal and unashamed womanliness remain as potent as ever. There's something very un-dumb about her, too - a wit and sense of irony, both about herself and the system that created the characters she played so unforgettably, that make her irresistible to men and women alike.

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