I said to myself the other day, that it would be intelligent to write a review of my favourite movie of all times. So, there it is, my Some Like it Hot‘s review, a movie that I can watch over and over always with a great pleasure. Before I saw this film, I had a feeling, just by watching the trailer, that it would maybe become one of my very favourite movies. And it did as you can see! For a long time, I hesitate between this one, Forrest Gump and Bringing Up Baby as my #1, but now I’ve made my choice. 🙂 Some Like it Hot was directed by Billy Wilder in 1959
Where can I start? There’s so much to say about this film! Well, let’s being with a little summary, just to situate you a little. Chicago 1929, during prohibition. A hearse is rolling over the streets of the city, but, soon, as the police cars are coming, we discover that this car is filled with gangsters. The gunshots start and the coffin is perforated. This one is full of bottles of Champagne. The hearse arrives at Mozzarella’s funeral parlour and the group of gangsters is welcomed by their chief, Spats Columbo (George Raft). Later, the police raids in this place. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are two friends and two musicians who work in the “funeral” band. Joe plays the saxophone and Jerry plays the double bass. They succeed to escape from the police raid. Now, they have to find another job. Nellie (Joe’s girlfriend) decides to make a joke to them and tells them that a band is looking for a saxophone and a double bass. The two fellows are enchanted and relieved, but they soon discover that this is a band… for girls! Then, on Valentine’s Day, they witness a mass murder committed by Spats Colombo’s gang. Joe and Jerry have to run away, otherwise, they’ll be killed by the gangsters. So, they decide to apply for the famous girls’ band. Of course, this is a band only for ladies, so they’ll have to dress up as girls: they become Josephine and Daphné. The group is going to Florida. On the train, Joe and Gerry meet Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) who becomes a good friend. In Florida, Gerry makes the acquaintance of Osgood Fielding the Third (Joe E. Brown), a rich millionaire who has a yacht and who is desperately looking for a new wife (again!). Joe, who has fallen in love with Sugar, organizes a little “mise-en-scène” to conquer her. Everything seems to go well for the two fellows until Spats Colombo and his gang show up at the hotel…
Being directed by Billy Wilder, one can expect that one of Some Like it Hot’s many qualities is its screenplay. There are many creative and funny quotes that indeed makes it the best movie of all times. The moments that don’t make you laugh or simply smile are rare enough! I can say, without a doubt, that this is one of the films I can quote the best. In general, Billy Wilder’s films are always well-written and this one doesn’t make an exception to the rule. The story itself is well-settled and captivating. The movie starts with action: a group of gangsters in a hearse is pursued. Then, we discover that the coffin is filled with bottles of alcohol. This is Chicago during prohibition. We wonder what will happen next. The script, based on a story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan, was written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder. It even received an Oscar nomination.
I would like now to share some of my favourite quotes from the film:
1- Junior: I guess some like it hot. I personally prefer classical music.
2- Jerry: Have I got things to tell you!
Joe: What happened?
Jerry: I’m engaged.
Joe: Congratulations. Who’s the lucky girl?
Jerry: I am!
3- Osgood: I am Osgood Fielding the third.
Daphne: I’m Cinderella the second.
4- Osgood: Well, nobody’s perfect!
5- Sweet Sue: Beinstock, I ought to fire you!
Beinstock: Me? I’m the manager of the band, not the night watchman.
6- Sugar: Shell Oil Junior. He’s got millions, he’s got glasses, he’s got a yacht!
Joe: You don’t say.
Jerry: He’s not only got a yacht, he’s got a bicycle!
7- Sugar : [admiring a large fish trophy] What is it?
Junior: It’s a member of the herring family.
Sugar: A herring? Isn’t it amazing how they get those big fish into those little glass jars?
Junior: They shrink when they’re marinated.
8- Spat’s Henchman: Excuse me, ain’t I had the pleasure of meetin’ you two broads before?
Jerry: Oh, no. You must be thinking of two other broads.
Ok I have to stop! But there’s too much great lines in this film!
Another thing I love about this film is the casting. Tony Curtis fits perfectly the role of Joe/Josephine/Junior. How amazing it is to play, I should say, three different personalities (because it remains, after all, the same character ). When he is Junior, he kind of imitates Cary Grant’s voice, but this one said about it: “I don’t speak like that!” Well, that remains funny. Marilyn Monroe also did a great job as Sugar. I have to say, this is my second favourite performance by this actress after The Misfits. She’s sweet, funny, so lovable, and has a gorgeous smile. That’s hard and sad to believe that this was one of her last films. 😦 We can also see and hear her sing some songs. Her voice is so enjoyable. Dave Barry who plays Beinstock, the band manager, is also a great addition to the lot. He always seems a little lost after Joe steals his suitcase and his glasses. Well, how can you be not funny with a name like Beinstock… One of my favourite moments in the films is when Sweet Sue, the bandleader of “Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators”, shouts at him: “BEEEEINNNSTOCK!!” when she is angry. Sweet Sue was played by Joan Shawlee. George Raft plays a delicious villain: “Spats” Colombo, a Chicago gangster obsessed with his shoe spats. In this film, you’ll also have the chance to see Edward G. Robinson Jr. (yes, Edward G. Robinson’s son!) in a small role: The guy in the cake… But really, the actors who perfectly steals the show, my favourite ones in this film, are certainly Jack Lemmon and Joe E. Brown! And they make such a hilarious team together. The movie ends with an unforgettable dialogue between the two, and think of this moment when they are dancing the tango! This is really one of my favourite moments of the film. About Jack Lemmon, just when I see him in this film, even when he doesn’t say anything, I laugh or smile. How adorable and cute he is with these round and surprised eyes. He also had the voice of comedy. A voice you’ll always remember and who is always well chosen with the emotions he wants to share. The way he moves as a girl is also worth seeing. I love when he makes this little hand move after saying something. This is a real caricature because girls don’t really do that! 😛 Well, I must also say that the funniest scenes of the film are the ones with Jack Lemmon. The actor received an Oscar nomination for his performance in this film but, unfortunately, lost it to Charlton Heston for his performance in Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959). About Joe E. Brown, how can you forget that big smile, that look on his face when he sees the “girls” arriving at the hotel, that “Zowie!”. Really, he was one of the funniest character actors.
Some Like It Hot also has one of those unforgettable scores: lively and entertaining. It includes songs like “Running Wild”, the iconic “I Want to Be Loved by You”, “By the Sea”, and more. The music in this film also sets the jazzy 20’s atmosphere of the film. You know, I can’t skip the opening titles because of the music. So jazzy and so hot! 😉 One of my favourite “music moments” of the film is the tango between Jerry/Daphné and Osgood. I also love the moment when Sugar sings “Running Wild” and the way Jerry/Daphné plays his double bass with too much enthusiasm! Anyway, let’s not forget that music is one of the most important themes of this film. What will Some Like it Hot be without this music?! Well, it just wouldn’t be the same movie.
I want to finish this review by talking to you about some of my favourite scenes and why they are. First, I can think of the party scene in the train compartment. Daphne (Jerry) is sleeping and Sugar comes to visit him and to thank him for having told Sweet Sue that the bottle of alcohol belonged to him (it was Sugar’s bottle, but she would have been kicked off the train if they would have surprised her drinking again). In this scene, Daphne proposes to Sugar to take a drink. But they are making some noise so the other girls wake up. The result: a party with 12 girls… and a man (poor Jerry!) in a little train compartment! Another of my favourite scenes is the tango scene. What makes this scene unforgetable are mostly Jack Lemmon and Joe E. Brown’s facial expression while they are dancing. I also love the fact that Jerry sort of discovers a passion for this Argentinian dance. Following that, the scene when Jerry says to Joe that he is engaged to Osgood is priceless. The dialogues are so funny and also very zany. I’ll conclude with that scene where Nellie (Joe’s girlfriend) says to Joe and Jerry that a music band is looking for a saxophonist and a double bass player. Joe and Jerry are very happy. When they discover that this is, in fact, a band for girls and girls ONLY, Jerry’s reaction is the best. Of course, as many people I’m sure, I love the ending of this film, when Jerry decides to tell the truth to Osgood. There are many, many worthy mentioning scenes in this film, but I can’t name them all!
Well, now you know some of the main reasons why Some Like it Hot is my favourite film. I could go on and on, but all good things must have to end. If you haven’t seen this wonderful film yet, please take a moment to. Really, you won’t regret it. All the people I know who have seen this film enjoyed it. If you’re sad and you’re in for a big laugh, this is the perfect movie. After all, Some Like it Hot was voted the best comedy of all times!