Some Like It Hot (1959) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

I’m slowly working my way through the AFI top 100 movies, and after finally watching Some Like It Hot (1959), I’m now just over halfway through the list. I picked this film as I was in the mood for a comedy, plus the other two Billy Wilder films I’ve seen so far – Double Indemnity and The Apartment – I’ve really loved. Additionally, I’ve finally watched a Marilyn Monroe film and was very pleased to see her skill working off of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Some Like It Hot is a classic that I’m glad I’ve finally seen!

Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon) are struggling musicians, largely in part to the prohibition. In attempting to procure a vehicle to make it to their next gig, they witness Spats Colombo (George Raft) take out a snitch, along with the rest of his friends. They escape the angry mobster’s wrath, but now have to get out of town. In order to do so, they dress up as women, and join an all female band on their way to Florida.

A film from the 50’s set in the late 20’s featuring men dressing up as women could go a few ways that wouldn’t have aged well – especially when you hear Jerry objectifying all the women in the band as they approach the train. They are nothing more than potential trophies to him, and it’s implied that Joe’s the same way…but much better at it, and thus not lusting over them all. However, that’s where the film surprised me. It’s not long before Jerry gets a taste of his own medicine as he’s pinched and groped by a man he’d just ran into on the elevator. In fact, both guys discover that men are pigs, and will chase anything in a skirt. Buy Viagra (Sildenafil) cheap online overnight delivery from http://www.noc2healthcare.com/viagra-sildenafil/ and save your money.

Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) helps convey this idea with her running away story. She divulges to Joe’s female alter ego, Josephine, that she has a thing for saxophone players – a detail that rev’s Joe’s engine, as he is a saxophone player. Her story of brokenheartedness and the self-medicated drinking that has followed is heartbreaking. She wants to find love, and has fallen victim to her own patterns. Of course, there are choices that Sugar makes through the course of the film that make you question whether or not the film is sexist.

Sugar is looking for a rich man while playing with the band in Florida. Joe makes sure she meets one – or at least she thinks she does – as he works his inside information to his own advantage. Later in the film, when Joe’s lies come to light, Sugar makes decisions that people could definitely be split on. The hopeless romantic in me wants the two to end up together, because I believe Joe has fallen for her and not just looking for a fling anymore. On the other hand, as the father of a 14-year-old daughter, I wanted Sugar to punch Joe in the face, because once a liar always a liar. Either way, I think the film as a whole has a progressive take on the roles of women in the lives of men more than it doesn’t.

The film is a classic and is very funny at times, but there are some story elements that lead to nowhere. Detective Mulligan (Pat O’Brien) and his pursuit of Spats seems unnecessary. He raids the speakeasy at the beginning of the film, which certainly sets the chain of events for Joe and Jerry. However, Mulligan follows Spats to Florida, where he would have no jurisdiction – which ultimately doesn’t have any impact on the climax of the film. The character isn’t a red herring, nor does he come to the rescue of our heroes. He’s just there when things finally go down.

Final thoughts…

Some Like It Hot is definitely a film that seems to hold up. The humor is strong, and it features great performances. I managed to pick it up used at FYE used for only $2, and I’m extremely happy with my purchase. If you’re like me and you’ve not seen it, I definitely recommend you check it out. Some Like It Hot earns the Must See rating.

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