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USA 1959
Directed by
Billy Wilder
119 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Some Like It Hot

Widely hailed as a classic screen comedy (even in its day it was highly regarded), the appeal of this film eludes me. Whilst the script by Wilder and I.A.L Diamond has some amusing moments such George Raft's line parodying his 1930s screen gangster persona when he says to a coin-flipping henchman "Where did you pick up a cheap trick like that?", Tony Curtis’s droll portrayal of an impotent millionaire playboy. and Joe E Brown's closing line "Nobody's perfect" when Jack Lemmon confesses to being a he rather than a she, much of the humour is quite tedious, largely trading on the hubba-hubba male/female divide in the prurient manner of the 1950s.

Tony Curtis and Lemmon play a couple of penniless musicians on the run from bootlegger Raft who join an all-girl swing band fronted by Marilyn Monroe. I have never found Lemmon’s brand of slapstick comedy amusing and the key concept of two males in drag, which I assume is the key to the film's appeal, is dated in its twee handling and lame when compared to later cross-dressing variants such as Dustin Hoffman's turn in Tootsie

Nominated for six Academy Awards, the only Oscar it won was for Best Costume Design by Orry-Kelly which, given that Monroe's stage outfits leave little to the imagination where her chest is concerned, is somewhat surprising but explains a lot about the values of the time.  Decidely a film due for a critical downgrade.




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