Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some Like it Hot (1959)

TOP 100 FILMS: #74

After inadvertently witnessing the St. Valentines Day Massacre, two musicians (Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon) decide to join dress up like women and join an all female band in order to escape the killers. Complications arise quickly as the two buddies begin to fight over the luscious fellow band member 'Sugar' (Marilyn Monroe).

There's always been something oddly appealing to me about Wilder movies. Not only are they influential, but they're creatively a mish mash of genres. They're dramas without really being dramatic, they're comedies but never really over the top comedic, and their romantic without really possessing a lot of romance. It's a creative blend of the three genres, and his 1959 masterpiece is a testiment to everything he stood for as a maker. Absurd, dealing with people who have no real ability to be together, deals with dark subject matter (such as gang violence and alcoholism), and through it all, finds a way to be both romantic and hilarious.

As I said before in my review of The Apartment, I can't think of a modern director who could get away with such pairings, and pull it off so wonderfully. He even gets Marilyn Monroe, who I've never been a big fan of, to pull off a career defining performance as the troubled Sugar. At the same time Tony Curtis, who I only mildly enjoy, finds a way to be both up tight stickler and filled with laughs. But no matter how many times I watch this, Jack Lemmon, who I admitingly adore, is always the true star. His "Daphne" puts me on the floor laughing every time, and his dealings with the rich suitor, Osgood (Joe. E. Brown) I find just down right hilarious.

Meanwhile Some Like it Hot has probably been the backbone of all future men dressing like women style shows and movies (which I find to be a creepy large amount), remaking the German film Fanfaren der Liebe (content wise). Wilder has a great eye for characters, and situational comedy, something that became the highlight of his career. So memorable, and yet so easy to love, Some Like it Hot is one of the more memorable films of its time.

Not all comedies stand the test of time, but with great design and depth, Some Like it Hot holds up in fine form.

3 better thoughts:

DEZMOND said...

this is my favourite Marylin Monroe movie, and I just adore Jack Lemmon in this role.
I was always very happy as a kid when TV would broadcast SOME LIKE IT HOT.

filmgeek said...

Ditto DEZMOND. This is also my favourite Monroe film and one of my favourite comedies of all time

Rae Kasey said...

Easily one of my top 10 favorite films. :)

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