Pros: Watching Curtis and Lemmon's drag act is a scream!
Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot" was taken from an old German farce called "Fanfares of Love". Who knew that this would become one of the finest comedy classics of all time!
The two main characters are a couple of musicians named Joe (Tony Curtis)and Jerry (Jack Lemmon). Unfortunately, they witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago and end up on the run from the mob!
They end up having to join an all-girl band (Sweet Sue's) by disguising themselves as women. Joe becomes Josephine the saxophone player and Jerry becomes Daphne the bass violin player! The process of them cross dressing is the funniest part of the film. Just watching these guys donning and stuffing brassieres, putting on nylon stockings, trying to walk in high heels and trying to perfect women's voices and mannerisms is wildly comical and is a delight to behold!
To complicate matters, the lead singer in the band is none other than the gorgeous Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe)! Joe and Jerry both fall head over heels in love with her and both try to win her for his own.
What poor Jerry succeeds at is attracting the attentions of a wealthy playboy, Osgood Fielding (Joe E. Brown)! This plot is hysterical, because Jerry/Daphne seems to loose touch with reality and begins enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous so much, he/she actually gets engaged to the old dude!
Things get really tricky when the mob finds them in Florida and Spats Columbo and his boys come to finish them off!
This movie is hilarious and truly ahead of it's time, although if it was done now, it certainly wouldn't have the sweet touch of innocence it had in 1959!
Completing this film was no easy task for Billy Wilder. There were major problems with Marilyn Monroe on the set. Her personal lifestyle and over usage of drugs was becoming evident in her work at this time. It took her 47 takes to correctly say the line "It's me, Sugar." After the 30th take, Wilder wrote the line on a blackboard! Another line Marilyn had trouble with was "Where's the bourbon?" She said everything from, "where's the whiskey" to "where's the bonbon"! Wilder finally taped the line inside one of the drawers for her to read it, but she couldn't remember which drawer it was in, so he had to put it in all of them!
Marilyn wanted the film to be shot in color, and it was in her contract for all her films to be shot in color. Wilder had to convince her to let it be shot in black and white after discovering that Jack and Tony's makeup looked green in color.
Billy Wilder originally wanted Frank Sinatra to play Jerry and Mitzi Gaynor to play Sugar Kane. After making this film, in an interview about it, Billy Wilder was quoted as saying, "We knew we were in midflight and there was a nut on the plane."
To me this was very sad to find out, as I love Marilyn Monroe and her downfall was a classic Hollywood tragedy.
This is one of the first, and in my opinion, the best cross-dressing, man-in-drag movies of all time! This is a great date movie, a great rainy day movie, a great movie to view with a group, a great movie to view alone and a great family film. It meets all the criteria for a classic comedy film and I highly recommend it to rent or to buy!