Directed by Billy Wilder
Based on the story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan
Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, and George Raft
When Joe (Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon) witness a violent gangland shooting they hit the road. Now the two are on the run from Spats Colombo (Raft) and his gang. In their attempt to hide, the two men disguise themselves as women and take jobs with an all-female band. As they travel with the band they begin to connect with their busty band mate Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Monroe). As they vie for her affections, they’re also being pursued by unsuspecting suitors. Now they’re juggling their identities and looking over their shoulders as they continue to run.
This is another classic film from Billy Wilder (Sabrina (1954)). This time he wrote the screenplay with I.A.L. Diamond (The Apartment), and also directed the film. The story was inspired from the work of Robert Thoeren (Mrs. Parkington) and Michael Logan (Fanfare of Love). The cast includes Tony Curtis (Winchester ’73), Jack Lemmon (Glengarry Glen Ross), Marilyn Monroe (How to Marry a Millionaire), and George Raft (Scarface (1932)). The film earned six Academy Award nominations including Best Director (Wilder), Best Actor (Lemmon), and Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Set Decoration, and Best Costume Design. Some Like It Hot would take home one win for Best Costume Design.
The story definitely lives up to the expectations of this viewer. If you’ve seen The Apartment or Sunset Blvd. you know that Wilder can really tell a story. The premise might be ridiculous, but the execution pays off. Since this movie came out there have been many others like it, but this one is the blueprint. The two men disguised as women works perfectly. The laughs start early and keep on coming with great dialogue and hilarious physical comedy. The film doesn’t ever seem to lose steam or focus, and has a great pace. Overall, this is one of the great buddy comedies and written wonderfully.
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are a great combination in this movie. Their timing is wonderful and they use the scenarios for some great moments of physical comedy. In addition, the two really made the most of the dialogue in the script. Overall, these two were a great choice to lead the way in this film. Marilyn Monroe is also fun in this one. Unfortunately she doesn’t do much with her role, which was clearly written to accommodate her limited skill. She’s not bad, but it’s a very simple role that allows her to come out looking good. George Raft is another great actor in this one. He does a good job leading the way for the villains of the film. He plays his part in an over-the-top style that the movie really needs to have. The cast as a whole did a great job in this one.
This is a good movie from the technical side of things as well. The cinematography, set design, and costuming all work together in creating an interesting backdrop for the story. The makeup work was also really great. It was no small feat to make Lemmon and Curtis look as feminine as they did. The music and sound are also really nicely done in this one. Overall this movie does a good job making every aspect succeed.
This is a great movie from a legendary director. The stars of the film do great work, so their fans should definitely check this one out. I would also suggest this to fans of buddy comedies like The Odd Couple or the more recent Grumpy Old Men. While some of the references are dated, this one holds up nicely for today’s audience. I give this one 4.8 out of 5 stars.