Some Like It Hot

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder , starring Marilyn Monroe , Tony Curtis , and Jack Lemmon . The supporting cast includes George Raft , Pat O’Brien , Joe E. Brown , Joan Shawlee , and Nehemiah Persoff . The screenplay by Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond is based on a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Michael Logan from the French film Fanfare of Love . The film is about two musicians who dress in dragin order to escape from mafia gangsters Whom They Witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre . The film was produced in black and white , even though color was increasing in popularity.

Some Like It Hot to be the most important movie of all time. It was voted as a film by the American Film Institute on their list on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Laughs poll in 2000. The film is also notable for featuring cross dressing, and for playing with the idea of homosexuality , which led to be produced by the Motion Picture Production Code . The code had been gradually weakening in its scope during the early 1950s, but it was still officially enforced. The overwhelming success of Some Like It Hotis considered one of the final nails in the coffin for the Hays Code . [1]


It is February 1929 in the city of Chicago , during the era of prohibition . Joe ( Tony Curtis ) is an irresponsible jazz saxophone player, gambler and ladies’ man; his friend Jerry ( Jack Lemmon ) is a sensitive jazz double-bass player; Both are working in a speakeasy (disguised as a funeral home ) owned by mob gangster “Spats” Colombo ( George Raft ). When to join the police after being tipped off by informing “Toothpick” Charlie ( George E. Stone ), joe and jerry flee-only to accidentally witness Spats and his henchmen exacting his revenge on “Toothpick”Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre ). Penniless and in a rush to get out of town, the two musicians take on a job with Sweet Sue ( Joan Shawlee ) and her Society Syncopators, an all-female band leader in Miami . Disguised as women and renaming Themselves Josephine and Daphne, They board is currently with the band and Their male manager Bienstock. Before they board the train, Joe and Jerry, Sugar Kane ( Marilyn Monroe ), the band’s vocalist and ukulele player.

Joe and Jerry become enamored of Sugar and compete for their affection while maintaining their disguises. Sugar confides that she has sworn off male saxophone players, who have stolen her heart in the past and left with “the fuzzy end of the lollipop”. She has set her sights on finding a sweet, bespectacled millionaire in Florida. Josephine and Daphne become intimate friends with Sugar, and have to struggle to remember that

Once in Miami, Joe woos Sugar by assuming a second title to a millionaire named Junior, the heir to Shell Oil , while feigning disinterest in Sugar. An actual millionaire, the much-married aging mama’s boy Osgood Fielding III, ( Joe E. Brown ) tries repeatedly to pick up Daphne, who rebuffs him. Osgood invites Daphne for a champagne supper on his yacht. Joe convinces Daphne to keep Osgood occupied onshore so that Junior can take Sugar to Osgood’s yacht, passing it off as his. Once upon a time, it is impotent and frigid, but it would be marry anyone who could change that. Sugar tries to arouse some sexual response in Junior, and begins to succeed. Meanwhile, Daphne and Osgood dance the tango (” La CumparsitaWhen Joe and Jerry get back to the hotel, Jerry explains that Osgood has proposed marriage to Daphne and that he, as Daphne, has accepted, anticipating an instant divorce and huge cash settlement when his ruse is revealed. Jerry that he can not actually marry Osgood.

The hotel hosts a conference for “Friends of Italian Opera”, which is in front of a major meeting of various branches of La Cosa Nostra . Spots and his gang from Chicago recognize Joe and Jerry as the witnesses to the Valentine’s Day murders. Joe and Jerry, fearing for their lives, make it to the band and leave the hotel. Joe breaks Sugar’s heart by telling her that he, Junior, has to marry a woman of his father’s choosing and move to Venezuela . After several chases, Joe and Jerry witnessed more mob killings, this time of Spats and his boys. Joe, dressed as Josephine, sees Sugar onstage singing that she will never love again. He kisses her before he leaves, and Sugar realizes that Joe is both Josephine and Junior.

Sugar runs from the stage at the end of her performance and manages to jump into the launch of Osgood’s yacht New Caledonia just as it is leaving the dock with Joe, Jerry, and Osgood. Joe tells Sugar that he is not good enough for her, that she would be getting the “fuzzy end of the lollipop” yet again, but Sugar wants him anyway. Jerry, for his part, comes up with a list of reasons why he and Osgood can not get married, from a smoking habit to infertility. Osgood dismisses them all; he loves Daphne and is determined to go through with the marriage. Exasperated, Jerry removes his wig and shouts, “I’m a man!” Osgood simply responds, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”


  • Marilyn Monroe as Sugar “Kane” Kowalczyk, a ukulele player and singer
  • Tony Curtis as Joe / “Josephine” / “Shell Oil Junior”, has saxophone player
  • Jack Lemmon as Jerry (Gerald) / “Daphne”, double bass player
  • George Raft as “Spats” Colombo, a mobster from Chicago
  • Pat O’Brien as Detective Mulligan
  • Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding III
  • Nehemiah Persoff as “Little Bonaparte,” a mobster
  • Joan Shawlee as Sweet Sue, the bandleader of “Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators”
  • Dave Barry as Mister Beinstock, the band manager for “Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators”
  • Billy Gray and Sig Poliakoff, Joe and Jerry’s agent in Chicago
  • Barbara Drew and Nellie Weinmeyer, Poliakoff’s secretary
  • George E. Stone as “Toothpick” Charlie, a gangster who is killed by “Spats” Colombo
  • Mike Mazurki as Spats’s Henchman
  • Harry Wilson as Spats’s Henchman
  • Edward G. Robinson Jr. Johnny Paradise, a gangster who kills “Spats” Colombo
  • Beverly Wills as Dolores, a trombone player, and Sugar’s apartment friend
  • Al Breneman as the bellboy (uncredited) citation needed ]
  • Tito Vuolo as Mr. Mozzarella, funeral director (uncredited) citation needed ]
  • Tom Kennedy as Mozzarella’s bouncer (uncredited) citation needed ]
  • Grace Lee Whitney Rosella (uncredited)


The soundtrack features four songs Performed by Marilyn Monroe for the movie 9 songs composed by Adolph Deutsch, as well as two songs Performed by jazz artist Matty Malneck . [2]

No. title length
1. ” Runnin ‘Wild ” ( Marilyn Monroe ) 1:07
2. “Medley: Sugar Blues / Running Wild” ( Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 1:32
3. “Down Among the Sheltering Palms” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 1:59
4. “Randolph Street Rag” (Adolph Deutsch) 1:28
5. ” I Want To Be Loved By You ” (Marilyn Monroe) 2:58
6. “Park Avenue Fantasy” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 3:34
7. “Medley: Down Among the Sheltering Palms / The Cumparsita / I Want to Be Loved By You” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 2:20
8. “I’m Thru With Love” (Marilyn Monroe) 2:34
9. “Medley: Sugar Blues / The Whole Damn World” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 3:25
10. “Play It Again Charlie” (Adolph Deutsch) 1:49
11. “Sweet Georgia Brown” ( Matty Malneck & His Orchestra) 2:57
12. “By the Beautiful Sea” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 1:22
13. “Park Avenue Fantasy (Reprise)” (Adolph Deutsch & His Orchestra) 2:10
14. “Some Like It Hot” (Matty Malneck & His Orchestra) 1:46
15. “Some Like It Hot (Single Version)” (Marilyn Monroe) 1:21
Total length: 32:22



Billy Wilder wrote the script for the movie Some Like it Hot . [3] The plot is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the 1935 French film Fanfare of Love . [4] However, the original script for Fanfare of Love was untraceable, so Walter Mirisch found a copy of the 1951 German remake Fanfares of Love . He bought the rights to the script and Wilder worked with this to produce a new story. [4] Although Some Like A Hot Remix of Fanfare of Love, both movies follow the story of two musicians in search of work, [3] Wilder was the creator of the gangster subplot that kept the musicians on the run. [5]

The studio hired Barbette , a famous female impersonator, to coach Lemmon and Curtis on gender illusion for the film. [4]

Marilyn Monroe worked for 10% of the gross in excess of $ 4 million, Tony Curtis for 5% of the gross over $ 2 million and Billy Wilder 17.5% of the first million after break-even and 20% thereafter. [6]


Tony Curtis was spotted by Billy Wilder while he was making the film Houdini (1953), [7] as he thought Tony would be perfect for the role of Joe. “I was sure Tony was right for it,” explained Wilder, “because he was quite handsome, and when he told Marilyn that he is one of the Shell Oil family,” she said. [8] Wilder’s first idea for the role of Jerry was Frank Sinatra , but he never came to the audition. [9] Jerry Lewis and Danny Kaye were also considered for the role of Jerry. Finally, Jack Lemmon’s Wilder Saw in the comedy Mad Ball Operation [10]and selected him for the role of Jerry. Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon made numerous films together until 1981, among them The Apartment and several films with Walter Matthau .

According to York Movie Notes, Billy Wilder and IAL Diamond did not expect such a big star as Marilyn Monroe to take the part of Sugar [3] in fact, Wilder said, ” Mitzi Gaynor was who we had in mind. That Marilyn wanted the hand and Then We HAD to-have Marilyn. ” [11] Wilder and Monroe had already made the film The Seven Year Itch together in 1955.


The film was made in California during the summer and autumn of 1958. [12] Many scenes were shot at the Coronado Hotel in San Diego which appeared as the “Seminole Ritz Hotel” in Miami in the film. The Hotel in San Diego was built in the 1920s and was near Hollywood, so Wilder thing it was not in Florida.

There were many problems with Marilyn Monroe, who lacked concentration and suffered from addiction to pills. She could not memorize many of her lines and required 47 takes to get “It’s me, Sugar” correct, instead saying “Sugar, it’s me” or “It’s Sugar, me”. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made bets during the filming how many takes Marilyn would need to get it right. [13] For the scene with Shell Jr., and Sugar at the beach. Although Marilyn had plenty of complicated lines, the whole scene between Shell Jr. and Sugar was completely finished in only 20 minutes. [14] Monroe’s acting coach Paula Strasberg and Monroe’s husband Arthur Millerboth tried to influence the production, which Wilder and other crew members found annoying. [15] [16]

Billy Wilder said in 1959 about filming another movie with Marilyn Monroe: “I’ve gotten away with my doctor and I’m too old and too rich to go through this again.” [17] But Wilder also admitted: “My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual and never hold up production, but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie?” [18] He also stated that Monroe played her part wonderfully. [19]

The film’s iconic closing line, “Nobody’s perfect” -now ranked 78th on Hollywood’s list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Movie Lines-was never supposed to be in the final cut. Diamond and Wilder put it in the script as a “placeholder” until they could come up with something better, but never did. [20]


With regards to sound design, there is a strong musical element [3] in the film, with the soundtrack created by Adolph Deutsch . It has an authentic 1920s jazz feel using sharp, brassy strings to create tension in certain moments, for example whenever Spats’ gangsters appear. In terms of cinematography and aesthetics, Billy Wilder thing to shoot the movie in black and white Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in full drag costume and make-up looked ‘unacceptably grotesque’ in early color tests. [3]


Some Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Lemmon and Best Director and Best Screenplay for Wilder, the latter along with IAL Diamond. [21] It was voted as a film by the American Film Institute on their list on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Laughs poll in 2000. [22]

By 1962, the film had $ 14 million in the US. [23]

Roger Ebert wrote about the movie, “Wilder’s 1959 comedy is one of the enduring treasuries of movies, a movie of inspiration and meticulous craft.” [24] John McCarten of The New Yorker referred to the movie as “a jolly, carefree enterprise”. [25] The Guardian’s Richard Roud claims that Wilder comes “close to perfection” with the film. [26]

Rotten Tomatoes reports a score of 96%, with an average score of 8.9 out of 10. [27]

In 1989 this film became one of the first 25 inducted into the United States National Film Registry . quote needed ]

Roman Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency , which has given the film its less critical rating as morally objectionable. [28]

The BBC conducted 2017 year international survey for the best comedy in film history among 253 film critics from 50 countries, which ranked some as hot as number one. [29]

Awards and honors

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipients and nominees result
August 23 – September 6, 1959 [30] Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Some Like It Hot Nominated
December 1959 [31] [32] National Board of Review Awards Top Ten Movies Some Like It Hot Won
February 6, 1960 [33] [34] Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Achievement in Feature Movie Billy Wilder Nominated
1960 [35] British Academy Film Awards Best Movie from any Source Some Like It Hot Nominated
Best Foreign Actor Jack Lemmon Won
March 10, 1960 [36] [37] Golden Globe Awards Best Actor in Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Jack Lemmon Won
Best Actress in Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Marilyn Monroe Won
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Some Like It Hot Won
April 4, 1960 [38] Academy Awards Best Director Billy Wilder Nominated
Best Actor Jack Lemmon Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Billy Wilder, IAL Diamond Nominated
Best Cinematography – Black-and-white Charles Lang, Jr. Nominated
Best Art Direction – Black-and-white Ted Haworth (Art Direction) , Edward G. Boyle (Set Decoration) Nominated
Best Costume Design-Black and White Orry-Kelly Won
May 6, 1960 [39] [40] Writers Guild of America Awards Best Written Comedy Billy Wilder, IAL Diamond Won
September 28, 1960 [41] Laurel Awards Top Female Comedy Performance Marilyn Monroe (2nd place) Won
Top Male Comedy Performance Jack Lemmon (2nd place) Won
Top Comedy Some Like It Hot (3rd place) Won
1960 [41] [42] Bambi Awards Best Actor-International Tony Curtis (2nd place) Nominated

The film is recognized by the American Film Institute in these lists:

  • 1998: AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies – # 14 [43]
  • 2000: AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Laughs – # 1 [44]
  • 2005: AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes :
    • Osgood Fielding III: “Well, nobody’s perfect.” – # 48 [45]
  • 2007: AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – # 22 [46]


An unsold television pilot was filmed by Mirisch Productions in 1961 featuring Vic Damone and Tina Louise . As a favor to the production company, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis agreed to film cameo appearances, returning to their original characters, Daphne and Josephine, at the beginning of the pilot. Jerry (Lemmon) is the one who is treated for his impact and Joe (Curtis) is the same O blood type. [47]

In 1972, a musical play based on the screenplay of the film, entitled Sugar , opened on Broadway , and Starred Elaine Joyce , Robert Morse , Tony Roberts, and Cyril Ritchard , with book by Peter Stone , lyrics by Bob Merrill , and (all- new) music by Jule Styne . A 1991 stage production of this show in London featured Tommy Steele and retained the film’s title. In 2002, the aging Tony Curtis performed in a stage production of the film, played by Joe E. Brown (Osgood Fielding III).

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