Some Like It Hot (1959)
Other title : "Not Tonight, Josephine!".
Official announcement of the movie, July 8,1958, at the Beverly Hills Hotel : ,
,, (more pics here).
Marilyn's most famous movie is based on a German movie "Fanfaren der Liebe" (1932), in which 2 musicians dress up to find a job. Billy Wilder and I.A.L.Diamond transposed the action in Chicago, in 1929, and made the jazz musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), the random witnesses of the "St Valentine's Day Massacre".
The 2 men take to their heels and, in order to be accepted in a feminine band leaving to Florida, they dress up in Josephine and Daphne. They make friends with Sugar Kane, the singer of the band, with who Joe falls in love. As a result, a lively comedy about transvertism, where parody and farce abolished the frontier between the sexs.Wilder sent a short synopsis of this movie to Marilyn, end of 1957. Having ended her collaboration with Milton Greene in the Marilyn Monroe Productions, Marilyn was looking for something to do, and the screenplay roused her curiosity. It's said that Wilder was surprised that Marilyn agreed to play a peripheral part compared with the main action; it's said that she had reluctances to play a dumb blonde part, not a leading one, but Arthur Miller convinced her that it was a guaranteed success, and that she needed it after the quite mild welcome of "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957).
At the beginning, Marilyn expected to work with Frank Sinatra, who
Wilder had contacted to play the part held by Tony Curtis.
Apparently, Wilder changed his mind after Sinatra had forgotten to come
to a lunch. With Marilyn on board, he didn't need a name so famous (and
Marilyn had to earn 100 000$ and 10% of the takings - but according to some testimonies, her initial fee actualy reached 300 000$.
The first day of the shooting, on August 4, 1958, Marilyn came accompanied with Arthur Miller, Paula Strasberg, her personal hairstylist and make-up man. She was surprised and appalled to learn that the movie wouldn't be shoot in Technicolor, as it was specified in her contract with the Fox. Billy Wilder explained her that, in that case, the masculine leading roles make-up would look odd.
Colored screen-tests were shown to Marilyn, proving that Curtis and Lemmon's faces had a greenish complexion under their thick make-up.
The shooting didn't start under good auspices.
Marilyn made a succession of delays, she forgot
her text, and almost every scene should be shot many times - either
because she had forgotten a word, or because, perfectionist, she thought she could do better.
Then, if she was angry because she thought her interpretation was bad, she cried, and the make-up had to be done again. Apparently, Marilyn was so occupied by the way she wanted to play each scene, so focused on the metaphors used by Paula Strasberg to help her to understand the underlying feelings, that she undermined Wildes's authority on the set.
Sometimes, Marilyn arrived without knowing her text, or was unable to remember it because of the drug she took for sleeping. The lines had to be fixed on a support or written on a cardboard.
Marilyn gave herself again some forces by drinking a thermos an assistant filled for her : sometimes, the bottle held some coffee; sometimes, some vermouth,; sometimes a mix of them.
Tony Curtis was literally exasperated by Marilyn's nonsense.
During the shooting, she discovered that, finally, she was pregnant again. She had a miscarriage a month before the end of the shooting, on November 6, 1958. She was devastated.
The world premiere took place in Chicago, on March 17, 1959.
The New York took place on
The New Yorkpremiere
took place onMarch 29, 1959 at the Loewe's Capitol Theater, New York City
() : ,, (more pics here).
To celebrate the release of the movie, the Strasbergs gave a reception in their apartment.
Whether it's Marilyn's best movie or not - many fans are convinced of this - it was for sure the one who had the biggest success; it's still regularly shown, more than 4 decades after its release. The 6 first months of year 1959, "Some Like it Hot" supplanted all the other movies, and it held, for many years, the comedies box-office record.
She received a Golden Globe Award for her interprétation, on March 8, 1960.
concert sceneoff set
(more pics here).
Train : ,,,, (more pics here).
With Tony Curtis
with Tony Curtis parents
dotted Swiss dress
boat scene, black dress
With Agnes Flanagan
With Jack Lemmon
With Arthur Miller
With Whitey Snyder
With Paula Strasberg
With Billy Wilder
Dotted Swiss dress
black dress, feathers hat
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon
With a ukulele
Black dress and necklace
Projection of the movie
United Artists, Mirisch Company and Ashton Productions, Black & White.
Runtime : 122 mn
Release date : March 29, 1959.
Director : Billy Wilder.
Producers : Billy Wilder, I.A.L.Diamond (associate), Doane Harrison (associate).
Screenplay : I.A.L.Diamond, Billy Wilder, M.Logan (plot), Robert Thoeren (plot)
Director of photography : Charles Lang
Music : Adolph Deutsch
Production : Ted Haworth
Costumes : Jack Orry-Kelly
Film editing : Arthur P.Schmidt.
Marilyn Monroe - Sugar Kane
Tony Curtis - Joe/Josephine
Jack Lemmon - Jerry/Daphne
George Kraft - Spats Colombo
Pat O'Brien - Mulligan
Joe E.Brown - Osgood Fielding III
Nehemiah Persoff - Bonaparte
Joan Shawlee - Sweet Sue
Billy Gray - Sig Poliakoff
George E. Stone - Toothpick
Dave Barry - Beinstock
Mike Mazurki - Spats' henchman
Harry Wilson - Spats' henchman
Beverly Wills - Dolores
Barbara Drew - Nellie
Edward G. Robinson Jr - Paradise
Marian Collier - Olga
Helen Perry - Rosella.
Edward G. Boyle - set decoration
Agnes Flanagan - hair stylist
John Franco - continuity
Ted Haworth - art director
Bert Henrikson - costumes
Emile LaVigne - make-up
Fred Lau - sound
Matty Malneck - song supervisor
Alice Monte - hair stylist
Sam Nelson - assistant director
Eve Newman - music editor
Tom Plews - property master
Milt Rice - sêcial effects
Allen K. Wood - production manager.
Two musicians, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), have the bad luck to be, in a garage, in Chicago, in 1929, at the same moment when Spats Colombo (George Raft) and his gang slaughter their rivals, on St Velentine's Day.The police outbreak allow them to escape, but since, searched by the gangsters, they have to hide. There's only one way : to dress up in woman and insert a band - exclusively feminine - which goes on tour in Florida. Joe becomes Josephine, and Jerry becomes Daphne.
The train trip is all made of temptations for the 2 men, particularly Joe who falls in love with Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), a beautiful singer, expert on ukelele, having a crush on saxophone players and gin.
Under the Florida sun, Jerry/Daphne attracted the eye of the millionaire Osgood Fielding (Joe E. Brown). It's the ideal coverage for Joe: while Jerry occupied Osgood at the seaside, Joe can impress Sugar with Osgood's yacht, moored in the harbor. He turned into a petroleum tycoon, with a Cary Grant's accent, and invites Sugar to join him on the yacht, claiming to her that he has a disease which prevents him from being attracted by women. There is a challenge that Sugar can't miss to take up...Things turns into a disaster when Spats and his gang arrive in Florida for the gangsters annual convention. Joe and Jerry's coverage, so hardly acquired, fizzles out, and once again, they are at the wrong place at the wrong time : under a table, at the moment when not dancers are going out from a huge cake, but an armed man who sprays Spats and his sidekicks with a machine gun. The police arrives too late, and Joe, Sugar, Jerry and Osgood escape on the yacht. Sugar isn't bother by the fact that Joe isn't wealthy; more surprising, Osgood doesn't raise his eyebrows when Jerry takes his Daphne's wig off and admits that he isn't a girl.
- Costume Design, black and white : Orry Kelly.
Golden Globes Awards
- Best Picture, Comedy or Musical
- Best Actor, Comedy or Musical : Jack Lemmon
- Best Actress, Comedy or Musical : Marilyn Monroe.
British Academy Awards
- Best Foreign Actor : Jack Lemmon.
To the Academy Awards
- Best Actor in a Leading Role : Jack Lemmon
- Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black and White : Edward G. Boyle, Ted Haworth
- Best Cinematography, Black and White : Charles Lang
- Best Director : Billy Wilder
- Meilleur scénario, adaptation de scénario : I.A.L.Diamond, Billy Wilder.
Aux British Academy Awards- Best Film and British Film : Billy Wilder.