Movie Review: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon

Directed by: Billy Wilder

After witnessing a Mafia murder in Chicago during the prohibition, musicians Jerry and Joe must leave town before they suffer the same fate. They hightail it down to Florida with an all girls band and take on the persona’s of Josephine and Daphne where they hope the Mafia will never find them.

Some Like It Hot is one of those films that’s considered as one of the greats by so many people from film critics to the casual movie watcher. I’ve been excited to watch this for a while but at the same time have also been putting it off. A few times last year I watched some ‘great classic’ movies and apart from To Kill a Mockingbird, which was sheer perfection, they failed to live up to their billing. A couple of examples of this are 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was really dull and tedious and Dr Strangelove, which was a decent watch but no where near the level of quality as some make out. Also, Some Like It Hot marks the first movie that I was going to see Marilyn Monroe in and up until now I’ve never really understood why she was and still is such an icon.

With that being said, after watching Some Like It Hot I can now understand why Marilyn Monroe has been such a big deal for all these years. She’s not only incredibly beautiful but she’s a wonderful actress who has the ability to sing as well. She has such a natural charm and seduction in her voice that it’s hard not to enjoy what she’s doing. When we first meet Monroe’s character, Sugar, she has a bit of an alcohol problem which almost costs her her job as part of the all girls band travelling to Florida. In some ways it was sad to watch as this mirrored her real life where she was troubled with substance abuse which ultimately led to her untimely death.

Moving swiftly back to the movie, in addition to Marilyn Monroe’s wonderful performance, both Male leads, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, were absolutely fantastic as both their male and female characters. As a double act they shared great chemistry and provided many of laughs throughout the course of the movie. The story was well told and was interesting to watch unfold and due to the time of release, this comedy movie didn’t need to rely on obscenities to make its audience laugh although I do think that this movie would not be as successful as it has been if it was made in this day and age. The politically correct and easily offended groups of this world, who are the most opinionated and outspoken would bash this film so hard for being derogatory and insensitive towards women, which at times is evident but to watch this movie and enjoy it, you have to take in to account that it’s close to 60 years old now and that times have changed.

Another thing I loved about Some Like It Hot was the music. While I personally wouldn’t listen to jazz music at home, I do like listening to it in movies where it suits the time and mood of the movie it’s set in. If I had to mark this movie down for anything it would probably be the casting choice of some the extra side characters, more specifically Mafia boss Spats Colombo’s henchmen as some of those guys were truly woeful actors but they didn’t have a very big role or much screen time so I can’t be too critical.

In conclusion, Some Like It Hot was a critically acclaimed classic movie that delivered. The characters were fantastic and the acting was incredible by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe truly shows why she became one of the first megastars of Hollywood. I’m sure most of you guys have already seen this a long time ago but if you haven’t then I implore you to check it out.

9/10

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