Tag Archives: Marilyn Monroe

Some Like It Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)

Some Like It Hot is perfectly constructed. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond’s script precisely sets up gags, even as the film moves through its three stages. For example, there’s a joke about matching blood types–type o–near the beginning and it keeps echoing throughout. It’s just in dialogue, but for another one, Wilder and Diamond cross over from dialogue to sight gags–there’s a bicycle bit and it comes back beautifully for the finish.

The precision and the plotting help with the suspension of disbelief. Hot’s memorable elements–Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag, Marilyn Monroe’s sexy singer–don’t show up until almost a quarter of the way into the movie. And Wilder runs that first quarter really fast. The film’s first breather doesn’t come until the second part, the train–the film’s basically split into Chicago, the train to Miami and Miami.

Hot is a deception comedy and most of its visual. One has to believe Monroe doesn’t recognize Curtis out of drag, even though George Raft and his mobster goons almost immediately make the connection. One has to believe a dozen women believe Curtis and Lemon as women. There are probably a few other ones, but those two are the biggies.

And Wilder’s able to sell it. He even introduces the idea of Curtis and Lemmon into the viewer’s imagination before actually showing it.

Monroe and Joe E. Brown give the best performances, but everyone’s good. Even Raft.

It’s a fantastic film. Wilder is amazing.

4/4★★★★

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Billy Wilder; screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, based on a story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan; director of photography, Charles Lang; edited by Arthur P. Schmidt; music by Adolph Deutsch; released by United Artists.

Starring Marilyn Monroe (Sugar Kane Kowalczyk), Tony Curtis (Joe), Jack Lemmon (Jerry), George Raft (Spats Colombo), Pat O’Brien (Det. Mulligan), Joe E. Brown (Osgood Fielding III), Nehemiah Persoff (Little Bonaparte), Joan Shawlee (Sweet Sue), Billy Gray (Sig Poliakoff), George E. Stone (Toothpick Charlie), Dave Barry (Beinstock), Mike Mazurki (Spats’s Henchman), Harry Wilson (Spats’s Henchman), Beverly Wills (Dolores), Barbara Drew (Nellie) and Edward G. Robinson Jr. (Johnny Paradise).


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Something’s Got to Give (1962, George Cukor)

I wonder how Something’s Got to Give plays if you haven’t seen My Favorite Wife (Give was a remake). This thirty-seven minute edit of footage of Marilyn Monroe’s last–unfinished–film is a disjointed suggestion of what might have been.

Monroe’s good in her part, though she doesn’t have a lot to do in the footage. There’s a lot with Cyd Charisse as Monroe’s rival, expect Charisse is awful and her character’s a harpy anyway. It’s unbelievable Dean Martin would be interested in her, much less marry her.

Give probably would have been most interesting for Martin. He’s sans ego for the most part, playing a man plagued with insecurity and impotence.

The film appears to be rather well-produced, except Tori Rodman. Rodman compiled the footage decades later, mimicking the era well, but it’s a soulless effort.

John McGiver is hilarious as a judge who spars with Martin.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by George Cukor; screenplay by Arnold Schulman, Nunnally Johnson and Water Bernstein, based on a screenplay by Bella Spewack and Sam Spewack; directors of photography, Franz Planer and Leo Tover; edited by Tori Rodman; music by Johnny Mercer; produced by Henry T. Weinstein; released by Fox Home Video.

Starring Marilyn Monroe (Ellen Wagstaff Arden), Dean Martin (Nick Arden), Cyd Charisse (Bianca Russell Arden), Wally Cox (Shoe Salesman), John McGiver (The Judge), Phil Silvers (Johnson), Tom Tryon (Steven Burkett), Alexandra Heilweil (Lita Arden), Robert Christopher Morley (Timmy Arden), Grady Sutton (The Judge’s Clerk), Eloise Hardt (Miss Worth) and Steve Allen (The Psychiatrist).


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