Some Like It Hot Review – Nobody’s Perfect? Oh, No, Sugar, You Are Purrfect

(For Billy Wilder fans and SI Blog readers Guruprasad & Ganesh)

Long as we can remember, Marilyn Monroe has had a bewitching spell over us.

It was a spell she cast from her grave as our parents repeated old tales about Marilyn’s spellbinding beauty, her many lovers (including possibly President John F Kennedy and his brother Bobby Kennedy) and the sad circumstances of her premature death.

For years we drooled over pictures of her. The old black & white ones and the few color photos we could lay our hands on.

And finally, last night, as if by way of long overdue homage to the legendary beauty we watched our first Marilyn Monroe film – Some Like it Hot.

A Hoot

Considered one of the great comedies of all time, Some Like It Hot (1959) also features Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Joe Brown.

Directed by the nonpareil Billy Wilder (of Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Sabrina, Witness for the Prosecution and The Seven Year Itch fame), the movie was a hoot and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some Like It Hot picked up a host of awards including an Oscar and three Golden Globes. All well deserved, if we may say so.

Its frequent high standing in polls attests to the enduring popularity of this 52-year-old film.

Ridiculously Silly but Hilariously Funny

Like all comedies, the plot of Some Like It Hot is ridiculously silly.

The setting is Chicago, 1929. Remember, this was the Prohibition era in the U.S. when bootleggers and speakeasies made hay off desperate tipplers.

Two down on their luck musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) not only lose their jobs after a police raid on the illegal club where they play but also have the great misfortune of witnessing a bloody massacre organized by the notorious bootlegger Spats’ Colombo (George Raft) in a garage.

Five or six people are killed in the garage and Joe and Jerry manage to escape by the skin of their teeth.

Knowing fully well that the bad guns are soon going to come after them, the duo intend to flee as far as possible. Even if it’s not far enough, as one of the characters says tongue in cheek. πŸ˜‰

When they realize that the only job available is for two girls on an all girls band heading to Florida, they disguise themselves as Josephine and Geraldine and climb aboard the Florida train.

Now starts the fun. And the good times go on and on until the credits start rolling at the end.

On the train, they meet Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), a beautiful girl with an inordinate fondness for liquor and a history of bad boyfriends, particularly saxophonists. Did we tell y’all that Joe/Josephine is a saxophonist?

And Joe/Josephine is instantly smitten with Sugar.

Aw come on, who wouldn’t be with a sweet girl as adorable as our Sugar. πŸ˜‰

No sooner does the train reach Florida then the fun and the confusion is magnified.

You see, an old billionaire Osgood with a nice yacht berthed not far from shore takes a fancy to Jerry/Geraldine who is now calling herself Daphne.

And with Joe/Josephine donning a new avatar Junior and the bad guys coming, the movie is a riot of nonsensical fun.

Abiding Charm

Four things contribute to the abiding charm and appeal of Some Like It Hot:

* Marilyn’s superb beauty and performance as Sugar and, of course, those wonderful kisses she bestows upon Junior on the yacht. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy for her role of Sugar.

* Great Dialogs. Sparkling with wit, folks. We could give you a few examples but then the magic would be lost in case you want to see the film. By the way, the screenplay was by Billy Wilder and I.A.L.Diamond.

* Absolutely delightful acting by Jack Lemmon for which he got an Academy Award nomination and the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy.

* And the nice soundtrack (with some pieces sung by Marilyn Monroe herself) rounded it all off.

You know what folks, if the acting, dialogs and screenplay rise to great heights then the plot f*cking doesn’t matter. Not one whit.

Oh, we loved the ending. Brilliant!

As movie buffs well know, those last three words of Some Like it Hot –Β  Well, Nobody’s Perfect – are now part of Hollywood legend!

Your favorite blog strongly recommends Some Like It Hot. If you live in the U.S., the DVD is on Netflix.

7 Responses to "Some Like It Hot Review – Nobody’s Perfect? Oh, No, Sugar, You Are Purrfect"

  1. abhi220   March 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    ‘Well, Nobody’s perfect’ is indeed hilarious. I am sure, back then this was an offbeat story. This has certainly inspired many bollywood movies.
    If you are into classics ‘It’s a wonderful life’ is good too.
    BTW, do you think India has any chance in this WC. Who would be your pick? Responds:

    1. We’ll certainly watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Just added to Netflix queue.

    2. World Cup, hard to say. Any team can win on their lucky day. Ireland beating England, the India-England tie….stranger things have not happened!

    • abhi220   March 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      This movie is actually there in youtube. That too in 720p HD (color) and is certainly on par with netflix quality. I thought that is illegal and I am curious why youtube doesn’t ban it. Responds:

      Well, how many people care about a 52-year-old movie.

      Just returned from the new movie The Adjustment Bureau (Matt Damon, Emily Blunt).

      Working on Adjustment review and Arrogant Bastarding at the same time. πŸ˜‰

  2. vjcool   March 4, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Think you’ll love the music and the singer!!.

    came across sway in ‘dark city’ (review if you plz) and searched in youtube and got many versions. This I liked, and checked out many other songs too.. GEMS.. Responds:

    Nice one. Great, unusual voice.

  3. kreacher   March 4, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Yup, I fell off the bed laughing when I heard that last line.

    That whole exchange between Lemmon and Joe Brown is hilarious and the culmination is just a masterpiece.

    Apparently after months of training Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon had to go through a litmus test. They had to go into a ladies’ restroom – they managed to do so unscathed.

    Unsurprisingly this movie was plagiarized by Bollywood as Rafoo Chakkar (featuring Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh). Responds:

    You write: Yup, I fell off the bed laughing when I heard that last line.

    Us too. We laughed so much that tears started flowing!

    You know, movies had a certain class those days that’s so completely missing now. They paid attention to dialogs. These days, it’s all weird, ‘special’ effects or crass humor. πŸ™

    Just looked up Rafoo Chakkar on Wiki. Looks like a verbatim copy. Disgusting.

  4. Twig   March 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

    While you are in the 1950’s comedy mode, you should try to watch ‘Plan 9 from outer space’.
    Directed by a friend of the legendary (and one of my all time favorite motion picture artist) Orsen Welles. Responds:

    Added Plan 9 from Outer Space to our Netflix queue.

    Here are excerpts from some Netflix reviews of Plan 9: πŸ˜‰

    * What a horrendous piece of crap! I actually felt ashamed of myself for watching the damned thing.

    * A film that holds the distinction of generally being considered the worst film ever made.

    * However, if you love bad cinema, like me, this movie is still the reigning champ. “There comes a time in every man’s life when he cannot believe his own eyes.” That quote from the film pretty much sums up my reaction to this movie.

    * I rented this movie because of its almost legendary status as an awesomely bad movie.

    * If you are a true movie fan, you have to see this film. It is badly acted, poorly written, and you can see strings on the flying saucers.

    * This is definately the best of the worst. If you want a movie with a clear plot dont watch this. It was poorly shot, poorly written, badly acted and made my brain hurt , but I could not stop watching. I laughed through the entire movie. This is one of the greatest films to watch if you have to shut off your brain for a bit.

    * So bad its good!!!!

    Are you SOBER?

    No response required for above question. We know the answer! πŸ˜‰

  5. Twig   March 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

    While you are in the 1950β€²s comedy mode, you should try to watch β€˜Plan 9 from outer space’
    I’ve seen it. It is funny in it’s own way.
    Directed by a friend of the legendary (and one of my all time favorite motion picture artist) Orsen Welles.

    oops! just checked in the wiki, the above line is wrong. Please delete it.

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