(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.
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. 😉
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. 😉
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.
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 – Well, Nobody’s Perfect – are now part of Hollywood legend!
Your favorite blog SearchIndia.com strongly recommends Some Like It Hot. If you live in the U.S., the DVD is on Netflix.