September 29th, 2011: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Cast and Crew:  Pat O’Brien, Mike Mazurki, Edward G. Robinson

What It’s About: It’s 1929 and musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) witness gangster Spats Columbo (George Raft) “rub out” his competition in the infamous Valentine’s Day Massacre.  The mobsters see Joe and Jerry, but they manage to escape.  On the lam, they join an all female band in drag, disguising themselves as Josephine and Daphne, and end up in Miami.  There they continue to hide from Spats Columbo, while Joe attempts to woo singer Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) and Jerry is himself wooed by millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown).

Why Watch it Today?: Lead Tony Curtis died today in 2010Some Like it Hot is one of Curtis’s best films, with Curtis playing, essentially, three characters-Joe, Josephine, and the Shell Oil heir persona he adopts to seduce Sugar Kane.  The last character is a pointed and often hilarious parody of Cary Grant’s suave persona and speaking style.  Curtis is just one actor in a superb ensemble directed by the great Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote.  If you’ve never seen it, avoid spoilers for the final line if you can; it’s one of the best final lines in movie history.

Where to Get ItLibraries, Netflix (rental) or Amazon and iTunes

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