Monday, 4 January 2016

Marvelous Marilyn: Some Like it Hot (1959)

The film is set in 1929 in prohibition Chicago. The opening scene helps put this point across with smugglers escaping the police. The plot of the film is thus, down on their luck musicians Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon are at their wits end with what to do about making money. The two of them have borrowed money from every person they know they owe rent and have a way of wasting their money on the dogs!. They have even worse luck when one night on their way to a musician job they witness a mob assassination which is not good news for them because they get seen by the gangster whom does the killing so they both have to go on the run for their lives because they saw the whole thing and the mob boss wants them both dead.

The two decide to go on the run from Chicago and the chance comes up for them both to take a job on the other side of America which is perfect for them to get out of the city and far away as possible from the mob, but...... there is one slight catch... they have to pretend to be women so they can take the job. Now we enter one of the greatest comedy movies of all time, the scene of Jack and Tony walking down the train platform in tights and high heals all dressed up like women is pure gold. Been men these guys happen to glance a woman on her way to join the group with them she walks like “jello on springs” whom is this?, why none other than the blonde bombshell herself Marilyn Monroe.

Been a comedy about two men hiding from the mob dressed as women you know they are going to start feeling attracted to the beautiful women around them, as you would expect, they start feeling attracted to Marilyn Monroe (as we all would!). They have to keep telling them selves they are girls just so they dont fall for the other girls feminine wilds, but you cant stop nature. So how do you try and flirt with a beautiful woman when you are supposed to be a woman yourself?. Joe (Tony Curtis) comes up with this idea of pretending he is a English sea captain (he does his best Carry Grant impression). As you can imagine hilarity ensures with Joe not knowing what to wear and having to change back and forth between his two disguises, jumping into the bath while in one costume to hide the fact he is pretending to be to people, its the original Mrs Doubtfire!!.

Jack Lemon's character seems to enjoy been a woman a bit too much and even gets excited when a man falls for him it is absolutely hilarious to watch. Marilyn Monroe as Candy Cane does what Marilyn does best singing and dancing swinging her curves around and generally playing that character she is so good at, the beautiful and sort of simple soft spoken girl. Will the guys manage to keep up their apperence of been women while they also try to find love, while also trying to run from the mob?. I cannot spoil it for you but it is well worth a watch even today this film is held in high regard and is often named as one of the greatest comedy movies which I agree.

The film is directed by Billy Wilder whom was one of the best directors in the 40s/50s. Billy Wilder worked with Marilyn before this fim on The Seven Year Itch (1955). That film has Marilyn's most famous scene the air vent in the walkway up her skirt, need I say more. Their is only about 2 songs in this film because its not a musical just a comedy. Marilyn does sing one of her most famous songs in this film “I want to be loved by you”, she looks amazing when she sings it and does not leave much to the imagination in that dress!!. The costume design and set design is spot on totally showing the art deco era of the 1920s Jazz Age, probably because it was not that far away from the 20s in the 50s compared to now I can imagine it was easy to get hold of vintage cars etc.

The one thing that steals this film for me tho is Jack Lemon, you get the feeling the guy had a right blast filming this film. Jack Lemon's character like mentioned before seems to get into his female “role” a bit too well, he is just so funny to watch when he comes into the room when he is in “love and engaged” dancing with a pair of maracas, it is just genius, he even steals the end of the film with one of the funniest and possibly greatest movie endings around!. Another golden scene is Jack Lemon on his date dancing the tango and so on, it just has me in stitches. The film has aged well and I still enjoy it every time I watch it, but i can understand if its not to everyone's taste with it been an older film, but all 3 leads do so well especially Jack Lemon for me, if you want to start watching Marilyn Monroe films this is the one to start with I would say.

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