Screened in support of Red Cross Week.
The brilliant 1959 Billy Wilder comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon is being screened in response to a request by the local Red Cross organisation to show a film in May to help them raise funds. There will be a very low admission charge of £4 per person, all of which will go to ABCD funds to cover the costs of the event. In addition, there will be a collection for the Red Cross to which you will be be able to contribute.
Dir: Billy Wilder 120 mins USA 1959 Cert. U
Some Like It Hot
USA, 1959, 120 mins, Cert U
Having witnessed the St Valentine’s Day Massacre – and been seen by the notorious gangster Spats Colombo, played by George Raft (They Drive by Night (1940); Scarface (1932)) – jazz musicians Joe and Jerry, played by Tony Curtis (Sweet Smell of Success (1957)) and Jack Lemmon (The Apartment (1960)), decide to leave the city of Chicago. However, the only gig for them appears to be musicians with an all-girl group with vocalist and ukulele player Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, played by Marilyn Monroe (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953); How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)). So the two go in disguise as women, as they head to Florida, where hilarity and mayhem begins as the two get used to their new guises as Josephine and Daphne.
Filming with Monroe proved a major headache for its director Billy Wilder (Sunset Blvd. (1950); Double Indemnity (1944)). It took 47 takes for Monroe to say her line “It’s me, Sugar” correctly. Wilder eventually put her line on to a blackboard for her to read it. Monroe was, in fact, pregnant during filming, which meant many of the publicity shots were in fact of Sandra Warner (Point Blank (1967)) and Evelyn Moriarty (Movie Movie (1978)) with Monroe’s head superimposed. She even insisted that the film should be shot in colour, as stated in her contract; but Wilder had it his way because the make-up on Curtis and Lemmon had a green tinge when shot in colour.
The film actually won an Oscar for its make-up, a BAFTA for Jack Lemmon, and three Golden Globes, including the Best Actress for Monroe. The film was awarded a place in the National Film Registry in 1989, alongside Casablanca (1942), Vertigo (1958), and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). At the time of writing this programme note, it was ranked number 96 in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Top 250.
Sugar Kane Kowalczyk – Marilyn Monroe
Joe – Tony Curtis
Jerry – Jack Lemmon
Spats Colombo – George Raft
Det. Mulligan – Pat O’Brien
Osgood Fielding III – Joe E. Brown
Little Bonaparte – Nehemiah Persoff
Director – Billy Wilder
Screenplay – Billy Wilder; I.A.L. Diamond based on story by R. Thoeren and M. Logan
Cinematography – Charles Lang
Music – Adolph Deutsch
Editor – Arthur P. Schmidt
Producer – Billy Wilder
“Some Like It Hot is one of those rare movies where all the elements gel all the time… The desert-island comedy bar none. ” – Michael Thomson, bbc.co.uk
“This is Billy Wilder at his filmmaking best. A smart, sophisticated, sexy and silly comedy that will keep you laughing from start to finish.” – Crazy4Cinema.com
“The movie crackles with eccentric, delightful and breezy characterisation joined by some of the most astute comic timing ever to emerge from Hollywood. The greatest farce in the movies.” – Scott Macdonald, EyeForFilm.co.uk
“A near-perfect exhibition of the comic arts, Some Like It Hot effortlessly melds cross-dressing and Chicago gangsters to blistering effect.” – Damian Cannon, Movie Reviews UK
There will be a collection at tonight’s film for the British Red Cross which is part of the world’s largest international humanitarian network – the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. There is a local branch in Abingdon part of which provides amongst other things wheelchairs and other mobility aids on loan. Your generous support would be much appreciated.