LP0103. SOME LIKE IT HOT, 1959 Soundtrack, w.Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon. United Artists UAL 4030.
“SOME LIKE IT HOT is a 1959 American romantic comedy film set in 1929, directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The supporting cast includes George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown,Joan Shawlee, and Nehemiah Persoff. The plot is based on a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Michael Logan from the French film FANFARE OF LOVE. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsterswhom they witnessed commit the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. The film was produced in black and white, even though color films were increasing in popularity.
SOME LIKE IT HOT is considered to be one of the greatest film comedies of all time. It was voted as the top comedy film by the American Film Institute on their list on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs poll in 2000. The film is also notable for featuring cross dressing, and for playing with the idea of homosexuality, which led to it being produced without approval from the Motion Picture Production Code. The code had been gradually weakening in its scope during the early 1950s, due to increasing societal tolerance for previously taboo topics in film, but it was still officially enforced. The overwhelming success of SOME LIKE IT HOT was a final nail in the coffin for the Hays Code.
The film was made in California during the summer and autumn of 1958. Many scenes were shot at the Hotel del Coronadoin San Diego which appeared as the ‘Seminole Ritz Hotel’ in Miami in the film. The Hotel in San Diego fitted into the era of the 1920s and was near Hollywood, so Wilder chose it although it was not in Florida.
There were many problems with Marilyn Monroe, who lacked concentration and suffered from addiction to pills. She could not memorize many of her lines and required 47 takes to get ‘It's me, Sugar’ correct, instead saying either ‘Sugar, it's me’ or ‘It's Sugar, me’. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon made bets during the filming how many takes Marilyn would need to get it right. For the scene with Shell Jr. and Sugar at the beach three days for shooting were scheduled. Although Marilyn had plenty of complicated lines, the whole scene between Shell Jr. and Sugar was completely finished in only 20 minutes. Monroe's acting coach Paula Strasberg and Monroe's husband Arthur Miller both tried to influence the production, which Wilder and other crew members found annoying.
With regards to sound design, there is a 'strong musical element' in the film, with the soundtrack created by Adolph Deutsch. It has an authentic 1920s jazz feel using sharp, brassy strings to create tension in certain moments, for example whenever Spats' gangsters appear. In terms of cinematography and aesthetics, Billy Wilderchose to shoot the film in black and white as Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in full drag costume and make-up looked 'unacceptably grotesque' in early color tests.”