Some Like It Hot Overview:

Some Like It Hot (1959) was a Comedy - Black-and-white Film directed by Billy Wilder and produced by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond and Doane Harrison.


Hailed by the American Film Institute as the funniest American movie of all time...

When two Chicago musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, they trade in their union suits for flapper frocks and hightail it down to Florida as the newest members of an all-girl jazz band. Things get complicated when they meet sexy band-mate Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) and eccentric millionaire 'playboy' Osgood Fielding III. Mayhem ensues as they try to keep their true identities hidden from Sugar, Osgood -- and the mobsters who are after them!

Directed by Billy Wilder, Some Like It Hot would mark the first collaboration with his new writing partner, I.A.L. Diamond, as well as Academy-Award winning actor Jack Lemmon, who would go on to star in six of his final ten films.


Although director Billy Wilder intended the film to be shot in color, he changed his mind when test footage revealed the greenish tint of Curtis and Lemmon's make-up. To help coach them in the finer points of female impersonation, the film-makers hired Vander Clyde, a legendary drag artist known throughout Europe as Barbette. And as Curtis couldn't maintain a high-pitched voice for an entire take, Paul Frees, who also appears as the "funeral director" of Spats' speakeasy, was engaged to dub the voice of Josephine.


To close the film, Wilder and Diamond came up with one of the most memorable tag lines in motion picture history: "Nobody's perfect." Interestingly enough, it was not meant to stay in the film. "We wrote it the night before we had to shoot it, and I mentioned a line I'd considered using at some earlier point," recalled Diamond. "Billy said, 'Do you think it's strong enough for the tag of the picture?' and I said 'I don't know.' But it was getting to be 11:00 at night, so we wrote it that way, and he said, 'Well, maybe we'll think of something better on the set.' Fortunately, we didn't think of anything better on the set."


Some Like It Hot was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1989.

Academy Awards 1959 --- Ceremony Number 32 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorJack LemmonNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Ted Haworth; Set Decoration: Edward G. BoyleNominated
Best CinematographyCharles Lang, Jr.Nominated
Best Costume DesignOrry-KellyWon
Best DirectorBilly WilderNominated
Best WritingBilly Wilder, I. A. L. DiamondNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Cinemallennials: Some Like It Hot (1959)

By Dave Lewis on Apr 7, 2021 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Cinemallennials: Some Like It Hot (1959) For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cinemallennials, it is a bi-weekly podcast in which I, and another millennial, watch a classic film that we?ve never seen before, and discuss its significance and relevance in today?s world. In today?s episod... Read full article

Marilyn: Behind the Icon – Some Like It Hot

By Gary Vitacco-Robles on Jul 28, 2020 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Marilyn: Behind the Icon ?A Comedic and Pregnant Monroe Triumphs inSome Like It Hot and Wins the Golden Globe In 2000, the American Film Institute honored Some Like It Hot as the ?Best Comedy of All Time.? In the six decades after its release, the film achieved acclaim worldwide as one of the... Read full article

COMEDY GOLD #6: The maracas scene from Some Like It Hot (1959)

By Carol Martinheira on Jun 22, 2018 From The Old Hollywood Garden

COMEDY GOLD #6: The maracas scene from Some Like It Hot (1959) On June 22, 2018June 22, 2018 By CarolIn Uncategorized It?s Billy Wilder?s birthday today and I thought I?d pay tribute to the great man in this COMEDY GOLD special by talking about his comedy masterpiece, ... Read full article

7 things I love about Some Like It Hot (1959)

By Carol Martinheira on Oct 23, 2017 From The Old Hollywood Garden

7 things I love about Some Like It Hot (1959) On October 23, 2017October 23, 2017 By CarolIn Uncategorized Ah, Some Like It Hot. Who doesn’t love Some Like It Hot? In fact, I?d go as far as to say that very few movies are as universally beloved as this. And why n... Read full article

5 Things I Noticed (and Loved) About Some Like It Hot

on Jun 14, 2017 From Journeys in Classic Film

I was fortunate to see Some Like It Hot (1959) on the big screen Sunday, courtesy of Park Circus, as part of TCM and Fathom Events’ series. I took along my best friend who, I believe, lacked a soul because he’d previously thought Singing In the Rain (1952) was boring. Yes, and we’r... Read full article

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Quotes from

Joe: So you got pinched in the elevator, so what? Would you rather be picking lead out of your navel?

Jerry: Have I got things to tell you!
Joe: What happened?
Jerry: I'm engaged.
Joe: Congratulations. Who's the lucky girl?
Jerry: I am!

Sugar: [on the yacht Junior's pretending he owns] Which is the port and which is the starboard?
Junior (Joe): Well that depends. That depends on whether you're coming or going. I mean, normally, normally, the aft is on the other side of the stern. But - And that's the bridge, so you can get from one side of the boat to the other.

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Facts about

Marilyn Monroe recorded a vocal version for the theme to the film. It was to be played over the opening credits, but an instrumental overture took its place in the final version. The title track later appeared on an LP in the mid-'70s, with Marilyn's three other songs from the film.
Marilyn Monroe required 47 takes to get "It's me, Sugar" correct, instead saying either "Sugar, it's me" or "It's Sugar, me". After take 30, Billy Wilder had the line written on a blackboard. Another scene required Monroe to rummage through some drawers and say "Where's the bourbon?" After 40 takes of her saying "Where's the whiskey?", 'Where's the bottle?", or "Where's the bonbon?", Wilder pasted the correct line in one of the drawers. After Monroe became confused about which drawer contained the line, Wilder had it pasted in every drawer. Fifty-nine takes were required for this scene and when she finally does say it, she has her back to the camera, leading some to wonder if Wilder finally gave up and had it dubbed.
The resort scenes were filmed entirely at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. One reason why Billy Wilder chose this location was Marilyn Monroe's ongoing personal problems. He wanted a location where she could live on site and not have to be transported.
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National Film Registry

Some Like It Hot

Released 1959
Inducted 1989

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Also directed by Billy Wilder

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Also produced by Billy Wilder

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