Jazz, Booze, and Drag – Some Like it Hot!

 

The Comedy Classic Some Like It Hot (1959)

BACK IN THEATERS JUNE 11th and 14th

 

Experience one of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic roles as it was always meant to be seen.

Special commentary from TCM host Tiffany Vazquez.

 

Some Like It Hot

 

TCM Big Screen Classics Presents

Some Like It Hot (1959)

With no money and nowhere to hide, two down on their luck jazz musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) masquerade as members of an all-girl band, leading to a number of romantic complications when one falls for the band’s lead singer (Sugar Cane) played by Marilyn Monroe.

 

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Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe

 

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 gangsters whom they witnessed commit a crime inspired by the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. The film was produced in black and white, even though color films were increasing in popularity. (Wikipedia)

 

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Some Like It Hot opened to largely positive reviews and is today 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 social 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. (Wikipedia)

 

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I love Billy Wilder because of his versatility in films and his testing the boundaries of societal norms. To that end, the first movie that always comes to mind is “Some Like it Hot”. To find out more about Billy Wilder and his films, check out my post – The Faces Behind the Camera.

 

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder

 

I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to see “Some Like it Hot” on the big screen!

Get tickets here.

 

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What We Do in the Dark!

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“We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces!” Norma Desmond

 

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As she descended the well-worn stairs of her aged and decadent mansion steeped in long past memories, Norma Desmond uttered the declaration that forever remains in the memories of those who witnessed her performance in the 1950 classic, “Sunset Boulevard.” It’s impossible to forget those delusional words spoken by the creepy Norma Desmond as she is escorted through the end scene for her deadly deed; not surprisingly surrounded by gawkers vying for a tiny glimpse of the reclusive silent film star.

 

 

Before the film, I had only heard of Gloria Swanson but hadn’t seen any of her films. After witnessing her tour-de-force performance as the legendary diva, Norma Desmond, I sought out every movie of hers that I could. Wow, she inhabited the role of Norma Desmond with intimate knowledge of the silent film era since those were Swanson’s actual glory days. By the way, the dialogue is both fantastic and hilarious.

 

Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983)

 

“Sunset Boulevard” (stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.) is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California. (Wikipedia)

 

The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent film star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her devoted servant.

 

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Erich von Stroheim, William Holden, Gloria Swanson

 

Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nilsson.

 

Praised by many critics when first released, Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked number twelve on the American Film Institute‘s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007, it was 16th on their 10th Anniversary list. (Wikipedia)

 

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I’ve never been a famous movie star (maybe stage😎) But God help me if I ever get that Norma Desmond look in my eyes, dial 911!

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