Near the middle of Some Like It Hot, Marilyn Monroe stands in front of an all-woman orchestra (well, all-woman except for Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis — they have dressed as women and joined the band to dodge the Mafia) to sing “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Surrounded by glitz and luxury and dancing couples, a spotlight hits her from collarbone to crown. She’s the brightest spot in a sea of grey. It’s hard to shake the feeling that this must have been how she lived her whole life: incandescent, impossibly charismatic, funny and bubbly and forever the pinpoint center of attention. Monroe’s sad slide from biggest star in the world to terribly tragic victim was just beginning in 1959, and the Hollywood legends about how difficult she was to work with still follow this movie. But, as director Billy Wilder said, “My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual and never hold up production, but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie?” Ostensibly a Lemmon-Curtis two-hander, Monroe makes it something completely new. Some Like It Hot remains one of film’s all-time great comedies and an example of a one-of-a-kind performer at the height of her powers.
Stick around after the Sunday screening for a FREE post-show Film Talk audience discussion and Q&A with retired University of South Florida film professor Harriet Deer.
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