Some Like It HotAFI Rank: #14
Year Released: 1959
Director: Billy Wilder
Actors: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
Two musicians in Chicago witness a gang killing in the days of prohibition, and hide out with an all girl's band that is playing in Florida. Disguised as women, they meet up with Marilyn Monroe's sassy character.
This is the top comedy on the AFI listing, which you could take to mean that it's the best comedy ever written as far as the AFI is concerned. Certainly it touches on many very interesting points, especially for a black and white movie from 1959. First, it puts Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in the roles of women for the entire film, pretty much. They have to deal with sexism, pinching, and all the rest. It's very much a movie about the things women have to go through.
That being said, the movie also makes very light of women. The women's band isn't supposed to be any good - it's a lowest-of-the-low novelty that Marilyn only went to in order to escape men using her. The girls all crave alcohol constantly, and Marilyn's main object is to find a rich millionaire to take care of her.
Unfortunately for her, her two new "female friends" of course are men. One promptly begins pretending to be a millionaire solely to get in bed with her. The other is forced to seduce a *real* millionaire in order to cover for his friend.
It is really amazing to think this movie was out in the 1950s. In current times, we think of the 50s as tame periods with parents sleeping in separate beds and kids being sweet and respectful. Just take a look at Marilyn Monroe's outfits! Those would be rather risque in modern times, never mind back then.
It is extremely interesting to hear the interactions about what men and women can and cannot do, and about the nature of relationships. There are many very intriguing and "under the cover" commentaries going on, in the guise of comedy and lightheartedness. You have to wonder how many people left the theater and had just a tiny bit more open mind than they did when they went in. It's certainly not of the same level as many other movies I have seen - but again, this was the 50s. That they could have done it at all, and had it been widely accepted, is quite an achievement.
A must-see to get a sense of where many modern movies got their start.
Male vs Female Actors
Women get a lot of focus here, since much of the movie was about women and the things they go through. Marilyn does well!
The Bechdel Test
I saw this movie before I was thinking about the Bechdel test, but I do have to imagine that there were conversations in here about music and other topics.
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AFI Top 100 Film Listing
Male vs Female Actors in the AFI Top 100
The Bechdel Test in the AFI Top 100