This November, one of our all time favourite movies from the golden age of Hollywood gets a reissue to cinemas. Some Like It Hot (1959) will return to the big screen, enhanced into 4k. You can see it at the BFI here, or find local screenings. To celebrate (as well as burning our Mulholland Drive candle) we bring you five facts about the gender-bending classic.
- The movie is in fact a remake. It takes its plot heavily from the 1935 French film ‘Fanfare of Love’ and its 1951 German remake ‘Fanfares of Love’. The gangster subplot, however was all director Billy Wilder’ imagination.
- The movie filmed many scenes in San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado. The hotel still stands today and its other claim to fame is that it was the inspiration for the Emerald City in L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
- The studio hired legendary female impersonator Barbette to coach Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in the art of gender illusion for their roles.
- Marilyn Monroe reputedly struggled to recall her lines throughout the shooting of Some Like It Hot, with Lemmon and Curtis often placing bets on how long a scene would take to film. It did however earn her critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical.
- Although many films were being shot in colour in Hollywood at the time of its release, the reason Wilder chose to film Some Like It Hot in black and white was down to one surprising factor: Lemmon and Curtis were deemed to look ‘unacceptably grotesque’ in drag costume during test colour filming.