Chicago, 1929. Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) are two unemployed musicians who have just landed a speakeasy job when a police raid means they must scram to avoid arrest. Minutes later they witness the St Valentine’s Day Massacre – and are themselves seen by the mobsters.
To get out of town, they dress up and join an all women’s orchestra on its way to Florida – as Josephine and Daphne.
Joe falls for the band’s singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) and reinvents himself as a rich oil magnate called Junior – courtesy of a pair of smart-guy glasses and a devastating Cary Grant impersonation – in order to win her.
Meanwhile, elderly millionaire Osgood Fielding III (Joe E Brown) falls in love with ‘Daphne’ and the mobsters turn up again – led by George Raft as mob boss Spats Columbo – and have to be eluded.
After that, Joe and Osgood propose – and Sugar and Daphne both accept.
Nothing in Some Like It Hot fails. Despite all the reported problems of working with a ‘dazed and confused’ Marilyn, the outcome is superb.
Director Billy Wilder even manages to get Shakespearean, playing Sugar and Junior as high comedy, and Daphne and Osgood as the clowns.
The best drag movie till Tootsie (1982) – and maybe then some.
Sugar Kane Kowalczyk
Osgood Fielding III
Joe E Brown