My favorite Marilyn Monroe movie of all time is Some Like It Hot, released in 1959. Marilyn was about 32 years old during the making of this film and looked as stunning and radiant as ever.
The plot of the film follows actors Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, who are musicians and best friends. They accidentally witness a crime, leaving them at risk from some sort of mob/mafia. Afraid of the consequences, they take a job with a traveling band. The catch is, it’s an all-female band, and so they are forced to disguise themselves as women and attempt to continue to fool everyone around them. While they are dressed as women, they meet Marilyn who plays the lead singer in the band. They become instantly infatuated, but aware that they are dressed as women. They then go back and forth between playing dress up in drag and also appearing as men in an attempt to win her heart, stay away from trouble, and also live up fantasies with rich men in the process.
I love the quirkiness and silliness of the film, and the classic comedy that is old Hollywood. From the bubble bath to hide an outfit scene, to the sexy jazz numbers, to the famous final line of, “Well, nobody’s perfect” – it’s cinematic brilliance. This movie also helped incorporate drag and campiness into mainstream media, showing some ideas that might have been considered “queer” in a way that was lighthearted and simple and comedic. The film, while still providing solid humor, also promotes acceptance – the kind that always existed in the “rock and roll” jazz world.
If you’re going to watch this movie and you aren’t used to watching old Hollywood films, I have a small recommendation. Modern movies are very fast-paced and attention grabbing, but movies were not always this way. There used to be a lot of care that was put into setting up a plot, showing some background information, and allowing you to really get to know the characters before the real story starts. So, the beginning of the movie is admittedly a little slow and takes a little bit to get started. If you are used to jumping right into movies, I recommend starting the film when the men walk into “Charlie’s Garage”, right around 18 minutes into the movie (I own this on DVD, so if you watch that way, it’s where scene 5 starts, titled “Spats Deals With Toothpicks”). This will take you right to the crime that is witnessed, and you will not even really miss a thing in the plot prior to that.
It’s a lighthearted and funny film that will certainly make you laugh. It’s campy, goofy, and everything you would want from a 50’s film. Like I said, my absolute favorite Marilyn Movie of all time. She’s amazing, specifically while singing. She’s a beauty and a vision.“I wanna be loved by you, just you, and nobody else but you. I wanna be loved by you – ba dee-da-lee-dee-da-lee-dee-da-lee-dum, boop- boop-be-doop.”
Go check out my leading lady! Thanks for reading.