Masters of Cinema: Billy Wilder, By Noel Simsolo


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The Independent Culture

On page 64 of this illustrated monograph, Simsolo explores the immortal punch line in Some Like It Hot. "When Jack Lemmon confesses 'I'm a man' and takes off his wig, while retaining his make-up and earrings, his suitor makes the priceless reply, 'Nobody's perfect'."

Unfortunately, a still reveals Lemmon was not wearing earrings. A small point, but it indicates the wrongheadedness of Simsolo's interpretation. He continues: "The absolute absurdity of the situation prevents Lemmon from regaining his identity."

Actually, the audience simply laughs at the best joke in cinema history. Simsolo views Irma la Douce as "Wilder's only optimistic film", but the same applies to Marilyn and the boys.