Some Like it Hot

Directed by Billy Wilder
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The Independent Culture

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The film was adapted by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond from the story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan.

Some Like It Hot tells the story of two struggling musicians, Joe and Jerry (Curtis and Lemmon), who are on the run from a Chicago gang after witnessing the Saint Valentine's Day massacre of 1929. Spats Columbo (Raft), the gangster in charge, orders the execution of Jerry and Joe. They escape in the confusion and decide to leave town, but the only out-of-town job they can find is in an all-girl band. The two disguise themselves as women and call themselves Josephine and Geraldine (later Jerry changes his pseudonym to Daphne). They join the band and go to Florida by train. Joe and Jerry both fall for "Sugar Kane" Kowalczyk (Monroe), the band's sexy Polish-American vocalist and ukulele player, and fight for her affection while maintaining their disguises.


Billy Wilder


Billy Wilder

I. A. L. Diamond


Marilyn Monroe … Sugar Kane Kowalczyk

Tony Curtis as Joe … 'Josephine'/'Junior'

Jack Lemmon as Jerry … 'Daphne'

George Raft … Spats Colombo

Pat O'Brien … Det. Mulligan

Joe E. Brown … Osgood Fielding III

Nehemiah Persoff … Little Bonaparte

Joan Shawlee … Sweet Sue

Billy Gray … Sig Poliakoff

George E. Stone … Toothpick Charlie

Dave Barry … Beinstock

Mike Mazurki … Spats' henchman

Harry Wilson … Spats' henchman

Grace Lee Whitney … Rosella

Beverly Wills … Dolores

Barbara Drew … Nellie

Edward G. Robinson, Jr. … Johnny Paradise


  • The film was originally planned to be filmed in full color, but after several screen tests it had to be changed to black and white. The reason for this was a very obvious 'green tint' around the heavy make-up of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon when in role as Josephine and Daphne.
  • On the set, Wilder grew exasperated by Monroe's inability to remember her lines. He had several of them written in inconspicuous spots on the set, so she could read them. It is possible to see Monroe's eyes move back and forth during the scene where she talks to Curtis' character on the phone in her hotel room — she was reading from a chalkboard held behind the camera.