Nobody’s perfect, but the 1959 Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot just might be. And next month, audiences will have the chance to see the Marilyn Monroe comedy in theaters nationwide as part of TCM’s Big Screen Classics series.
The film that holds the top spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the funniest American movies of all time will return to cinemas for two nights only on Sunday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 14. Turner Classic Movies and Fathom will present the screenings along with specially produced commentary from TCM host Tiffany Vazquez before and after the film.
The film stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as Joe and Jerry, two musicians who must disguise themselves as women in an all-female jazz band to flee the Chicago mob after accidentally witnessing the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. When Joe meets Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), he takes on a second disguise as an oil tycoon to attempt to woo her (and Curtis slips into a spot-on Cary Grant impersonation). Meanwhile, Jerry, dressed as Daphne, tries to avoid advances from a flirtatious millionaire played by Joe E. Brown.
Some Like It Hot launched Jack Lemmon’s collaboration with writer-director Billy Wilder, with whom he would go on to make a total of seven films, and was a triumph for Monroe, earning her a Golden Globe and serving as a milestone in her quest to be taken seriously as an actress. The film is also regarded by critics as ahead of its time for tackling issues of gender identity and sexuality behind the veil of comedic innuendo.
Though Curtis and Lemmon wore custom-made costumes and heels, the greenish hue of their heavy makeup and their more masculine attributes — like five o’clock shadow — were visible when they were photographed in color. So in spite of Wilder’s initial plans to shoot the movie in color (and a stipulation in Monroe’s contract that it would be), the determination was made that it would be filmed in black-and-white. But EW has 10 exclusive color photos from the making of Some Like it Hot to give fans of the classic a glimpse of what might have been.
See the photos, courtesy of Park Circus/MGM, below.