Various estimates have put the cost of making Some Like It Hot
at anywhere from $2.8 to 3.5 million. Recent figures say the film has earned about $25 million in domestic rentals alone. In its first year of release, it made between $7 and 8 million (in the U.S.) and was 1959's third-highest-grossing movie (behind Auntie Mame
(1958) and The Shaggy Dog
, 1959). It was the all-time top-grossing comedy up to that point.
For her participation in the film, Marilyn Monroe received $100,000 plus an historic ten percent of the gross profits.
Censors in Kansas decided the film contained material "regarded as too disturbing" for people of the state. They didn't object to the cross-dressing but wanted to cut some of the more intimate scenes between Monroe and Curtis.
The Florida section of the film was shot at Coronado Beach, California, and the Coronado Hotel, an old Victorian structure with big verandas. The location is evident in some scenes in which mountains can be discerned behind the beach. There are no mountains in Florida.
In Some Like It Hot
, George Raft's character, Spats Colombo, is killed by Edward G. Robinson, Jr., son of the Warner Brothers star who memorably portrayed such movie gangsters as Little Caesar
Jack Lemmon owed Columbia Pictures one more movie on his contract. In order to be released to do Some Like It Hot
, he had to promise the studio four more pictures.
Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond collaborated on one film, Love in the Afternoon
(1957), before this one. After Some Like It Hot
they made 10 more movies together, including the Best Picture Oscar® winner The Apartment
(1960). In fact, for the remainder of his career, Diamond worked with Wilder on all but one film, Cactus Flower
Lemmon called Wilder one of the greatest influences on his career. The two made a total of seven pictures together.
Once they got their drag look down, Lemmon and Curtis decided to test it by going to the ladies room at the studio commissary. According to Lemmon, "not one of the girls going in or out ever batted an eyeball! They thought we were extras doing a period film on the lot."
During the filming of Some Like It Hot
, Marilyn Monroe preferred a dress designed for Jack Lemmon over one of her own, so she claimed it for herself. Designer Orry-Kelly flew into a rage and ran screaming to Lemmon, "She took your dress! The bitch has pinched your dress!"
Memorable Quotes from SOME LIKE IT HOT
Sugar (Marilyn Monroe): "I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."
Jerry (Jack Lemmon): "Dirty old man. ... I just got pinched in the elevator."
Joe (Tony Curtis): "Well, now you know how the other half lives."
Jerry: "I'm not even pretty."
Joe: "They don't care, just so long as you're wearing a skirt. It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull."
Jerry: "Well, I'm sick of being a flag. I want to be a bull again."
Jerry: " I'm engaged."
Joe: "Congratulations. Who's the lucky girl?"
Jerry: " I am!"
Joe: "You're not a girl! You're a guy! Why would a guy wanna marry a guy?"
Joe: "What are you gonna do on your honeymoon?"
Jerry: "He wants to go to the Riviera but I kinda lean towards Niagara Falls."
Sugar: "Water polo, isn't that dangerous?"
Joe: "It sure is. I had two ponies drowned under me."
Jerry: "Now you've done it! Now you've done it! You tore off one of my chests."
Jerry: "I tell you, Joe, they're on to us. And they're going to line us up against the wall ... then the cops are going to find two dead dames and they're going to take us to the ladies' morgue and when they undress us, I tell you, Joe, I'll die of shame."
Jerry (explaining why he can't marry Osgood): "You don't understand, Osgood! Aaah... I'm a man!"
Osgood (Joe E. Brown): "Well, nobody's perfect!"
Compiled by Rob Nixon