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Remind Me

The Critics' Corner: SOME LIKE IT HOT

Awards & Honors

Orry-Kelly won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design of a Black-and-White Picture. Accepting his Oscar for Some Like It Hot, he thanked Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, "who, as Louella (Parsons) would say, never looked lovelier."

Some Like It Hot also scored Oscar® nominations for Best Actor (Jack Lemmon), Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (black and white), and Art Direction - Set Decoration (black and white). Marilyn Monroe was reportedly heartbroken over not being nominated. It was rumored that executives at Fox (her studio) suggested to their bloc of Oscar® voters that since Some Like It Hot was a United Artists film, it would be better not to vote for her.

The film also won Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture (Comedy), Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy (Lemmon), Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy (Marilyn Monroe).

Lemmon won the Best Foreign Actor award from the British Academy, which also nominated the picture for Best Film from Any Source.

The Italian Cultural Institute awarded Marilyn Monroe its David di Donatello prize for Best Foreign Actress of the year.

Some Like It Hot received a third place Golden Laurel Award in the list of Top Comedies from Motion Picture Exhibitor magazine. Lemmon and Monroe were runners-up for Best Male and Female Comedy Performances.

The Writers Guild of America chose the picture as the year's Best Written American Comedy.

Some Like It Hot was voted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry of greatest American films in 1989 by the National Film Preservation Board. In 2000, it was installed in the Producers Guild of America's Hall of Fame.

The movie was ranked Number 6 in the British Film Institute members' list of the top 30 films of all time, compiled in 1983.

The Critics' Corner: SOME LIKE IT HOT

"One of the most uninhibited and enjoyable antics to come out of Hollywood in years. ... Miss Monroe is not only superb as a comedienne but is also the answer to any red-blooded American boy's dream." Bosley Crowther, The New York Times, 1959

"Lipsticked, mascaraed and tilting at a precarious angle ... actor Lemmon digs out most of the laughs in the script." Time, 1959

"As the band's somewhat simple singer-ukulele player, Miss Monroe, whose figure simply cannot be overlooked, contributes more assets than the obvious ones to this madcap romp...and proves to be the epitome of a dumb blonde and talented comedienne." A.H. Weiler, The New York Times, 1959

"A jolly, carefree enterprise in which some old phrenetic nonsense of Mack Sennet is restored to the screen." The New Yorker, 1959

"Female impersonation is a risky enough comedy subject; attempting to make the St. Valentine's Day massacre seem funny is even riskier. Co-author-director Billy Wilder, however, succeeds so well in some instances with his difficult, self-imposed assignment that the picture's subsequent lapses from taste and common decency (mostly involving leading lady Marilyn Monroe) can be presumed to be deliberate rather than the result of ineptness." Moira Walsh, America, April 25, 1959

"As for Miss Monroe, she is, as usual, an extremely effective female impersonator herself." Newsweek, 1959

"Look at Some Like It Hot closely again and you start to notice how for every raucous and/or ribald masquerade joke there is another that involves a transvestite leer, a homosexual "in" joke or a perverse gag. Here is the prurience, the perversion, the sexual sickness that is obsessing the characters and plots of our films" Judith Crist,The Private Eye, the Cowboy and the Very Naked Girl (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1967).

"The film can be perceived in part as a good-natured dream of sexuality as a sliding scale from male to female, from straight to gay, from potent to impotent, on which every human being dances an endlessly variable jig." Brandon French, On the Verge of Revolt (Ungar, 1978).

"Lemmon is demoniacally funny he really gives in to women's clothes and begins to think of himself as a sexy girl. ... Brown is inspired, the way he was years before in Max Reinhardt's movie of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), when he made us weep from laughter." Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies (Henry Holt, 1982). "Billy Wilder has made many films that have walked the line of bad taste. With its references to homosexuality, lesbianism, sadomasochism, oral sex ("The fuzzy/sweet end of the lollipop"), transvestism, impotence, and sex change, with MM scandalously dressed, and with its numerous double entendres, it was bound to offend some critics. But most critical reaction was in favor of Some Like It Hot. That's because, quite simply, it is one of the truly great Hollywood comedies. It is endlessly clever, briskly paced, deliciously acted, daring." - Danny Peary, Cult Movies 2.

"Billy Wilder, content to let the spectator chuckle privately at the sly innuendoes of Sunset Boulevard, sharpens his comic genius to the point of burlesque in Some Like It Hot, giving the film an outrageous, hectic tone admirably suited to the period - 1929, with jazz and bootlegging in full swing." - Peter Cowie, Eighty Years of Cinema.

Compiled by Rob Nixon