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Some Like It Hot (1959)


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I think Jack Lemmon was a very funny guy (he had a certain quality in his voice, and the way he talked), especially in The Apartment, and I think this movie has considerable appeal.


But it's a matter of taste. I personally despise all of the Monty Python work (which everyone seems to love)- very dated, and generally unfunny. I think Benny Hill did much better English comedy - his undercranked chase scenes were the greatest. But it's all about personal taste.

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RobinSena makes a good point.


There?s no accounting for taste.


Like some old Roman dude once observed, ?In matters of taste there can be no argument? (a very loose translation from the Latin).


No movie ever made has universal appeal. We?re all different with different tastes and preferences. If ?Some Like It Hot? does not move you in the same way it moves me, that?s fine, and perfectly normal. I watch many movies on TCM, but not everything. There are some Actors, Movies, Genre?s, etc. that just don?t appeal to me. But that?s just me and my personal taste and preference at work.


I suppose we?ve all watched movies that have received generally good reviews and thought them to be bloody awful (in our opinion), and movies that have received generally bad reviews and thought them to be excellent (in our opinion).


The only true judge of whether a movie is good or bad is the individual watching it.


On this level, debate is pointless. All we can do is offer a personal opinion and then drop it.



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Why is this movie so popular and loved?


I never understood the appeal.


It's not funny.


A little trivia: Some Like It Hot is actually a remake of a German film called Fanfaren der Liebe (1951).


It's very funny, but that's not the problem. Firstly, Billy Wilder worshipped Ernst Lubitsch and his films, holding them up as a model of comedic perfection and what he, himself, wanted to do (true story: after serving as pallbearers at Lubitsch's 1947 funeral, Wilder and William Wyler were walking back to their cars. Wilder lamented, "Well, no more Lubitsch," to which Wyler replied, "Even worse, no more Lubitsch films").


Wilder, by his own admission, never quite managed to master Lubitsch's subtle and indirect technique of depicting comic sexual foibles, probably because Wilder (along with his collaborators Charles Brackett, I.A.L. Diamond, etc.) were always just a little too anxious to go for the jugular.


As a result, Wilder graviated toward dramas that were always wickedly funny, with the wit a scalpel meant to dig out and heighten the failings of his films' always deeply-flawed characters.


Then came SOME LIKE IT HOT, up to then a relatively rare excursion by the writer-director into comedy-film terrain. The film was an enormous hit, the biggest of his career up to that point. Wilder was now under pressure to top himself; what's worse, he was now being perceived as a "comedy director" (however one cares to define that rather vague term). So, Wilder embarked on a long series of comedy films, which reached its peak with IRMA LA DOUCE, the biggest financial success of his career.


After IRMA, all of Wilder's films lost money but, most unfortunately, he all but forsook the sort of bleak, razor-edged dramas what were his true m?tier: DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE LOST WEEKEND, SUNSET BOULEVARD and ACE IN THE HOLE. Only toward the end, with THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (even in cut form, his masterpiece) and FEDORA (a dreadful misfire) did he return to what he did best, dramas full of the blackest of black humor.


It can be argued, then, that SOME LIKE IT HOT all but destroyed the latter half of Wilder's career. What might he have come up with had he not been perceived incorrectly as a "comedy director" (wit and comedy being two rather different things, with vastly different functions).?

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