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After watching 'Some Like it Hot' for the umpteenth time, a question came up regarding the hearing aid that Little Bonaparte was wearing in the  Italian Opera Lover's meeting scene.

Billy Wilder appeared to call attention to it specifically but I'm not sure why, or where the hearing aid fits in.

Any ideas????

lilnap.jpg

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I wonder if NEHEMIAH PERSOFF would remember why?  I reckon it's not likely, but since he is still alive (think he's 102 now) I wonder what he remembers?  Could he remember the reason for the hearing aid? 

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Probably no important reason beyond just adding another element to his character.  And didn't he also add a bit of slight comic relief in the act of turning the aid's volume down just before the guy jumped up from within the cake to blast  George Raft and his hoods with a Tommy gun?

Sepiatone

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George Raft and Edward G. Robinson did not like one another. Therefore I always found it appropriate that the gunman who pops out of the birthday cake to tommy gun Spats into another world was played by Edward G. Robinson Jr..

After all, Spats final words after getting shot are, "Some joke."

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3 minutes ago, TomJH said:

George Raft and Edward G. Robinson did not like one another. Therefore I always found it appropriate that the gunman who pops out of the birthday cake to tommy gun Spats into another world was played by Edward G. Robinson Jr..

After all, Spats final words after getting shot are, "Some joke."

True!  Another fun piece of backstory!

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48 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I wonder if NEHEMIAH PERSOFF would remember why?  I reckon it's not likely, but since he is still alive (think he's 102 now) I wonder what he remembers?  Could he remember the reason for the hearing aid? 

I bet he does!!  

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43 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Probably no important reason beyond just adding another element to his character.  And didn't he also add a bit of slight comic relief in the act of turning the aid's volume down just before the guy jumped up from within the cake to blast  George Raft and his hoods with a Tommy gun?

Sepiatone

Absolutely. It was Wilder's sly wink at the audience when the hearing aid was turned down in anticipation of what was coming. He'd already shown us The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, so it was his way of saying here we go again. Very clever. I think it was also to show that the little blowhard tyrant had a weak spot.

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Probably not the right answer, but in The Big Combo, Brian Donlevy's character wears a hearing aid. Just before Donlevy is machine-gunned to death, Richard Conte yanks out Donlevy's hearing aid and there's a shot of the muzzle flashes from the Thompsons, but with no sound.

Go to 1:10:00

 

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19 hours ago, TomJH said:

George Raft and Edward G. Robinson did not like one another. Therefore I always found it appropriate that the gunman who pops out of the birthday cake to tommy gun Spats into another world was played by Edward G. Robinson Jr..

After all, Spats final words after getting shot are, "Some joke."

Was Raft aware that Robinson's son was cast as the hood who would gun down Spats and Spats' gang? It would explain why he added those final words if he didn't know.

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31 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Was Raft aware that Robinson's son was cast as the hood who would gun Spats and Spats gun away? It would explain why he added those final words if he didn't know.

I assume he knew and Raft was quite the social butterfly, I believe.The Robinsons had been seen in public together.

Actor Edward G. Robinson, with his wife, Gladys Lloyd, and son, Edward G. Robinson  Jr. in Paris. June 23, 1948. He was appearing in 'Grandes Vedettes  D'Hollywood' (Big Stars of Hollywood) on

The Filmatelist on Twitter: "Bonus cameo: the coin-flipper was Edward G.  Robinson, Jr. #TCMParty… "

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1 hour ago, DougieB said:

Absolutely. It was Wilder's sly wink at the audience when the hearing aid was turned down in anticipation of what was coming. He'd already shown us The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, so it was his way of saying here we go again. Very clever. I think it was also to show that the little blowhard tyrant had a weak spot.

Little Napoleon may have been a little tyrant but today the actor who played him is the sole survivor of Some Like It Hot. Maybe it pays to have roles in which you scream a lot. You get a lot out of your system that way.

Nehemiah Persoff

"So who's the wise guy that said I look like Il Duce?"

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5 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Edward G. Robinson, Jr. didn't live very long.  Died Feb. 26, 1974 at age 40.  Only survived his famous dad by 13 months. 

Wow. Drug related?

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

George Raft and Edward G. Robinson did not like one another. Therefore I always found it appropriate that the gunman who pops out of the birthday cake to tommy gun Spats into another world was played by Edward G. Robinson Jr..

After all, Spats final words after getting shot are, "Some joke."

They came to blows over Marlene Dietrich. LOL.

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Gorman said:

Edward G. Robinson, Jr. didn't live very long.  Died Feb. 26, 1974 at age 40.  Only survived his famous dad by 13 months. 

Wiki says he had a turbulent life getting into the tabloids. He was also an alcoholic which, undoubtedly, played a role in his heart attack death at such a young age. This young man undoubtedly brought a lot of heart ache to his father who once threw him out of their home.

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Wikipedia says the reason was Eddie, Jr. had weakened his system from years of heavy drinking and died from a heart attack at age 40.  It seems Eddie, Jr. led a rather wild and party-filled existence. 

The IMDb doesn't offer up much of anything in terms of Eddie Jr.'s 'busy' ways.  Still, dying at 40 is still quite young even if someone is a wild partier and heavy drinker.  → I can think of scores of actors who were very unhealthy yet lived decades longer than age forty. 

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Unwatchable:  Thanks for the heads up on "The Big Combo."  I didn't think I knew that one but went to the scene you marked; and as I was watching, it starting ringing a bell.  Well, I could hear a bell.  But it strikes me that someone such as Billy Wilder would have loved to use that as sort of a nod to a movie situation he found clever and funny.  In fact, I really like this as an explanation for the "Some Like it Hot" question.  Nice job of detective work; you must be bucking for promotion! 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I wonder if NEHEMIAH PERSOFF would remember why?  I reckon it's not likely, but since he is still alive (think he's 102 now) I wonder what he remembers?  Could he remember the reason for the hearing aid? 

 Might Admittedly be somewhat of a gamble but id give the Amazing Man the Benefit of the Doubt on this.   Would Love to Sit down beside him and hear some of his stories.

  Wonder how many "credits" He has Accumulated over the years. While the exact percentile is definitely somewhat random and arbitrary; seems theres about an eighty percent chance that him or Bess Flowers would be in a randomly selected film from (approximately) around this threads time.

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46 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

The AFI named Some Like It Hot as the #1 comedy in their 100 Funniest Movies of All Time,   Any thoughts?

Well, Benny Hill would agree if he was still kicking.

Wilder comedies defy neat classification; The Apartment, for instance. How would you classify that film? Some Like it Hot is a great film, undeniably, but, the greatest comedy? To me, The Seven Year Itch is funnier.

How about Animal Crackers? The Big Lebowski, The Blues Brothers, Slap Shot, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and that's not even counting the silents of Chaplin and Keaton.

 

Great fun

 

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