Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Some Like it Hot


One of the all-time great comedies, and still as good today as it was the day it was made. I understand that back in those pre-out-of-the-closet days when gay men mostly hid their sexual orientation, this was a most popular movie, screened frequently. Well, just look at it: Two guys in dresses—and looking damn good, too, especially Tony Curtis—and Marilyn Monroe. What more could a gay man ask for? We saw it this time at a screening at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles, the first of Sid Grauman’s great movie palaces, built in 1918 and showing its age, a bit. It was part of the Jules Verne Festival, which brings back classic movies and their stars and shows them in Los Angeles and Paris. The guest that night was Tony Curtis, 84 years old now and looking every day of it, bald as a beach ball, but still in possession of most, if not all, his faculties. He tended to wander a little, but nobody cared, as all his stories were fascinating and he could still crack a joke with the best of them. Naturally everybody wanted to hear about his relations with Marilyn, and he told several stories about that. About all I regretted about the evening is that nothing was said about Jack Lemmon, who was the best performer in a great cast. The scene where he is lying on the bed in a dress, shaking a pair of maracas, deliriously happy because he’s going to be married to Joe E. Brown, is one of the best scenes ever done.

A highlight of the evening was when two of the surviving members of the all-girl band (both clarinet players) the boys were hiding out in came up on stage. Tony gave them big hugs—and probably squeezed their asses; Lee thinks he is one of those guys who can’t keep his hands to himself. One of them had the best line of the night. She mentioned that what was supposed to be a six-week shoot at the fabulous Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego turned into four months, “Thanks to Marilyn.” This movie has one of the all-time great last lines, too.