Billy Wilder’s zany cross-dressing comedy begins with a massacre – resembling the gangland St Valentine’s Day killings of 1929 – and ends with one of the most celebrated last lines in cinema history. Written in cahoots with the director’s new collaborator I.A.L. Diamond, Some Like It Hot ascends to inspired heights of silliness in-between, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon both on career-best form as dragged-up musicians hiding out with Sugar Kane’s girl band.
Both the gangster story and the screwball antics hark back to Hollywood films of the 1930s, but Wilder’s outrageous and subversive play with gender was truly boundary pushing and helped lead to a loosening of censorship after United Arists released the film without certification.
“Sensationally funny, one of the best scripts ever, Marilyn Monroe at the peak of her incandescence, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon beyond brilliant in drag and some great songs. How can anyone not love this?” Alan Jones
“I was about to write about the richly coded and deceptively generous queerness of Billy Wilder’s immortal cross-dressing comedy, but I also shouldn’t overcomplicate things: it’s here because it has always made me laugh like nothing else, and still does.” Guy Lodge
“Nobody’s perfect. Nobody but Billy Wilder.” Fabio Troncarelli
“Comedies are always underrated in this poll. This is a masterpiece of its genre, one of the funniest films ever made. Wonderful actors, wonderful tempo, wonderful dialogue.” Barbara Schweizerhof