A Special Memoir for a Special Moment in Hollywood History Some Like It Hot occupies a unique place in American culture This beloved classic showcases five comic geniuses Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, I A L Diamond, Billy Wilder, and Marilyn Monroe It has been honored by the American Film Institute as the Funniest Film of All Time It has contributed quotes, styles, and stories to film lore Yet the full story of its making has never been told until now


10 thoughts on “The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie

  1. Lea Lea says:

    I liked the film, but I mostly bought this book to read what he had to say about Marilyn since I d previously written a paper about her So my review is mostly going to reflect that since I skipped over a lot of parts If you re interested in hearing what he says about Marilyn, it basically comes down to this She was addicted to sleeping pills, alcohol, and was drinking vermouth on set She was chronically late to sets, was practically incapable of performing short takes though Jack Lemmon s I liked the film, but I mostly bought this book to read what he had to say about Marilyn since I d previously written a paper about her So my review is mostly going to reflect that since I skipped over a lot of parts If you re interested in hearing what he says about Marilyn, it basically comes down to this She was addicted to sleeping pills, alcohol, and was drinking vermouth on set She was chronically late to sets, was practically incapable of performing short takes though Jack Lemmon says that this was because of her working for Universal earlier in her career where it was necessary for an actor to do long takes, which is what she was good at She was fat, spoiled, and arrogant She was surrounded by people who were exploiting her He apparently slept with her and got her pregnant She was also supposedly the cause of Wilder s stress his back got thrown out towards the end of production because of the stress Marilyn s tardiness caused At the end of the book he mentions the nominations for the academy awards, only failing to mention the Golden Globe Marilyn won for her performance Whether this is a failure to remember or his resentment over the 81 takes of Where s that bourbon is questionable The thing that really got me was that this book was published in 2009 Practically everyone who had anything to do with the production was dead Miller died sometime in 2004 2005 It just seems a bit sneaky to me because had he published this book when he was alive, Miller would ve definitely had something to say about it But maybe that s just him worrying about being sued, or taking the high road I don t know, it just bugs me that there s only a single source for this sort of thing But then again, it s not as if this account would be anyreliable otherwise Not that I m saying there s no truth to it, just that the mentioned parties cannot speak for themselves Though I think Lemmon s theory about Marilyn being able to do long takes could ve been something that benefited her later on in her career Weatherby said she wanted to be a Shakespearean actress as do the lost tape transcripts if you believe them Miner said she might ve been misguided by the Strasburgs when they said she could do it, but in addition to her acting talent, if they thought as Lemmon did, this would ve greatly benefited her performing Especially if she decided to perform live But I guess we ll never know


  2. Spiderorchid Spiderorchid says:

    Perhaps the best book about movies that I ve ever readSeriously if you want to know everything about Some like it hot , from the casting, writing and technical details like the lightening of a specific scene or the costume design to backstage gossip and the famous 81 takes of Where s that bourbon than this is the book you should read It s not too long, well written, funny and insightful and just very interesting and entertaining for movie fans Tony Curtis likes to talk about himself, Perhaps the best book about movies that I ve ever readSeriously if you want to know everything about Some like it hot , from the casting, writing and technical details like the lightening of a specific scene or the costume design to backstage gossip and the famous 81 takes of Where s that bourbon than this is the book you should read It s not too long, well written, funny and insightful and just very interesting and entertaining for movie fans Tony Curtis likes to talk about himself, of course, but he also tells a lot about Billy Wilder and Jack Lemmon he obviously adored both of them and Marilyn Monroe actually, his remarks about Marilyn are among the most intelligent I ve encountered so far She drove him nuts during the filming, just like everyone else who had to put up with her behaviour, but he tries to understand and explain her problems.The book includes many great behind the scenes photographs some in colour


  3. Samantha Glasser Samantha Glasser says:

    Tony Curtis was one of the last surviving members from the cast of Some Like it Hot Hardly the most famous member, Curtis is not the first place one might go looking for information about the famous comedy, but he turns out to be quite an interesting source in this book.Curtis talks a bit about his personal life, his upbringing as the son of a Jewish tailor, his marriage to a bigger star Janet Leigh , and his transition to stardom Mostly, though, he talks about Some Like it Hot, the people in Tony Curtis was one of the last surviving members from the cast of Some Like it Hot Hardly the most famous member, Curtis is not the first place one might go looking for information about the famous comedy, but he turns out to be quite an interesting source in this book.Curtis talks a bit about his personal life, his upbringing as the son of a Jewish tailor, his marriage to a bigger star Janet Leigh , and his transition to stardom Mostly, though, he talks about Some Like it Hot, the people involved, personal anecdotes, and the production It is thorough and amusing.Do not expect scholarly work here Curtis does not hesitate to throw in a few four letter words and his style of writing is conversational It is an interesting, entertaining read for sure, a treat for fans of Some Like it Hot, Marilyn Monroe, and the classic movie world of the 1950s


  4. Winter Sophia Rose Winter Sophia Rose says:

    Fascinating, Funny, Heartfelt Riveting I Loved It Fascinating, Funny, Heartfelt Riveting I Loved It


  5. Mike Mike says:

    Some interesting insights into the making of this famous movie Monroe comes across pretty badly Even given that she was talented, her unprofessional behaviour almost throughout the production doesn t endear her to the reader Curtis is a bit full of himself too, but at least he s willing to point out his failings and the knockbacks he received from others in the business His curious one night stand with Monroe is odd, but it was a mutual affair Apart from this it s intriguing to see how Bill Some interesting insights into the making of this famous movie Monroe comes across pretty badly Even given that she was talented, her unprofessional behaviour almost throughout the production doesn t endear her to the reader Curtis is a bit full of himself too, but at least he s willing to point out his failings and the knockbacks he received from others in the business His curious one night stand with Monroe is odd, but it was a mutual affair Apart from this it s intriguing to see how Billy Wilder coped, the times he was prepared to indulge Monroe and the times he wasn t Looking at the movie today you wonder how such a wondrous piece of froth came from such a fraught experience


  6. Claire Hall Claire Hall says:

    Half a century after Some Like It Hot premiered on the big screen, it s still beloved by fans and is consistently rated one of the funniest, if not the funniest, film comedy ever made Sadly, most of the key players responsible for it are gone the director and co writer Billy Wilder and stars Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe Fortunately, the other leading player in this classic, Tony Curtis, is still with us, and that s especially fortunate for fans of Some Like It Hot, because he s provide Half a century after Some Like It Hot premiered on the big screen, it s still beloved by fans and is consistently rated one of the funniest, if not the funniest, film comedy ever made Sadly, most of the key players responsible for it are gone the director and co writer Billy Wilder and stars Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe Fortunately, the other leading player in this classic, Tony Curtis, is still with us, and that s especially fortunate for fans of Some Like It Hot, because he s provided a first rate memoir of the making of the film.Although the result of their collaboration was a masterpiece, the making of Hot was anything but easy for the creative team Wilder and his cowriter, I.A.L Diamond, were literally making it up as they went along it was their practice to start shooting without a finished script, something that worked for them artistically but added to the tension Curtis and Lemmon had to deal with the challenges and indignities of playing a good portion of the film in drag And then there was Marilyn Monroe, already on a path that would lead to her sad self destruction just a few years later Monroe s chronic inability to meet her professional obligations starting with her failure to show up on time, or even at all caused significant cost overruns and production delays, but Wilder said the pain was worth it for the magic she brought to the screen.Curtis provides enough of a backstory about his own life and the Hollywood studio world of the 1950s to provide the reader with context for what is to follow, but the focus here is clearly on the making of this one of a kind film.Curtis collaborator, Mark A.Viera, has provided the research to verify dates, names and places that may have become a bit fuzzy fifty years later But Curtis is a natural storyteller, and his personality, warmth and wit shine through these pages As I read, I kept hearing Curtis voice in my head, as if he was spinning these wonderful tales just for me Or maybe it was the voice of Curtis as one of his alter egos in the film, Mr Shell Oil Jr., who sounded suspiciously like Cary Grant Whichever voice it was, it was a wonderful one I enjoyed this immensely, and if you re a fan of Curtis and this classic film, I am sure you will too


  7. Jess Jess says:

    Having read Tony Curtis memoir, Some Like It Hot Me, Marilyn and the Movie on the making of Billy Wilder s Some Like It Hot, it s hard to believe that the final film product is such a sparkling example of film comedy It s amazing that the film was even completed, that such a well realized and much loved piece of film history emerged from so much chaos and personal dramas At times it is uncertain what parts of Some Like It Hot Me, Marilyn and the Movie are anecdotally taken from Curtis memo Having read Tony Curtis memoir, Some Like It Hot Me, Marilyn and the Movie on the making of Billy Wilder s Some Like It Hot, it s hard to believe that the final film product is such a sparkling example of film comedy It s amazing that the film was even completed, that such a well realized and much loved piece of film history emerged from so much chaos and personal dramas At times it is uncertain what parts of Some Like It Hot Me, Marilyn and the Movie are anecdotally taken from Curtis memories and what stems from the co author s extensive research into the making of the film Nonetheless, the book has a light hearted, casual and engaging voice the not only covers the process of producing a film, but offers insight into the industry that created it and how, in the late 1950s, the Hollywood studio system was undergoing restructure It does seem willing to indulge in Marilyn Monroe gossip over other, equally fascinating, aspects of the production and participants, showing the frustration she caused on set while recognizing the personal tragedy she was experiencing in her life at the time.Featuring great on set photos, Some Like It Hot Me, Marilyn and the Movie offers a unique insider perspective on the 1950s Hollywood film industry and the work, and plain old good luck, that goes into creating a film of such calibre An entertaining companion piece to the film


  8. Katrin Katrin says:

    I was very happy when I found this in a bargain bin, because Some Like It Hot is one of my favourite movies And it was really a good read It is written in a quite special, very candid style probably the way Tony Curtis speaks or rather spoke and offers an inside view of film making in 1958 Some stories are very revealing, most of all everything Curtis has to say about Marilyn Monroe Having had an affair with her years before I didn t know that , he now watches with alarm how she may I was very happy when I found this in a bargain bin, because Some Like It Hot is one of my favourite movies And it was really a good read It is written in a quite special, very candid style probably the way Tony Curtis speaks or rather spoke and offers an inside view of film making in 1958 Some stories are very revealing, most of all everything Curtis has to say about Marilyn Monroe Having had an affair with her years before I didn t know that , he now watches with alarm how she may be brilliant, but is still very insecure and is becomingandproblematic to work with always late, always surrounded by advisors She also fell pregnant during the filming, but lost the child Also interesting that Tony Curtis sometimes felt like a piggy in the middle because Billy Wilder s attention was alwaysdirected towards Monroe and Jack Lemmon


  9. Elizabeth Periale Elizabeth Periale says:

    Curtis is always an entertaining read, his never ending ego does grow tiresome after a while He tries to sound humble, but can t help pondering that he was possibly the handsomest actor in Hollywood Some Like it Hot did a lot for my development as an actor It was enough for me to be a handsome actor, maybe the handsomest in town It wasn t enough to learn the lines and show up Being around artists like Jack and Billy and Marilyn affected me I Curtis is always an entertaining read, his never ending ego does grow tiresome after a while He tries to sound humble, but can t help pondering that he was possibly the handsomest actor in Hollywood Some Like it Hot did a lot for my development as an actor It was enough for me to be a handsome actor, maybe the handsomest in town It wasn t enough to learn the lines and show up Being around artists like Jack and Billy and Marilyn affected me I wanted to knowI wanted to get closer to the source of the art I wanted to know how to create that magic, like stars did in the pictures I d seen when I was a kid


  10. LB LB says:

    I was the production editor for this book, and I can only say that it is a fantastic read Curtis tells with candor the details of his time filming the classic comedy and doesn t hold back I won t give anything away you ll just have to read it You ll never watch the movie the same way again.