Behind the scenes of one of cinemas greatest comedies, Some Like It Hot, its star Marilyn Monroe and her erratic and notorious difficulties as a starlet were in full bloom. Apart from repeatedly forgetting her lines, she was also either constantly late or absent which thorough annoyed the cast and crew, especially director Billy Wilder. Interestingly,  it wasn’t the first time Marilyn had completely annoyed Wilder with her tardiness, she repeatedly committed those same sins while making The Seven Year Itch. While still on the subject of Marilyn acting like a diva, Marilyn didn’t approve of Jack Lemmon replacing Frank Sinatra as her co-star, even though she would later back down and come to adore Lemmon.  She also evidently disliked her other co-star, Tony Curtis, and it goes without saying drove director Billy Wilder crazy, complaining in particular to Wilder that she didn’t like that Some Like It Hot was filmed in black and white. Wilder, of course, wouldn’t compromise on his vision for the movie not even for Marilyn. He wanted the film to look like a period piece set in the roaring twenties. In the years after Marilyn’s death, Wilder once insisted that he deserved a purple heart for working with her in not one but two movies. While Curtis, maybe as payback, allegedly once said kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler.

To add to her personal woes, Marilyn by the late mid to late 1950s was increasingly very unhappy and seriously hooked on a cocktail of prescription drugs, which would a few years later become the instrument of her sad demise. While I don’t want to leave things here on a sour note, it’s next to impossible not to have mention Marilyn’s untimely demise. Without making this sound trivial and if it is any consolation, Marilyn would receive universal praise for her role in Some Like It Hot and take home the Golden Globe award for best actress. I’d like to think that maybe for a short while, Marilyn enjoyed her Golden Globe triumph. With her apparent need for validation and love, maybe her dreams were finally realized in her award winning role as a chanteuse named Sugar Kane?

That said, how interesting it is that one of Marilyn Monroe’s most famous musical performances is her singing the song ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ in Some Like It Hot. While the scene is not necessarily one of cinemas greatest scenes, it is nonetheless memorable with Monroe looking her seductive best. But I can’t help but think how miserable Marilyn might have been at the time, even though she was in character onscreen trying to win over our affection. But then again when wasn’t Marilyn in character, always trying to be someone else, trying to live up to everyone’s expectations of who she should be.

Photo credit: The header image is a screenshot from the film Some Like It Hot (1959) which is presumably courtesy of United Artists. I make use of the image under the rational of fair use. It enables me to makes an important contribution to the readers understanding of the article, which could not practically be communicated by words alone by placing the key character of the scene, played by Marilyn Monroe into the frame. I am not the uploader of the YouTube clip embedded here.

Posted by Robert Horvat

Robert Horvat is a Melbourne based blogger. He believes that the world is round and that art is one of our most important treasures. He has seen far too many classic films and believes coffee runs through his veins. As a student of history, he favours ancient and medieval history. Music pretty much rules his life and inspires his moods. Favourite artists include The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Garbage and Lana Del Rey.

2 Comments

  1. One of the best movies!

    Reply

  2. Such a complex, intelligent and bewitching woman. I read somewhere that she had an abnormally high IQ and that could account for how well she was able to charm people I think. I am not sure if that’s true, I read it somewhere she was very smart.

    Reply

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