|Jack Lemmon as Daphne and Tony Curtis as Josephine|
What makes Some Like It Hot really work, is that for one reason or another, Curtis and Lemmon don't want to get out of drag, which Wilder and Diamond cannily built into the script, "We have to find the ironclad thing so that these guys trapped in women’s clothes cannot just take the wigs off and say, ‘Look, I’m a guy.’ It has to be a question of life and death.' And that’s where the idea for the St. Valentine’s Day murder came."
There are amazing comic bits throughout the film — Curtis and Lemmon's fabulous drag personas, millionaire Osgood Fielding III's (played by a brilliant Joe E. Brown) unexpected affection for Daphne, Curtis's alter alter-ego of "Shell Oil Jr.," done with a right-on Cary Grant impersonation. Also peppered throughout are some really great musical numbers, the highlight Marilyn singing "I Want to be Loved by You" in a gown that is for all intents and purposes see-through (as are many of her costumes in the film), a spotlight, forever threatening and promising, to reveal all.
Jerry, on the other hand, is changed by his putting on a wig and heels. He is also attracted to Sugar, "Look at that! Look how she moves. Like Jell-O on springs. She must have some sort of built-in motor. I tell you, it's a whole different sex." But Jerry also listens to her, and empathizes with her stories of always getting "the fuzzy end of the lollipop" in romance. He sees how his and especially Joe's behavior have affected the women in their lives. He's not happy when "Junior" starts to romance Sugar under false pretenses, "What do you think you are doing to that girl, putting on the millionaire act, and where did you get that phoney accent from? Nobody talks like that." Jerry enjoys his role-playing so much that at times he truly becomes Daphne at moments. He considers marrying Osgood, and becomes upset when Jerry takes his gifts from Osgood and passes them along to Sugar.
Joe, "You're not a girl! You're a guy! Why would a guy want to marry a guy?"
With the help of Osgood, Joe, Jerry, and Sugar take off together. As they ride off into the sunset towards Osgood's yacht, there is still the matter of Daphne. Jerry can't seem to get through to Osgood that things would never work between them. Finally, in exasperation, he pulls off his wig, "I'm a man!" Osgood glances at him and smiles, unperturbed, "Well, nobody's perfect."
There are plenty of stories surrounding the making of Some Like it Hot. Marilyn's notorious difficulties in nailing a simple line. The possible casting of Frank Sinatra instead of Lemmon. But no matter how difficult filming conditions may have been, it is undeniably a classic, and Wilder had good things to say about his lovely star, "She had a kind of elegant vulgarity about her. That, I think, was very important. And she automatically knew where the joke was. She did not discuss it. She came for the first rehearsal, and she was absolutely perfect, when she remembered the line." Some Like it Hot is as funny today as it was when it first came out. To paraphrase Sugar, it's a real diamond, worth its weight in gold.
Billy Wilder, Conversations with Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond [Part 7]
Billy Wilder, Billy Wilder Trivia and Quotes