‘Some Like It Hot’ Behind the Scenes and Up Close

In 1958 the writer/director famous for “Double Indemnity,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and the “Seven Year Rich” Billy Wilder; made a film that begins as a virtual throwback to silent cinema. The movie was in black and white, and for the first three minutes, there was not one word of dialog. It would go on to be voted the best comedy of all time by members of “The American Film Institute.”

There was even once talk in Hollywood of a remake of the movie. But many Hollywood elites were vehemently against the idea of a remake. Director Sydney Pollak Famously said in “The Making of Some Like It Hot”: “My advice to anyone wanting to remake a Billy Wilder film is don’t, to try to make something like Some Like It Hot is suicide!”

Producer Walter Mirisch had started an independent company called the Mirisch Company, partnering with United Artist. Walter and his brother had approached Billy Wilder about remaking an old German Film called “Fan Fares of Love,” and it was Billy’s idea! The movie was about two German brothers in the height of the great depression who were desperate to find a job had accepted an assignment with an all-girls band. That depiction ultimately was the only similarity between the two movies.

“You Gotta Be Under 25, You Gotta Be Blond, and You Gotta Be Girls!”

Tony Curtis: “He came to me first Billy, we used to run screenings together. One day I was told to come by a bit earlier, Billy wants to talk to you. So, I went by a bit earlier, and Billy took me into his room and said to me: Tony I’m going to make a movie where two musicians see a murder, and they have to dress up as women to escape in a girl’s band”.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon on the set of the film Some Like It Hot in 1959 in Hollywood, United States. (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

The executives at the top decided to bring in Frank Sinatra as well, but that’s easier said than done.

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