The 25 Must-See Titles at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. Image courtesy of MGM.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) are forced to join an all-female musical group to evade gangsters out to murder them.

In a festival themed towards comedy you can’t do better than Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot. Without this we wouldn’t have the myriad of “dude looks like a lady” films that have peppered the landscape in its wake. Some Like It Hot isn’t just about seeing how unattractive Curtis and Lemmon are as Josephine and Daphne; Wilder’s dialogue will split your sides. The ending alone will leave you chuckling. On top of all that you have Curtis imitating actor Cary Grant – who was originally offered his part; Lemmon and Joe E. Brown being the cutest mismatched couple in existence, and Marilyn Monroe being…Marilyn Monroe.

Monroe doesn’t get enough credit for what she provides Some Like It Hot, and I’m not talking about her “Jello on springs” walk. Monroe is, essentially, the daffy straightman in this movie, unaware of what’s going on and reacting naturally. There are stories about what a nightmare she was to work with, but you can’t tell because of how she enhances the comedy. Without her presence we wouldn’t get one of the steamiest and most hilarious seductions out there.

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