Some Like It Hot, Directed by Billy Wilder
United Artists, March 29, 1959 (US)
Screenplay: Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon
Skirt chasers get an expert makeover in a Wilder brand of comedy, where convention is tossed aside like a well-worn schmatte set for the laundry, as a couple of hot to trot playboys not only lust after curvaceous blondes but also pine for pretty dresses … to trim their masculine physiques. The cross-dressing buddies strut about in sexually charged frolic, lifted by high heels that nearly tumble them to the ground on their wobbly path toward gender enlightenment. Boys will be boys, the premise goes, until the boys stuff their feet into a pair of Louboutins.
Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis): Wait a minute! What’s wrong with us?
Sig Poliakoff (Billy Gray): You’re the wrong shape. Good-bye!
Joe/Josephine: Wrong shape? What are you looking for—hunchbacks or something?
Sig: It’s not the backs that worry me.
Scottish men may wear kilts. Other than that, rarely does a man sport a frock (the insensitivity to equate a legless cultural tartan wrap with a skirt!) in an attempt to blend or, more specifically, duck the Chicago mob. Going incognito costumed in hip hugging A-lines ends up an act of futility soon enough for studs on the run. Flashing silky smooth gams in stilettos draws attention, regardless of the guise.
Jerry/Daphne (Jack Lemmon): Look at that! Look how she moves. That’s just like Jell-O on springs. She must have some sort of built-in motor or something. I tell you, it’s a whole different sex.
Playing dress-up accessorizes greater truths about gender division. What is good for the goose is always in vogue for the gander.
Few may deny that a dude in a dress imparts a beguiling statement. So, it is unfair when the most stunning gown ultimately outfits a lady. Marilyn Monroe seductively coos “I Wanna Be Loved by You” filmed in black and white, while performing on stage. Her musicians, two of whom are the guys in drag, unassumingly shift to the background. Monroe’s sheer form-fitting threads rousingly register as nude. A spotlight ogles the rise above the actress’s voluptuous protuberances below, which flirtatiously peek from the shadows of the teasing light. All eyes ogle the command of women’s apparel worn to maximum effect.
Jerry/Daphne: Dirty old man!
Joe/Josephine: What happened?
Jerry/Daphne: I just got pinched in the elevator.
Joe/Josephine: Now you know how the other half lives.
Jerry/Daphne: Look at that! I’m not even pretty.
Joe/Josephine: They don’t care. Just so long as you’re wearing a skirt. It’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
Jerry/Daphne: Really? Well, I’m sick of being a flag. I want to be a bull again.
Clothing worn as camouflage seems best rationed through the military. For everyday apparel, mix and match separates to fashion cutting edge ensembles. Form swatches of chic personal expression by wrapping skeins of the taboo into the designs of the future. Create a signature style and always dress comfortably. First and foremost, though, prepare to make an impression.