SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, George Raft
WHEN Some Like It Hot was released in 1959, the ukulele was riding a second wave of popularity in America, largely due to influential television personality Arthur Godfrey’s on-air championing of the instrument.
The classic comedy stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as struggling musicians who have to get out of Chicago in a hurry after they witness what is obviously supposed to be the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Without a dime to their names and ruthless mobsters led by ‘Spats’ Colombo (Raft) on their trail, the hapless pair don wigs and nylons and manage to con their way into an all-girl band that’s headed for Miami. However, things get even more complicated when both men fall for the group’s soprano uke player, a vivacious blonde named Sugar Kane (Monroe).
Despite the production being plagued by Marilyn’s hostile and unpredictable behaviour (Curtis allegedly described his love scenes with the icon as “like kissing Hitler”), the movie was a huge hit and Monroe won a Golden Globe award for her performance. In 2000, the American Film Institute listed Some Like It Hot as the greatest American comedy film of all time.
Call us biased, but we reckon the uke played its part in the movie’s success. We can’t imagine the adorably kooky Sugar playing anything else!
This article first appeared in Issue 1 of KAMUKE, which is available in the Store