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Some Like It Hot Hardcover – September 22, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Review

Fresh off his companion book (written with Michael Kantor) to the splendid PBS series “Make ’Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America,” Laurence Maslon has written a loving tribute to one of cinema’s most enduring comedies in “Some Like It Hot: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion.” (Moving Pictures Magazine)

Some Like It Hot: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion by Laurence Maslon is every inch the gorgeous coffee table tome you’d expect to see in celebration of the 1959 film which co-starred Jack Lemmon, and was selected by the American Film Institute as the funniest comedy ever made. (LA/OC Theatre Examiner)

Some Like It Hot: The Official 50th Anniversary Companion — This exquisitely illustrated coffee-table book is a must-own for fans of the quintessential Marilyn Monroe comedy, voted by the American Film Institute as cinema’s all-time funniest. (Advocate.com)

From the Back Cover

Selected as America's Funniest Movie by the American Film Institute, Some Like it Hot remains an undisputed classic fifty years after its release, as it continues to capture three of American culture's great preoccupations-jazz, gangsters, and Marilyn Monroe. The Official 50th Anniversary Companion details the history of this side-splitting farce from its roots as an obscure 1951 German film to its Hollywood conception, where Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond transposed the material to the Roaring Twenties and director Wilder cast the brilliant Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon in the starring roles.

As well as previously unpublished images, posters, and documents from the MGM archives, this book includes selections from the screenplay, casting notes, on-set production anecdotes, and location shots from the fabled Del Coronado in San Diego (doubling for Florida). In addition, songs and music used in the film's jazz era setting, background information on Chicago during Prohibition, the story of the Broadway and West End musical versions (one of which starred Tony Curtis), the previously undiscovered television pilot based on the movie, and the ongoing legacy of the most famous drag comedy in film history.

Featuring cameo appearances by Arthur Miller, Edward G. Robinson, Al Capone, Tommy Steele, Robert Morse, Tina Louise, and Tom Hanks, The Official 50th Anniversary Companion is the first book to tell the full story of Some Like it Hot from start to finish, from wig to high heels.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: HarperDes; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061761230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061761232
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,014,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Truly one of the best film companion books ever published. This book goes past the worn-out stories and rumors and the general trivia that's been published for years, to give a rich picture of this classic film. Written with unequaled authority by Laurence Maslon, this well-researched and amazing book looks back to the origins of the story for the film, and from there tells aspect of the making of it, dispels the myths and presents the facts, and goes on to show how Some Like it Hot lived on, even in a failed tv show. Maslon also gives amazing sidebars in order to paint a picture of the timeframe in which the film is set, as well as bios of everyone involved.

And then there are the images! Glorious images, many of them in color, and most of them never before seen, go behind the scenes and on the sets. Seeing Curtis and Lemmon in those getups, in color, is absolutely amazing. To use a well-worn phrase, this book is a stunning visual feast.

This wonderful book is pitch-perfect, and the best gift you could give any classic film buff, Marilyn Monroe lover, or Hollywood fanatic.
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By Ms. Nomer on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I hate to invoke cliches but I couldn't put this book down. An elegantly written, thoroughly absorbing, behind-the-scenes look at a beloved film that also opens an illuminating window on two fascinating chapters in American history: the Chicago of Al Capone and Hollywood in the late '50's.
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Format: Hardcover
The movie is so fresh, so vigorous, so full of pep and life force -- and so sly -- that it's hard to believe "Some Like It Hot" is now 50 years old.

But it is, and Laurence Maslon, an associate professor at the Tisch School of the Arts and author of several books about American musicals, comedies, and specifically "The Sound of Music" and "South Pacific," has offered a pleasing coffee-table tribute to this one.

When a movie has become so familiar and venerable, it may be difficult to recall what a risk Mirisch and his brothers Harold and Marvin were taking with their brand-new production company's first project, whose dramatic hook, early in the story, is a fairly straightforward recreation of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. According to Wilder's interview with [Cameron] Crowe, Selznick responded, "Oh my God, you're not doing a comedy with murder? They're going to crucify you. They're going to walk out in droves! It's just going to be embarrassing."

Maslon's book is simply divided into chapters about the writing, casting, shooting at the MGM lot, location work at the Del Coronado hotel in San Diego (standing in for a luxury Miami resort), further shooting at Goldwyn Studios, post-production, and "Legacy." That last includes an abortive 1961 TV series, with a prologue in which Lemmon and Curtis graciously cameo'd and pretended to get plastic surgery to continue their escape from the gangsters, and thus paved the way for replacement actors Dick Patterson and Vic Damone as Jerry and Joe; and the 1972 stage musical, Sugar, starring Tony Roberts and Robert Morse (and 1974 and 1992 revivals -- the last with Tommy Steele, and Tony Curtis taking Joe E. Brown's old role of puckish millionaire Osgood Fielding III).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a real feast of book: delectably overstuffed with fascinating anecdotes, infused with genuine scholarship, spiced by scintilating wit, laced with revealing insights, and served up in nimble and entertaining prose. For anyone interested in movies -- and the real stories behind their making -- this book is a must. Of course, Mr. Maslon is blessed to be working with an irresistible cast (headlined by Monroe, Lemmon, Wilder, Curtis, I.A.L. Diamond, George Raft, and Joe E.Brown), but the cast and film are equally fortunate to have found a writer capable of doing them full justice. This great classic -- always named in every Top Ten list -- could not have wished for a better chronicle. Enthusiastically recommended. (And it'd make a wonderful Christmas gift.)
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Format: Hardcover
Laurence Maslon has done it again. This brilliant author on all things show business has written a wonderfully entertaining book about Billy Wilder's masterpiece. Wrapped in hilarious anecdotes and accompanied by beautiful illustrations from many sources are profound, never before known insights into the origins of Some Like It Hot. Maslon masterfully weaves together the many strands that went into the making of the movie. He provides rich information about the German film that inspired it; gangsters; bootlegging; Jazz. It all adds immeasurably to one's enjoyment of the movie. This book is a must for all movie buffs, quite particularly lovers of intelligent, stylish comedy. It is a funny book about a masterpiece of wit.
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