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on May 23, 2001
To correct the technical info above, this DVD (both the special edition and movie-only edition) DOES HAVE an English monophonic soundtrack that was originally used in the film. Also included is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but one wonders if a dialog-heavy film like this should really need a surround soundtrack. Dialogs in both the mono and the 5.1 tracks sound perfectly clear and understable. The surround sound only comes into use during the occasional music and gunfight sequences. I do applaud the inclusion of the original mono track, which quite a few recent DVDs of older movies do not provide in the hope of enticing new DVD owners with 5.1 audio.
The video transfer looks great -- images are sharp, levels of black look realistic (you can clearly see and feel the velvety texture of a black robe Monroe wears), signs of wear and tear are virtually non-existent. The picture aspect ratio is 1.66:1, which is not the 1:85:1 ratio used for the original US theatrical release and for all previous US letterboxed laserdisc releases. The 1.66:1 ratio adds a little picture to the top, but doesn't really affect the composition. The video is also non-anamorphic, so the resolution is not as high on a widescreen TV as it would be with an anamorphic DVD. There is also no English optional subtitles, but there are yellow optional French and Spanish ones.
I would have gladly paid a higher price if they had included better supplementary material on the Special Edition DVD, such as the audio commentary and home movies that were put on the Criterion laserdisc made in the early 90s. The extras on the Special Edition DVD include a lively but superficial 30-minute new interview with Tony Curtis reminiscing about the film, a rather uninteresting 12-minute interview with the actresses who played the girl band members, a segment called "Virtual Hall of Memories" that is essentially a still gallery, and trailers of 7 Wilder films including SOME LIKE IT HOT; all the trailers are in poor video condition. The most interesting extra is a reproduction of a pressbook for the film, but the pictures are blurry and the smaller text is illegible. I am disappointed that we never get to hear from Jack Lemmon or Billy Wilder, both still alive, on this DVD. These extras are not impressive, so one may consider buying the movie-only edition for a cheaper price.
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Billy Wilder's most popular comedy finally receives the deluxe treatment it deserves. MGM previously released this classic comedy in a nonanamorphic widescreen version a couple of years back. While that edition looked pretty decent this anamorphic transfer puts any previous editions (including my much favored laserdisc edition) to shame. Wilder's comedy operates as a spoof of gangster films and a comedy about gender roles. Jerry (the late Jack Lemmon) and Joe (Tony Curtis) are two musicians on the lam when they witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. With Spats Columobo (George Raft) and his men looking for the duo they go undercover as musicians cross dressing and joining an all female band headed for a gig in Florida. Becoming a woman allows Joe/Josephine to spent time with Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) the latest woman that catches Joe's fancy. Jerry/Daphne on the other hand finds himself romanced by a rich man (Joe E. Brown) who won't take the hint as Jerry tries to blow off his advances.

And you thought the 50's were tame. One of Wilder's richest 50's comedies "Some Like It Hot" continues to be very funny inverting our expectations constantly and playing with the roles that Jerry and Joe take on with their new identities. Joe's eyes open the most as before he was a pretty ruthless womanizer. Becoming a woman puts him in the crosshairs of every male insight and he's on the receiving end of all the smirks, comments and passes that he would have used with Sugar before his change. Wilder mixes social commentary so deftly with comedy (like Hitchcock's work with suspense and social commentary) that at his best--and he's at his best here--it reminds us how entertaining a movie can be without being heavy handed. It's also filled with some marvelous in jokes (for example Colombo played by George Raft observes a thug flipping a coin and comments, "Where did you pick up that cheap trick?" Raft of course did the exact thing in one of his signature roles in "Scarface" from 1932).

A great movie looks even better in this sharp looking transfer. The black and white imagery of the film looks gorgeous. Originally Marilyn Monroe lobbied to have the film shot in color which Billy Wilder felt wouldn't work for this comedy (he persuaded her to agree to shoot in black and white when he showed her make up tests for Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in color where their make up as women made them look slightly green) while the film certainly would have looked great in color the sumptuous cinematography by Charles Lang ("The Magnificent Seven", "Wait Until Dark") looks extremely good in this wonderful looking transfer. Detail is quite good and blacks are solid with a nice array of different textures evident in the transfer. Audio is presented in the original mono and sounds fine.

For those that are into such things the special features here are a huge improvement over the previous edition. We get a commentary track compiled from comments by the late Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and I.A.L. Diamond's son (working with the comedy writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel--honestly I could have thought of better writers to pair with Diamond's son). While the insights aren't exactly a revelation it is an enjoyable commentary track.

We also get two terrific documentaries on the making of the film. The first features a mixture of new and older interviews from the cast and crew. The second documentary "The Legacy of `Some Like it Hot'" is packed with trivia about the making of the film, Wilder & Monroe's relationship on the set and the difficult time Wilder had making the film with his leading lady including footage shot in the 80's of Wilder and Diamond.

Finally we get "Memories from the Sweet Sues" featurette with members of the women who played in the band, an interview with Tony Curtis entitled "Nostalgic Look Back" where Curtis reveals that actor/voice artist Paul Frees did much of his voice as Josephine because he had difficulty reaching the high voice. We also get the imaginatively titled but unimpressive "Virtual Hall of Memories 3-D Tour" The original pressbook appears on the DVD as well and we get reproductions of various lobby cards. Finally we get previews and the original theatrical trailer.

Far more impressive than the lackluster previous DVD releases "Some Like It Hot" looks solid in this re-release although the film could look a bit more vibrant. The featurettes are, for the most part, very good and the compiled commentary track adds loads of trivia (some of which is duplicated in the featurettes) about the making of the film. I do wish that a film historian such as UCLA professor Howard Suber had been involved in some way to help provide context for the movie but that's just personal preference. A fine release that could have been great with a wee bit more effort on the part of Sony/MGM.
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VINE VOICEon July 10, 2011
SOME LIKE IT HOT is a classic for many reasons. The film may seem a little dated to some viewers but what keeps it forever great and irresistible are the superb performances by Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Filming it in black and white helped greatly to believe the two men being accepted as women. And it also helped make Marilyn stand out even more with her effervescent and transcendent beauty. But when looking at a blu ray version of a film that has seen much life on dvd a buyer must know if double dipping is really worth it. Especially where SOME LIKE IT HOT came out with a superb dvd transfer years ago.

To put it simply, the film honestly looks and sounds great on blu ray and is a vast improvement over even its best dvd transfer. There is much clarity improvement in the video and the crispness in detail is vivid. Facial closeups are particular standouts. The black and white ratio is perfect and the film has not been overly enhanced or tried to be cleaned up as blu rays often are. The intended grainess is still there which adds character to the film. But seeing Tony and Jack in their female getup with the picture so clear is amazing and nothing can surpass how Marilyn comes across in this blu ray version. When she first walks by the train and the steam comes out you know what picture perfection you are in for. And every time her face appears, be it out of a train sleeping bunk or just entering a scene you can see every feature and fine detail of her face in all its glory. The picture takes on its own life when she is singing I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU. Just the spotlight highlighting her face whenever she sings is your proof of the blu ray improvement. The sensual gift and aura that was Marilyn Monroe takes full advantage of the blu ray.

And the audio is a huge improvement. The audio now is in a DTS Master 5.1 and the sound will come out all your speakers gloriously. And again the highlights are Marilyn's songs. Sadly the extras here are exactly the same as on the last dvd release. Luckily the retail price of this film is not high. Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and particularly Marilyn give career highlight performances and it is amazing to believe the difficulties they had filming due to Marilyn's insecurities. With this film you get a fun farce with endearing performances that stand the test of time. And the blu ray is a must if you are a fan of the film or anyone in it. Highly recommended.
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on September 1, 2012
My review is not about the movie itself, which is a great classic comedy that everyone should see and own. Rather, I want to comment on the Blu-ray itself, which is a big disappointment.

When the disc is loaded into the player it does not offer a Pop-Up Menu and the movie begins after all the usual disclaimers, which is not a bad thing. But this turns out to be an issue later. Stay tuned....

Prior to the purchase of this Blu-ray I owned the 2-disc Collector's Edition which had a great quality picture and great special features. I read on that the Blu-ray was highly rated in terms of picture quality and sound. So, to my regret, I sold my DVD set to a friend and bought the Blu-ray.....BIG MISTAKE! Apparently sometimes when an older movie is given the High Definition treatment it brings out details and flaws as well. To my eyes the DVD I owned had a superior picture. The Blu-ray reveals more grain and in some scenes a rather odd checkerboard background, especially in dark areas. Some may call this pixilation; whatever it is called, it's annoying and distracting. In the scene when the girls arrive at the Florida resort, there is a definite picture breakup that occurs on the left side of the screen. It is reminiscent of how a film appears as it is about to reach the end of a spool in a projector..I am not kidding.

What about that Pop-Up Menu? Yeah, where is it? It doesn't appear at the beginning or the end of the film. Oh it's there alright, but you need some tricky maneuvering to find it. To say the least, this is a terrible Menu design flaw. When you finally get to the Menu there are some nice extras. These extras are on disc 2 of the DVD Collectors Edition.

In conclusion, I did not expect perfection in this Blu-ray and would have been very happy with just a slight improvement over my DVD. However, this Blu-ray took three steps backward. I am now ordering the 2-disc Collector's Edition on DVD....AGAIN!!! This is something that I never felt necessary to do with any of my other Blu-ray purchases. You've been warned. If you have the movie on DVD, KEEP not upgrade!
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on March 21, 2000
Suppose YOU witnessed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Would you go to the police? Maybe. Would you go into hiding? Probably. Would you change your name and move to Russia? Why not? But would you don a dress and wig and catch a train to Florida with an all-girls band? Well, that's what Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis do in this incredibly riotous and timeless comedy from hit-after-hit producer Billy Wilder, and this is his hottest hit! En route to Florida Jerry, er, Daphne (Jack Lemmon) and Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis) encounter a ditzy ukelele player named Sugar Kane (it used to be Sugar Kuvulchek) who moves "like jello on springs!". Any guesses? Of course it's Marilyn Monroe. And while Daphne is being whooed by an eager millionaire (Joe E. Brown)Josephine takes on a third personality as a Cary Grant imitating-upper class millionaire to impress an even more eager Sugar! A fabulous script, (maybe even more fabulous actors!) and the direction of Billy Wilder come together to make "Some Like It Hot" a greedily enjoyable movie for anyone! Don't miss it and don't worry: Marilyn never cools off for a moment.
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on June 23, 2000
With its pseudo-homoerotic undercurrents, I sometimes wonder how this film got past the 50's-era censors. No matter. Writer-director Billy Wilder, and leads Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe dazzle with their comic genius.
You can watch this movie over and over and it always seems fresh. Perhaps it's the realization that Monroe and her alter ego Sugar Kane are far more intelligent than they first appear. Seeing gold-digger-with-a-cause Sugar and faux oil magnate Joe (Curtis) manipulating each other is a hoot. Or perhaps it's Jerry's (Lemmon) gender crisis when he realizes that being a woman, even in a man's world, does have some perks to go along with the headaches.
In any case, the fun lies in seeing three tangles of lies and deceit growing ever bigger and out of control, like a comic Gordian knot, only to be cut at the last second with what's perhaps the funniest yet most anti-climactic punchline in film history. Between the sight gags, the slapstick, and the witty banter, you can't help but feel good watching this movie. There's really nothing bad to say about it; even the draggy parts are far more entertaining than what passes for comedy in most movies.
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VINE VOICEon March 22, 2008
In 1929 during the St. Valentines Day massacre, two traveling musicians, witness one of the hits initiated by the mob. The only way the duo can think of to avoid being discovered is to join an all female band playing in Florida as women. Joe is looking forward to the gig, so that he can spend more time with Sugar while Jerry is horrified to find himself fighting off the advances of a rich suitor. Joe the consummate womanizer finally gets to see what it is like to be on the other side of the coin to see what he has been dishing out for years.

Many see this as a ground breaking movie especially for the 1950's with the theme of cross dressing and gender roles, but I just enjoyed Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon giving some of the best comedic performances of their careers, and Marilyn Monroe shining her brightest. It is laugh out loud funny, and a movie you will watch over and over again.
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on January 15, 2000
Some Like It Hot really is a classic. Its so funny and so sincere, how could it not be?
Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most amazing women ever in my opinion, and its films like this that help her stay that way. Her performance as Sugar is funny in a tragic sort of way and she can more than hold her own with the likes of Tony Curtis.
Jack Lemmon is halarious as Jerry and his scenes with Joe E Brown,as Osgood, are a work of genius. One of my favourites is when Jerry returns from a date with Osgood and announces that they are planning a June wedding, much to the disbelieve of Curtis' Joe.
I love Some Like It Hot because its a sweet, harmless, fun movie and I know Ill never get tired of it.
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on October 8, 2002
It's rare that I actually laugh out loud at a movie, but I did when I watched Some Like It Hot. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon star as Joe and Jerry, two musicians in 1929 who accidentally witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre. Since the mob is now after them to silence them for good, Joe and Jerry pose as women in an all-girls band. Joe is now Josephine and Jerry is Daphne. They meet the beautiful singer of the group, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), on the train to Florida and quickly become friends with her.
Jack Lemmon was absolutely hysterical in his role! Nobody could've done it as well as he could. Tony Curtis was also funny (his impersonations were fantastic), especially when he played a British millionaire with his own yacht when he was trying to woo Sugar Kane.
If you haven't seen Some Like It Hot, you're definitely missing a gem. It is, hands down, the funniest movie I have ever watched. Plus, the clarity on the DVD is very clear. Highly, highly recommended!
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on April 20, 2001
This has been my favorite movie since I was a teenager -- Long before the AFI rated it the #1 film of all time, but they are right! There are so many things to love about this movie I hardly know where to start, but here goes:
First of all, it is a flat out funny movie! Not only is the premise really funny: two guys witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre (even that is clever, using a real-life event to start off the movie!) and hide out from the gangsters by joining an all-female band, but the dialogue is some of the best of any movie ever made. You might even have to watch it a couple of times to catch everything. But trust me, you certainly won't mind repeated viewings. This is at the top of my "deserted on a desert island" movie list.
But it is also a pretty wonderful romantic story. One that women will love, but guys will enjoy as well. Joe's (Tony Curtis) underhanded seduction of Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) is sweet and low-down at the same time. The film's other romance is pure hilarity -- Jerry (Jack Lemmon), in drag, is pursued by a frisky elderly millionaire (Joe E. Brown) and the result has to be seen to be believed.
While knowledge of current events of the 1920's will probably enhance your enjoyment of this film, it is still great no matter how old you are. If I were allowed to recommend only one movie ever, this would be the one.
If you liked Tootsie, watch this movie and see how one of the originals does it even better.
Obviously I can't comment on the DVD quality of the film since it hasn't been released yet, but the included interview with Leonard Maltin and Tony Curtis is definitely a plus. I will most certainly be getting my copy on the day it is released, and if you know what I know, so will you.
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