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By Tracy Smith, CBS Sunday Morning | In the comedy classic “Some Like It Hot,” Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play two musicians on the run from the mob who disguise themselves as women, and wind up making Hollywood history. The film came out in 1959, and 63 Oscar nights ago, it was up for six awards.

Oscar emcee Bob Hope quipped, “Jack Lemmon was nominated for impersonating a girl. I remember when you used to get arrested for that.” [SEE! We are reverting to the ice age!]

Director Billy Wilder is said to have practically pushed the two men into the ladies room to see if they could pass for the real thing (they did!). Curtis would need to ice his feet every night after a day spent in high heels. And Marilyn Monroe, as Sugar Cane, was pregnant during filming, and delayed production with her chronic lateness.

But it was a triumph anyway, said U.T. Austin film professor Noah Isenberg. “The critical praise for this film was extraordinary,” he said, “along the lines of ‘run, don’t walk’ to get to the theater to see this movie.”

But not everyone ran to see it: “Some Like It Hot” landed on the National League of Decency’s list of “morally objectionable” films. Now it’s on other lists, including #1 on the American Film Institute’s 100 best comedies of all time.

And it’s still as funny now as it was then.

Isenberg noted a scene where Lemmon, as “Daphne,” tells Curtis that a millionaire wants to marry him [“Osgood proposed to me. We’re planning a June wedding!”]

“This scene with Jack Lemmon as Daphne playing the maracas in the hotel room, they had to time it so that the jokes didn’t get drowned out by laughter,” Isenberg said. The maracas were added precisely for that purpose: “You need to be able to time how long approximately it’s going to take an audience to finish their belly laugh so that they can get to the next line.”

Curtis: “But you’re not a girl, you’re a guy! And why would a guy want to marry a guy?”

Lemmon: “Security!”
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And now, the film itself has been reinvented as a Broadway musical, with a new score by the Tony- and Grammy-winning duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The bones are the same, but it’s definitely not just a rehash of the original, said director Casey Nicholaw. “I think the thing that made the movie special that people loved, was you were seeing these two movie stars dressed as women. And that was funny to people. But it doesn’t fly now. And I don’t want to see it now. And I’m not really interested in doing that now, you know? But I think the discovery of these guys, while they have to do that to get away from the law, is what makes our show different.”
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To watch scenes from the Broadway production of “Some Like It Hot” click on the video player below:
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Read the whole story and watch the video here:

Photo: Some Like It Hot Broadway

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