FleischerFan wrote:Ben, I could not disagree with you more strongly.
Yes, the pacing is slower. The pacing of ALL movies was slower then. Because of TV commercials, we have become attention deficit freaks who need rapid fire cuts to hold our interest now. That is not a flaw of the film, it is simply the result of changing times.
However, as you mention, the film is funnier than most films we have now. And that's the primary job of a comedy - to be funny. It also created characters you really cared about and rooted for.
Funny can be more than simply set-up and punchline. Seeing Jack Lemon dancing with a rose between his teeth while dressed in drag is funny. Watching Tony Curtis try to pretend that Marilyn Monroe is not arousing him on the yacht is funny. Joe E. Brown's last line is positively the funniest last line I have ever heard at the movies.
As for Monroe. It is true that she had extreme problems during the filming of this movie, but a lack of acting ability was not one of them. Having watched all of her movies, I can tell you that she demonstrated more than once that she was actually a very good actress. It's just that Hollywood very seldom gave her parts outside the "sex kitten" stereotype.
In Niagra, for example, she plays a young bride out to murder her husband. She turns in very sensitive performances in both Bus Stop and The Misfits. She studied under Lee Strasberg, perhaps the foremost acting teacher of his generation. He thought she was an exceptionally gifted actress.
In Some Like It Hot, she is playing a not very bright, confused, but sweet young singer. What specifically do you think was "not that good" about her performance?
ETA: The distinction for this film (being voted on by members of the AFI) was that is was the BEST comedy - not necessarily the funniest. There are many elements that make up a successful film. Some Like It Hot had a great script, superb direction, solid cast, told a terrific story, had well-developed characters you rooted for, and came to a very satisfying conclusion.
I agree with most of this. BUT - the movie is a tad overlong. Wilder moves it along as good as one could hope for here in spite of some meandering, corny dialog scenes (on the train, at the beach, when the mobsters finally show up); it sort of works well here, but his lack of self-editing bit him in the ass later with Irma La Douce, Kiss Me, Stupid, and Avanti.
I am not a fan of Some Like It Hot's cinematography at all, particularly the lighting which is downright bad sometimes. The profusion of color photos from the movie recently only makes me wish the thing was shot in color. (Don't get me started on the "but the tests made their faces look garish" reasoning - it probably would have enhanced the farcical element. Color or black/white, nothing changes. Lemmon in drag I might accidentally bang drunk, whereas nothing but blindness could convince you Curtis doesn't have a dick.)
Though Monroe was funnier elsewhere (namely Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire), she's still a dynamite comedienne in this one. She's very underrated in this respect, being one of the few actresses that can bring down the house like any male comedian can (the other obvious one being Lucille Ball).
In spite of these caveats, it's probably still somewhere in the top five or six comedies ever made.