"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."
One of Billy Wilder's best comedies gets deluxe treatment it
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. "
"The Sweet End Of The Lollipop"...
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 05/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the MGM Special Edition DVD of "Some Like It Hot".....
MGM..I have one word for your transfer of this great classic to DVD..."ZOWEEEEE!" What a terrific package you have put together of this 1959 Black and White treasure. Thank You!
Like Marilyn herself, this film is irresistably charming. The immortal lines, the fabulous cast and the wonderful direction by Billy Wilder makes for non-stop fun. It's a film that will be enjoyed for years to come now on DVD and by the whole family.
The time is 1929. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are struggling musicians who happen to witness a murder, in a garage, on St Valentines day. The mob lead by "Spats"(George Raft) is after them. Their only hope is to hide out with a traveling band. The band happens to be an all girls band. The guys, don women's clothing(and look scrumptious) and bunk in with the gals, including the very sweet and sexy "Sugar"(Monroe) and the fun begins. From the moment they spy Sugar ("When she moves, it's like Jell-o on springs")they loose their hearts and so do we. Tony falls for Marilyn("I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop"), Joe E. Brown("Zoweee!") falls for Jack, and the thugs are hot on their trail. You just won't want it to end, and even when it does you'll find yourself smiling just thinking of it.For sure it is the "sweet end of the lollipop".
As I mentioned MGM has put together one terrific package. The transfer in the theatrical release widescreen(1.66:1), the black and white film is sharp and clear, and the sound remastered in DD5.1 surround is a most welcomed enhancement.(It may also be viewed in the original mono if you choose).There are also some additional perks. The special features include an interivew with Tony Curtis by Leonard Maltin. Tony seems to be just as enthusiastic talking about it now as he must have been while filming(But FYI for parents of young kids, the interivew is PG), there's a featurette of "Memories from the Sweet Sues"( remember Joan Shawlee's great line..."....every girl in my band is a virtuoso - and I intend to keep it that way"), and much more(see tech info for complete list of extras). It also may be viewed in French or Spanish(mono) and has subtitiles in those languages as well.
An wonderful edition to any DVD library. I highly recommend this DVD of this definitive "screwball comedy". It's well worth the money. And I leave you with Joe E. Brown's immortal line....."Nobody's Perfect!"...enjoy...Laurie
VHS:Some Like It Hot
also recommended: Marilyn Monroe: Diamond Collection
Some Like It Hot
Kelly | Littleton, Colorado | 03/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. "
My favorite movie of all time
David Tepper | 06/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."