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Poster for Some Like It Hot (1959) 4K Restoration
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Some Like It Hot (1959) 4K Restoration

Opens on March 18

Director: Billy Wilder Run Time: 122 min. Release Year: 1959

Starring: George Raft, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, Pat O’Brien, Tony Curtis

Country: United States
Language: English

Some Like It Hot: The Films of Billy Wilder

A new retrospective celebrating one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.

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About the film:

Two musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) witness a mob hit and struggle to find a way out of the city before they are found by the gangsters. Their only opportunity is to join an all-girl band as they leave on a tour. To make their getaway they must first disguise themselves as women, then keep their identities secret and deal with the problems this brings — such as an attractive bandmate (Marilyn Monroe) and a very determined suitor.

Often rated one of the greatest films of all time, Some Like It Hot (1950) was produced without approval from the Motion Picture Production Code (Hays Code), because it featured taboo LGBT-related themes. With its complex play with gender identity and depth of storytelling setting it apart from other cross-dressing comedies, its overwhelming success is considered one of the reasons behind the retirement of the Hays Code.

The film received six Academy Award nominations — including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay — and won for Best Costume Design. It was included in the first group of 25 films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989.

About the filmmaker:

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist, whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hollywood cinema.

Wilder first became a screenwriter in the late 1920s while living in Berlin. After the rise of Adolf Hitler, Wilder, who was Jewish, left for Paris, where he made his directorial debut. He relocated to Hollywood in 1933, and in 1939 he had a hit as a co-writer of the screenplay to the screwball comedy Ninotchka. Wilder established his directorial reputation after helming Double Indemnity (1944). In 1950, he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Sunset Boulevard. From the mid-1950s on, Wilder made mostly comedies. Among the classics Wilder created in this period are the darkly funny war film Stalag 17 (1953), the romantic comedies Sabrina (1954) and The Apartment (1960), the courtroom drama Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and the farces The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Some Like It Hot (1959).

Over his five decade career, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director eight times, winning twice, and for a screenplay Academy Award 13 times, winning three times. He earned numerous lifetime honors, including AFI Life Achievement Award in 1986, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1988, and the National Medal of Arts in 1993. Wilder holds a significant place in the history of Hollywood censorship for expanding the range of acceptable subject matter.

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