The Plot of “Some Like It Hot”

In the realm of classic cinema, “Some Like It Hot” stands tall as one of the most beloved and enduring comedies of all time. Released in 1959 and directed by Billy Wilder, this iconic film continues to captivate audiences with its witty humor, brilliant performances, and captivating plot. In this article, we will delve into the plot of “Some Like It Hot” and explore its key elements, characters, themes, and its lasting impact on cinema.

Background of “Some Like It Hot”

Before diving into the plot, it is important to understand the context in which “Some Like It Hot” was created. The film was produced during the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time marked by the dominance of major studios and the rise of iconic stars. It was also a period of changing societal norms and emerging cultural shifts, which influenced the themes and narrative choices in many films of the era.

Plot Summary

The plot of “Some Like It Hot” revolves around two struggling musicians, Joe and Jerry, who witness a mob-related murder in 1929 Chicago. Fearing for their lives, they disguise themselves as women, joining an all-female jazz band headed to Florida. Joe becomes Josephine, and Jerry transforms into Daphne. As they navigate their new identities, they encounter various comedic situations, including romantic entanglements and hilarious misunderstandings.

Key Characters

The film features an ensemble cast, with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon in the lead roles. Marilyn Monroe plays the role of Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, a talented and alluring singer who becomes the object of affection for both Joe and Jerry. Tony Curtis portrays Joe, a charming ladies’ man, while Jack Lemmon brings Jerry, the more reserved and skeptical of the duo, to life. The chemistry between these characters and their performances contribute greatly to the film’s comedic brilliance.

Setting and Time Period

“Some Like It Hot” is primarily set in the Prohibition era of the 1920s, a time when organized crime thrived and speakeasies were a popular form of entertainment. The film takes viewers from the vibrant city streets of Chicago to a luxurious beach resort in Florida, providing a contrast between the gritty urban environment and the glamorous seaside retreat.

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Themes and Messages

Beneath its lighthearted exterior, “Some Like It Hot” touches upon various themes and messages. One prominent theme is the exploration of gender roles and identity. Through the characters’ cross-dressing and the ensuing complications, the film challenges societal expectations and stereotypes, highlighting the fluidity of gender and the performative nature of identity.

Another underlying message is the power of love and the lengths people will go to find it. Joe and Jerry’s pursuit of Sugar Kane and their willingness to take risks for love drive much of the plot, leading to comedic situations and heartfelt moments of connection.

Impact and Legacy

“Some Like It Hot” left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. Its clever script, masterful direction, and exceptional performances have made it a timeless classic. The film’s exploration of gender and its boundary-pushing narrative continue to influence and inspire filmmakers to this day. It has been recognized as one of the greatest comedies ever made and has solidified its place in cinematic history.

Analysis and Interpretation

The film’s success can be attributed to its blend of witty dialogue, physical comedy, and captivating performances. Billy Wilder’s directorial choices, such as his use of sharp humor and impeccable timing, contribute to the film’s enduring appeal. Additionally, the chemistry between Monroe, Curtis, and Lemmon is palpable and adds depth to the characters and their relationships.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the scenes, “Some Like It Hot” faced its fair share of challenges. Marilyn Monroe, in particular, struggled with personal issues that affected the production. However, her talent and on-screen presence shine through, contributing to the film’s success. The set itself became a hotbed of creativity and collaboration, resulting in a seamless and entertaining final product.

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Reception and Reviews

Upon its release, “Some Like It Hot” garnered critical acclaim and achieved commercial success. Audiences and critics alike praised the film for its humor, performances, and engaging storyline. Over time, its reputation has only grown, and it continues to be celebrated as a comedic masterpiece.

Awards and Recognitions

“Some Like It Hot” received several accolades, including six Academy Award nominations. The film won an Oscar for Best Costume Design and received nominations for Best Actor (Jack Lemmon) and Best Director (Billy Wilder). Its enduring popularity and critical acclaim solidify its status as one of the most beloved films in cinematic history.


“Some Like It Hot” remains a cinematic gem that has stood the test of time. Its delightful plot, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes make it a must-watch for any lover of classic cinema. By pushing the boundaries of comedy and exploring gender and identity, the film continues to captivate audiences and inspire future generations of filmmakers.


  1. Is “Some Like It Hot” based on a true story? No, “Some Like It Hot” is a work of fiction.
  2. Who wrote the script for the film? The screenplay for “Some Like It Hot” was written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.
  3. What other films has Billy Wilder directed? Billy Wilder is known for directing other iconic films such as “Sunset Boulevard” and “Double Indemnity.”
  4. How did Marilyn Monroe’s personal issues affect the production? Marilyn Monroe’s personal struggles, including tardiness and difficulty remembering lines, caused delays during filming.
  5. Where can I watch “Some Like It Hot”? “Some Like It Hot” is widely available on various streaming platforms and can also be found on DVD and Blu-ray.

Dolawa Tadaworawong

Hi there! I'm a writer who loves to craft engaging and informative content for readers. Whether it's a blog post, article, or social media caption, I believe that every piece of writing should capture the reader's attention and provide value. With years of experience in the writing industry, I've developed a versatile writing style that can adapt to any subject or tone. From technical writing to creative storytelling, I'm comfortable tackling any writing challenge.

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