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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Some Like It Hot (Blu-ray)
Some Like It Hot (Blu-ray)
MGM // Unrated // May 10, 2011 // Region Free
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted May 27, 2011 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
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Some Like It Hot
is a black and white 1959 comedy about two somewhat bumbling musicians named Jerry (Jack Lemmon) and Joe (Tony Curtis) who find themselves in a predicament that forces them to dress as women and pretend to be the latest members of a jazz band consisting entirely of women musicians. It just wasn’t their luck when they happened to be the unwelcome guests of a gang shootout. Bent on escaping the incident aftermath and remaining unfound this seemed the best opportunity for them to remain members of the living.  Little did they know that a sweet, sensual singer named Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) would fall for one of them under the ruse of being a rich playboy (when not in disguise) and the other (while in disguise) would be pursued by someone who actually is one (though quite a bit older).  This famous comedy is an iconic gem and essential viewing for fans of classic films.

Billy Wilder is one of the most cherished filmmakers of all time and there is little doubt that this is primarily because of his unique cinematic voice. As both a writer and director he had a unique sensibility with most of his work that allowed many of his best films to feel flawlessly charming and also strikingly in tune with the times. Like another Wilder masterpiece to arrive just one year later (The Apartment), Some Like It Hot has a special place in cinema-lovers hearts as not only a charming comedy with breathtaking performances but as a film that pushed boundaries. Who can forget the concluding words spoken in the film? Alas, I wouldn’t dare repeat them in this review, as surely there are still many movie-goers who haven’t had a chance to experience the delights of Some Like It Hot, but they represent the heart of a film that suggests first glance appearances are not necessarily entirely indicative of a deeper understanding of a person’s true character.

The humor is excellent and it is hard to imagine today’s audiences responding any differently to the exuberance of the comedy in Some Like It Hot as audience members felt when the film met a wonderful debut response in the late 1950’s. Each of the three lead actors gave some of the finest performances seen in comedic filmmaking. Indeed, Wilder regular Jack Lemmon is probably the standout with some of best comedic timing seen by any actor and his role in the film remains one of his most memorable moments for a variety of reasons. Tony Curtis manages to be a somewhat more straight-laced comedic performer who brings laughs by playing a slightly edgier character and he seems at ease in playing such a suave charmer. Marilyn Monroe is unsurprisingly strong in the film, delivering a playful and charming role to her unique perfection, as one of the most cherished film icons as both a remarkable actress and as the sex symbol she would be to many moviegoers.  

The direction by Wilder is superb and he really pulls off every element in Some Like It Hot, from the wonderfully charming screenplay (which he co-wrote with I.A.L. Diamond), the amazing casting, the quick and appropriate pacing, and the gorgeous look of this creation, viewers can always find something fun and meaningful to behold. This should be required viewing for all serious film fans and anyone who still needs to see Some Like It Hot is strongly encouraged to.

The Blu-ray:


Some Like It Hot arrives on Blu-ray with a 1:66:1 AVC encoded transfer that preserves the original aspect ratio. The transfer runs at a healthy 33 MBPS, and the film is held on a 50 GB disc.  This transfer appears to have been made from the same source used for the previously released 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD. The High Definition boost shows an increase in clarity, stronger black levels, and a more consistent image. While there is a substantial upgrade with this release it is still a minor disappointment that the occasional dirt from that DVD transfer remains a part of this transfer, and the image seems a tad soft in certain scenes (though this could be a natural result from when the film was made). The transfer isn’t likely to disappoint fans (the quality is generally strong) but it isn’t quite as stunning as a full restoration might have been able to provide.  


Some Like It Hot is a Region Free Blu-ray disc despite being labeled as Region A on the cover.

The images featured in this review are from the Collector’s Edition DVD release and do not represent the High Definition Blu-ray picture quality.


The primary audio option for Some Like It Hot is the original English encoded in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  The original audio was mono so it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that the limitations of the original recording prevent this from being a sparkling recording. However, opening up the mono to 5.1 allowed for the score and occasional sound effects (which were sparingly used) to become slightly more enveloping and the front-heavy mix remains mostly genuine to the source. It’s unfortunate that the original mono track isn’t included here, but the dialogue sounds clear and easy to understand. Spanish Mono and French 5.1 DTS are included. Subtitles are included in English SDH (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing), Spanish, and French. A wide assortment of other audio and subtitle options are include for foreign market territories.


MGM has decided to port over the original bonus materials included on the previously issued Collector’s Edition 2 Disc DVD release (minus the Original Pressbook Gallery). Included is Audio Commentary (which combines separate recorded interviews with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, comments by Paul Diamond (the son of Some Like It Hot co-screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond), and screenwriters Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz). This is a commentary track drawn from multiple sources and it serves as an interesting addition with some nice insights on the film. Video extras include documentary features “The Making of Some Like it Hot”, and “The Legacy of Some Like It Hot”. Both extras include archived interviews about the films.  Nostalgic Look Back is a fascinating sit-down discussion with Tony Curtis which Leonard Maltin conducted at a famous restaurant. The last substantial extra is another nostalgic piece featuring group interviews, entitled Memories from the Sweet Sues, the feature is focused on actresses who were part of the film’s all-girl band. Rounding out the extras is a lengthy image gallery segment entitled Virtual Hall of Memories, and the original theatrical trailer for Some Like It Hot.

Final Thoughts:

Some Like It Hot remains an important film in the history of cinema. Billy Wilder crafted one of his finest efforts with this silly and perfectly charming comedy.  The Blu-ray release offers fans an upgrade over previous editions in PQ/AQ but the extras are only ported over from a previous collector’s edition. It’s at least reassuring that the included bonus materials remain entertaining and informative. This release is definitely one worth investing in for the film’s fans and those who haven’t purchased any previous editions. It’s the version to own. Highly Recommended.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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