Some Like It Hot,
filmed in Coronado
Some Like It Hot is a 1959 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, and the supporting cast includes Joe E. Brown and George Raft. The movie was adapted by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond from the story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan. Logan had already written the story (but without the gangsters) for a German movie, Fanfaren der Liebe (directed by Kurt Hoffmann, 1951), so that Wilder's film is seen by some as a remake.
The producers couldn't have picked a better place that the Hotel Del Coronado to provide such a terrific scenic back drop and location site for this fine, hilarious screenplay, by Robert Thoeren, I.A.L. Diamond & Billy Wilder, who got the idea from a German farce, called "Fanfares of Love." "Some Like It Hot" makes great use of its Hotel Del Coronado location. The Hotel Del, near San Diego, has provided lush lodging for politicians, movie stars, and others for many decades, and has an impressive lobby, a grand exterior, a lovely interior, and a glorious beach.
The resort scenes were filmed entirely at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. One reason why Billy Wilder chose this location was Marilyn Monroe's ongoing personal problems. He wanted a location where she could live on site and not have to be transported.
Marilyn is and was the center of Some Like it Hot. She's the star sex attraction on the screen and the source of many headaches during filming. Wilder admitted that her incandescence was unique, however. Watching filming days evaporate as he waited for her, he sighed that he had a very punctual aunt, but nobody wanted to see her in a movie. When Monroe did make it to the set she was reportedly a holy terror, incapable of remembering her lines and coddled by personal acting coaches that Wilder had to carefully pry away. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were told that they had to be spot-on with every line reading in every take, as nobody knew when Monroe would deliver a useable performance.
None of this is visible in the movie. Monroe is a delight on screen and exudes more sex than in any of her other features. The role allows her to be the Lorelei Lee gold digger while also revealing a profound sweetness. How Wilder got away with a couple of her gowns is a Hollywood miracle, as one looks literally spray-painted on. It provided many a childhood fantasy ... quote Osgood Fielding: "Zowie!"
The hotel has appeared in several films, including Some Like it Hot, The Stunt Man, and My Blue Heaven. It was also the setting for the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson.
Marilyn Monroe was pregnant during the filming, as a result she looked considerably heavier. She had no known children and several miscarriages in her life. Due to her pregnancy, most of the publicity still photos were posed for by Sandra Warner (who had an uncredited role as one of the band members) with Monroe's head superimposed later.
Supposedly when Orry-Kelly was measuring all three stars for dresses, he half-jokingly told Marilyn Monroe, "Tony Curtis has a nicer butt than you," at which point Monroe pulled open her blouse and said, "Yeah, but he doesn't have tits like these!"
When Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon first put on the female make-up and costumes, they walked around the Goldwyn Studios lot to see if they could "pass" as women. Then they tried using mirrors in public ladies rooms to fix their makeup, and when none of the women using it complained, they knew they could be convincing as women. There is a scene on the train recreating this moment.
Named the funniest movie of all time by the American Film Institute
Was voted the 9th Greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly, and is ranked on some lists high enough to be the greatest comedy of all time.
Voted #1 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Funniest Movies.
Voted #14 on the AFI's List of 100 Greatest Movies.
Nominated for several Oscars, Some Like It Hot ended up the biggest moneymaking comedy up to 1959.
Bob Kipperman served as part of Marilyn's security guard while a life guard at the Hotel Del and while other Island Beer Club members watched the filming of this masterpiece, a school mate, Windy Wagner, was discovered by Hollywood and became a member of the Sea Hunt cast.