The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie

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9780470537213: The Making of Some Like It Hot: My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie

In early 1958 legendary director Billy Wilder offered Tony Curtis the chance to star in a new picture. The movie was to be called "Some Like It Hot"; it went on to become one of the best-loved films of all time. Now, fifty years on from its first release, this is the true story of what really went on behind-the-scenes during the making of the funniest movie of all time, told by one of its leading 'ladies'. For the first time, Tony Curtis shares the many as-yet-untold secrets from the set in his own inimitable voice. He speaks frankly about his working relationship with Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder, as well as his romance with Marilyn Monroe. Here too is the truth behind Monroe's erratic behaviour, which almost scuppered the production. Featuring never-before seen photographs from his private collection and numerous personal anecdotes, this is an insider's account of the making of a Hollywood classic.

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Some Like It Hot occupies a unique place in American culture. This beloved classic showcases five comic geniuses: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, I. A. L. Diamond, Billy Wilder, and Marilyn Monroe. It has been honored by the American Film Institute as the "Funniest Film of All Time". It has contributed quotes, styles, and stories to film lore. Yet the full story of its making has never been told—until now.

Amazon Exclusive: Interview with Tony Curtis

Acting legend and author of The Making of Some Like It Hot, Tony Curtis, sits down for an exclusive interview with co-author Mark A. Vieira to talk about his book, his legacy, and of course, Marilyn.

Mark: Tony, both your fans and the potential readers of our book would like to know what prompted you to write The Making of Some Like It Hot?

Tony: Well, Mark, while my last book, American Prince, was going great guns a year ago, I was invited to The Bonnie Hunt Show. My agent, that handsome Alan Nevins, was with me in the green room. And Alan says to me, “Tony, you know the anniversary is coming up of your movie Some Like It Hot. Why not do your own book about it?”

Mark: Did you like his idea?

Tony: Frankly, no. There was a lot of stuff, a lot of memories I hadn’t dealt with. The business of my romance with Marilyn. I thought I should let it alone. And for years I did.

Mark: Well, what persuaded you to deal with it now?

Tony: I realized something. People love the picture Some Like It Hot. They cherish it. Being an artist myself, a painter, I can see why they call the picture a work of art. It is. So I thought to myself, people want to know how we made it. Why not tell them the whole story? It’s not just that I’m the only actor left to tell it. I’m the one that can tell it best.

Mark: When I was working with you, I sensed that some stories were easier for you to tell than others.

Tony: Oh, yeah. Yeah. You see, Mark, when you go back and look at yourself fifty years ago, how you were then, it’s tough. I don’t mean that I would change a lot of things that I did, but I—well, let me put it this way—it’s like trying to ride a roller coaster backwards. It’s tough going back and sorting all that stuff out. You know I’ve had my health problems in the past few years. Luckily, my memory wasn’t affected. But thinking about Marilyn and Billy Wilder and all that, well, it got to me. You saw that.

Mark: I did. But you managed to tell a tale that no one else can.

Tony: What can I say? I was there. I was me. Billy called me “the best-looking kid in town.” Being that kid gave me a particular kind of access. Certain people question why Marilyn chose to get involved with me. Look at the pictures of us together. That should answer their questions. We were two beautiful young animals. Why shouldn’t we get involved?

Mark: Do you think that helped the film?

Tony: Once again, I say: look at the picture. You can see the heat between Marilyn and me. Without that, what would you have? A funny picture with a hole in the center of it. Billy needed that, he needed that chemistry to make the thing work. He got it.

Mark: Any parting words about the book?

Tony: Yeah. Like the rest of the world, I’ve grown to love Some Like It Hot. I mean, it did a lot for me. And I’ve always loved telling stories. So this story—the story of how we made it—is my bouquet to the picture. This is for you, Billy and Jack and Marilyn.

From the Inside Flap:

When Hollywood legend Tony Curtis meets his fans, they always ask about his 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot. Luckily for them—and for us—Tony has stories to share. In his new book, The Making of Some Like It Hot, he shares all of them.

Some Like It Hot is a beloved part of our culture, voted the "Funniest Film of All Time" by the American Film Institute, but Tony is the first to tell the complete, uncensored story of its making, a behind-the-scenes saga of intrigue, humor, and romance. A noted artist and raconteur, Tony paints word portraits of the geniuses who made the film: director Billy Wilder and his cowriter I. A. L. Diamond; actor Jack Lemmon; and sex icon Marilyn Monroe. In his engaging style, Tony tells of Wilder and Diamond's unique writing routine; Wilder's surprising first choice for Tony's costar; and Wilder's daring decision to add violence to farce.

Tony describes the challenges he faced as the "best-looking kid in Hollywood" suddenly forced to dress as a woman: meeting the limitations of a constricting costume; learning the "moves" from a female impersonator; adapting his walk and the pitch of his voice; facing people's reactions (or worse, the lack of them); working in tandem with the hilarious Lemmon; and following Wilder's precise but often impersonal direction.

Here, too, are Tony's previously unpublished recollections of his bittersweet relationship with Marilyn. He tells in vivid, compelling detail how America's most celebrated sex symbol came to work on this unlikely project; how he had met the young unknown years earlier on a studio street; about their puppy love, her meteoric rise to fame, and the resentment he saw in her colleagues; how her perfectionism nearly drove him crazy; and how her strange behavior nearly shut down the film. Disclosed for the first time are details of the affair that took place during the filming at the Hotel del Coronado and the effect it had on Tony, on the production, and on Marilyn's husband, the playwright Arthur Miller. In 1958, America read about a fistfight on the set. Now, for the first time, Tony tells what caused it—and what followed it.

Packed with scores of rarely seen black-and-white photos and eight pages of color photos that reveal how the movie would have looked in Technicolor, The Making of Some Like It Hot is the ideal way to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this landmark film.

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Book Description Turner Publishing Company. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Making of "Some Like it Hot": My Memories of Marilyn Monroe and the Classic American Movie, Tony Curtis, Mark A. Vieira, A Special Memoir for a Special Moment in Hollywood History .Some Like It Hot occupies a unique place in American culture. This beloved classic showcases five comic geniuses: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, I. A. L. Diamond, Billy Wilder, and Marilyn Monroe. It has been honored by the American Film Institute as the "Funniest Film of All Time". It has contributed quotes, styles, and stories to film lore. Yet the full story of its making has never been told-until now. Bookseller Inventory # B9780470537213

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