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February 18, 2021

20 Funny Photos of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon Dressed in Drag as Josephine and Daphne in ‘Some Like it Hot’

Some Like It Hot is a 1959 American black-and-white romantic comedy film directed and produced by Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on a screenplay by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan from the 1935 French film Fanfare of Love. The film is about two musicians who dress in drag in order to escape from mafia gangsters whom they witnessed committing a crime (inspired by the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre).


When Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon first put on the female makeup and costumes for Some Like It Hot, 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.

Lemmon got along with Marilyn Monroe and forgave her eccentricities. He believed Marilyn simply couldn’t go in front of the camera until she was absolutely ready. “She knew she was limited and goddamned well knew what was right for Marilyn,” he recalled. “She wasn’t about to do anything else.” He also said that although she may not have been the greatest actor or singer or comedienne, she used more of her talent, brought more of her gifts to the screen than anyone he ever knew.

Lemmon wrote that the first sneak preview had a bad reaction with many audience walkouts. Many studio personnel and agents offered advice to Billy Wilder on what scenes to reshoot, add and cut. Lemmon asked Wilder what he was going to do. Wilder responded: “Why, nothing. This is a very funny movie and I believe in it just as it is. Maybe this is the wrong neighborhood in which to have shown it. At any rate, I don't panic over one preview. It’s a hell of a movie.” Wilder held the next preview in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, and the audience stood up and cheered.

Many years after the film’s release, a movie reviewer asked Curtis why his Josephine was so much more feminine than Lemmon’s Daphne. A laughing Curtis explained that he was so scared to be playing a woman (or a man pretending to be one) that his tightly wound body language could be read as demure and shy, traditionally feminine traits, whereas Lemmon, who was completely unbothered, and “ran out of his dressing room screaming like the Queen of the May,” kept much more of his masculine body language.

Here, below is a collection of some of funny photos of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag in the 1959 comedy film:
























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