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tv   Doc Film - The Story of a Film - Billy Wilders Some Like It Hot  Deutsche Welle  March 9, 2018 6:15am-7:01am CET

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it was an unusual period of time for me. nineteen fifty seven fifty eight. when this picture came about and there were so many or your worries if that's the word things that all blended together for that movie had i not made like it
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hard i would miss the feeling my life. billy wilder's some like it hot was set in one thousand twenty nine during prohibition it tells the story of two down on their luck musicians joe in jerry who are marked for death after accidentally witnessing the st valentine's day massacre spats colombo played by george raft guns down a rival gang joe and jerry flee and masquerading as women joining a traveling female jazz band joe played by tony curtis becomes josephine and jerry played by jack lemmon is daphne. to seduce sugar came up one singer played by none other than marilyn monroe who's out to find herself a sugar daddy joe slips into the role of an impotent millionaire. has for jerry he forgets he is a man when asked good fielding the third a real millionaire played by joey brown asks daphne to marry him. unmasked
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the two musicians again ending up on osgood's boat upon discovering that daphne is a man always good remarks well nobody's perfect. and. every individual in the audience is an idiot but together they're genius we never ask ourselves is it a comedy or a tragedy or a musical we write a story and try to make it as affective and true as possible so that people believe it. nicknamed billy by his mother wilder was born in vienna as a teenager he experienced the collapse of the austria-hungary an empire in late one nine hundred twenty s. berlin at the height of the weimar republic wilder discovered cinema and turned to screenwriting. to escape the nazis he left germany in one thousand thirty three and the following year became a naturalized u.s. citizen some of his closest family members were killed in the holocaust.
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in los angeles one elder encountered many fellow country men who were just beginning to reinvent american cinema douglas sirk robert siyad mack otto preminger fritz lon michael curtis and the man who became his mentor and lubitsch. a budding screenwriter wilder worked by his master's side and even squeezed a laugh out of grad garbo in the movie. wilder soon teamed up with writer charles brackett and in one thousand nine hundred two they expanded their collaboration to include producing and directing. the target for the day before i went to lubitsch and said tomorrow morning i start shooting my first film i'm going to crapped my pants yes yes. yes and you get said i'm making my seventy a feral and i still crap my pants every day dr. brackett and wilder proceeded to
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produce masterpieces like double indemnity and sunset boulevard with stolid seventeen sabrina and the seven year itch wilder proved himself a master of revolutionary realize i'm his biting humor and a surfeit one liners became his trademark. in one thousand nine hundred fifty seven wilder met the romanian born brighter is diamond together they penned love in the afternoon then some like it hot the beginning of a lifelong collaboration. i was like that i don't know i think i'm like that it's no use we're not going to get away with. it joyce if you know this for sure i'd journal first place. and.
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so what it began with was they talked they talked together for two months three months sometimes they sat and stared at each other for twenty four hours. and is at the typewriter when something happened he would write it now the structure. is both of them in the eye basic ideas always really and the structure is the two of them together just seeing scene by scene and the overall basic structure most of the actual dialogue is is because billy english was perfect it was a bit formal we just got to actually get picture of it and she you know you have four million ideas just to bring order to it get the good stuff out you know that
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egypt that just a bit thick of class but nobody stuff feels that you start with too much. at the end there i think if it's a. bit of a kind of void if you want to keep but yourself to be a rocket think it could be it's all good i say it's got to be. a bookkeeper all kinds of fish caught and took it to get it off those. that inserted beaches i think they are a joy directed watch more than anything. else that's right and there are. but once it's record and you get on that set and yeah those people that's that's fine if the people of all what they're doing.
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that it states had won the war against fascism movie but amid the recession of one nine hundred fifty eight and record high unemployment around was at an all time low meanwhile a new front has opened in the cold war after launching sputnik the world's first artificial satellite and like of the dog into orbit the soviet union was leading the space race in response the u.s. set up its space agency nasa in europe the influence of communism was spreading as it was in cuba a stone's throw from the florida coast the cold war had arrived on america's doorstep raising fears of communist subversion at home sen joseph mccarthy had launched the second red scare in one thousand nine hundred seven an anti communist witch hunt that continued even after mccarthy was censured by the senate until the late one nine hundred fifty s. . at the same time the u.s. government was moving to end racial segregation in schools sparking
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a white supremacist backlash. meanwhile the countercultural rebellion of the bee generation was calling on americans to wake up it was against this backdrop that wilder was mining an old german movie to develop a satire about america that's hard to see before you begin to come one really one day said you know i've been thinking and i'd like you to look at an old german film called funfair dead leave. and i said watch. and so he said no no no no no joke. you. see if you can find a print of that picture somewhere and we'll look at it together and i'll tell you what i have in mind.
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amazingly we found a copy of that picture. and we ran it and talked about it. billy billy told us. actually that our guests were to buy called just the bones of what eventually became some like. back then drawing on the sentimentality of the original german screenplay wilder took his cue from the one nine hundred twenty nine st valentine's day massacre when gunmen working for al capone gunned down seven members of a rival chicago gang the mob boss is played by george raft who had starred in the original scarface and was known for his off screen associations with the underworld the thing that made the difference is getting that the threat of gangsters of their
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lives their lives are in danger which meant that just because they got bored being a drag couldn't do anything about. david selznick. either got a hold of the script or billy wilder told him the idea for some like it hot i can't remember at this point. and selznick was horrified because everyone knew you can't mix death and comedy well as some like to not ne'eman straight the greatest of comedies come from bringing together things that everyone tells you you can't do you know not god no way. i don't like no witnesses we will be the word you won't break nothing not even a. billy
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wilder wants to talk to you. but there was a gruff joven expatriate vote in mind here you know we had a little touch of that actually it would scare anybody so i said oh oh oh ok and billy came down from that little theater and i and we went into a room and this is what he told me i'm going to make a picture of two men two guys who have to dress up as women because they see a murder one guy i'm going to get is frank sinatra the other will be you and i'm
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going to get mitch again if with a girl. actually though i didn't even know he said my name he said did you hear me . he says you will be in my movie i said great i was so excited when you really were all along and set us nacho let's jack but the money people in new york didn't think that jack at that point was a big enough money star and they wanted sinatra but was not or didn't show up for lunch and it was clear for jack and about that time marylanders that and she wanted work with it and once you had marilyn that matter whether jack was in the biggest star yet or not lho was a been was my agent of m.c.a. he went to billy and said you but she was barely. and billy said the you think so he said you must choose it
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a perfect point in their life or the picture she may be trouble but not enough trouble to make you not want to make it. listen i'll do it the next thing i know marilyn is in the movie the picture was finished that even before we started i knew the three of us then they got joey brown the four of us. but barely know the key to that movie was borrowed and when you see the movie you'll know it's valid. at a time when hollywood was banking on cinema scope and technicolor wonder had the audacity of opting for black and white and mixing up genders and john as. far as film and why are some like it hot is both as well as a musical comedy. the music is absolutely central to the
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film when she's singing i'm through with love i think that song is heartbreaking well it's heartbreaking because. of marilyn monroe's performance of the character of sugar coat ski. all of the elements that have been brought together is the musique a minor aspect of this bill not at all it's an absolutely crucial aspect goodbye spring. to me. for i'm not. surprised and. i thought through. baby
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and through. we know each other i had lived with marilyn feel excuse the expression when we first came to california i was twenty two she was nineteen and we went out together for about six months shame i met a wreck universal she was in on the contract she was a working i was starting out. it was a wonderful time with those early is and there we are the next thing i know we're going to make this picture together. no one knew it but marilyn and i that we had this with history so everything we did was based on something we had already done and billy like that he like the chemistry between us. no nobody knows.
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if. they loved it. when marilyn took on the role she'd already shot the seven year itch with wilder she'd been working in new york attempting to break free of her typecast hollywood role and the dumped law and. she brought along her coach paula strasberg wife of the actor studio director least rosberg. also onset was her husband playwright arthur miller who strapped for cash had talked her into doing the movie but marilyn hated the sexual innuendo and the heroine's name sugar . it was the recipe for a nightmare shoot and that. arthur
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miller. the picture was terrible and he thought she should be playing. the virgin mary or suck one. of. the arthur miller was the thought. now second day of shooting with barrel that he knowing he's going to have trouble marilyn did the first scene in a movie where she walked out of the train station and went really well the old cut she looked at paula's trust work to get see if she did it right. so we said let's do it again and. so they did it again and just before we said cut and he looked at paul a playful barrel of it he said how was that for you paula and political.
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if it was ok well look. if it at all it never struck a nose at it she was a very disagreeable woman and caused a lot of trouble walked around with. over my wig hula hoops. relax. and. really. get out of here i don't think she made a move without problems no she never did when she finished the scene paula was always in the back in this big shroud she used to wear like a it's like a burka you know if she were brown and after each scene marilyn would look straight back at paula and you could see paul and she did the go yes or no and it was no. we shoot it again. whether lee impala strasberg thought she really had an acting potential or
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whether they thought that they would get a great deal of publicity if they took her in which they did they took her in. and the strasburg's became the parents marilyn never ham you're. wilder faced another challenge how he bring josephine and daphne to life how would he make women out of the two male leads tony curtis and jack lemmon tony curtis the athletic handsome young man from brooklyn displayed a convincing feeling for sexual ambiguity i watch of a man anymore i was maybe more of a girl i could be saved like when i saw how people treated me pulled their chairs
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out jacket and i on the set we would be waiting to work we loved it and there's joey browed waving at us. and flowers come. you know it was. really suck that we got suckered into it you know who we were strong man but all of a sudden move through you know it it became a double standard for jack and for me when we got tony and i what we thought were the right make ups deli said ok says now we were on the samuel goldwyn lot where we shop and he says go to the ladies room we said well he said you go to the ladies on the ever going to find out whether there's parts of that he says he quoted the ladies were mysteriously. right there she didn't. know that to. say why. just because. you
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look. kind. i'm. out of that rhythm section. one hundred. among girls. good night shaka. i think you and me. since one thousand thirty four they hays code had governed american cinema applying rigid moral scrutiny to films but increasingly filmmakers were challenging the stifling regulations and while there was a master at outfoxing the censors in one nine hundred fifty s. hollywood gay actors went to great lengths to hide the true nature of their
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sexuality one only has to think of cary grant randolph scott burt lancaster montgomery clift or rock hudson. tony curtis himself never denied sexual encounters with men yes your. competition from television now in color put pressure on hollywood in the space of a year film production dropped by twenty five percent movie theaters started closing as american families discovered the joys of the t.v. dinner. and the small screen found an unexpected ally in the house un-american activities committee its probe into alleged communist influence in the american motion picture business had been terrorizing hollywood since one nine hundred forty seven in televised hearings artists and technicians faced grueling questioning many cracked under pressure choosing to denounce colleagues rather than risk losing their jobs arthur miller was one of those who remained steadfast.
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some are your heart. talk about you how do you feel about. i feel ashamed. that i don't. care how many oh my in order to practice really. to survive american cinema accommodated itself to television the networks needed a steady supply of films to fill their broadcast hours mostly b. movies produced by lesser tier hollywood studios. the directors who had forged the hollywood legend names like ford hitchcock and hawks were making their last movies dusk was falling on hollywood's golden age it was an era of suspicion and deception as billy wilder illustrates in his image will style. america is no longer what it seems. confidence don't hold corpses funeral homes are bars birthday
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cakes harbor mobsters diamonds are a girl's best friend and women are sometimes men. the greatest social commentary in american movies is always in comedy take could see as another example. it's not just that you've got the number one and two. they have five polls for the greatest comedy and they're both of them are about drag both of them are also. extended social critiques to see i think more than some like it hot. when marilyn monroe began shooting in san diego she was already in a precarious state of emotional and mental health marriages abortions attempted
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suicide one night stands stress and loneliness had all taken their toll. marriage to arthur miller was already on the rocks alcohol and medication ease the emotional pain of a series of miscarriages chronic insomnia and repeated bounce of depression. she had been hospitalized several times. onset monroe was this a plea distracted and finding it hard to concentrate. she would lose interest in the middle of a see how mine will just disappear she was all excited about opening a bottle of champagne and that she would look away in for a second stop the scene inside of herself and then come back billie saw that we all saw that we all saw went from her vibrations this she. just disappeared she was tired she wasn't
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thinking well i didn't let alone centrist you know i was. a good enough soldier to see what i had to do in that kissing in that kissing sequence she had so many opportunities to drift away. and i pad around the us. you know which struggled so that way we were able to continue other words marilyn was really in bad shape i felt she would never make a movie. she was always late we'd sit around and wait and wait and we didn't get paid and sing we sang a lot and the singers were just saying a lot of money sheltering pounds and by the sea by the sea that's what we did we come every morning every hearse.
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the most significant thing of course is the whole marilyn a thousand takes on things which. i was not involved in except i use is. show me crazy because the famous some of the eighty seven takes she has a back to the camera the only time billy can start shooting and later chems nobody there thousand actually says and i did the time to do marilyn's voice so it was just a contest of wills between them and all of this thing about how terrible this was to both of them a little bit. i had no problem with their own their own had problems but she had a problem it has self she was. she was slightly discombobulated at all times she had great difficulties to concentrate. but i think eating. and it was like pulling teeth you know but by god you know when you went through it when you
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sat through that thing to the thirty forty fifty takes sometimes or to have a little. you had something they know something absolutely unique that cannot be that cannot be duplicated and you forget that the debate is finished and you had a rough time before that that she was mean anything like that. monroe was also troubled by changing beauty standards the voluptuous female ideal of the fifty's that monroe epitomized the sex symbol with the voice of a child was being singlehandedly overturned by twenty maker mattel with the tall slender silhouette of the barbie doll. signs of her distress were beginning to show. marilyn monroe was pregnant and billy wilder came to me and he said look we need someone to do
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a publicity stills and we'd like you to do them for us with jack lemmon and tony curtis they would be using my body. and her face and it worked out very very well. and this was really a close that when we were shooting this no one was allowed on the set i really you did notice that i didn't you did it sooner than the girls and. i think part of marilyn monroe's power as an actress as an icon. is that. the loss is written on her face the loss is in the eyes and more than
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any sex pot in american culture that has had a lot of sex pot. marilyn monroe could bring tears to both men and women's lives. i girls i take it from the top and probably eight hundred. it. was. gun violence plus control and then it was the little game you refuse to get reminded of
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a tell and never blew it always going down no way i'll be shot if i can. be and it was it was all down the was. is a day when she did show up on the set but she locked herself in her dressing room and she wouldn't come out. so billy wilder had to find a way to get her out of her dressing room and that's when he came to me and said i'm going to put the play back aren't you running wild there's the market for you know the lyrics i want you to sing to the playback. the playback was running for about a half a minute while i was singing to the playback marilyn heard that opened her dressing room door and slowly walked onto the set and stopped in front of billy wilder
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never said a word. and billy wilder looked at her and said let's go to work. because he was brilliant he knew exactly how to get marilyn to do what he felt was right. he was a genius i told you he could have been a professor of psychology in vienna. because he knew just how to work with people. it's very very difficult to to make is said to rule you know and you and treat every act in the same way it's like. you know like a psychiatrist having various said patients of a different. illness is on the couch and you have to be all kinds of things that
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just is that god has to demi have to be. a masochist you have to be an s. man you have to be a father confessor a priest you have to cuddle them you have to be sweet to damn be very severe with them it's just a pension idea thank god they're all human beings but defend problems really was. you know bush and few. we never thought we pleased them i didn't i never thought he liked me coming to the truth. i did the best i could. he never he never showed his preference he liked jack he liked jack for is. tumbling comedy my company was a little less than that and so maybe that was what it was but i'm sorry to say i
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don't think. that there must be some girl said prick if you have a phone that girl that could i never get just like that if you do me a favor certainly want to do it i mean have a dr freud or a nail for there are his friendship skills cannot. predict take a crack at it all right if you insist. and. i'm afraid not. when i'm getting kissed by marilyn monroe lying down my foot goes up an ear so i told is a diamond that was a piece of business i thought of because i heard if you look she was expression of
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an erection who was here and may by foot go up. and went up getting kissed by her it kind of could have it so i told that there is a diamond i said don't tell billy i told you so is he looked at me peculiarly like . like i understand what you mean so went to billy while i said what i said what about tony lifting his foot in the middle of the kisses this is good good do it and he looked at me and smiled and i know it and i did it and it's in the movie i walked on to the set and it was billy with these things going like this. and i thought what the hell is he doing he says here take these with you and day in between every line just go out i thought that and i thought it he's made a disaster out of the scene. when i saw the film and heard an already i'm sure the
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action laughing all through from the line all through this before then they'd never missed the next line that was the whole idea i mean gage congratulations who's a lucky guy. i. think the white. house could propose to be planning to do what they. say you want to do you can't marry us good. to open carry you can't be serious why don't you get to marry and girls all the. time but you're not a girl you're a guy and why would a guy want to marry a guy security sure you've got a life out you're not well when you stop treating me like a child i'm not old and i know there's a lot. of
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the last sentence that's the whole last scene in the boat was written the day before it was shot and my husband wrote it and took it over the bill and left me a copy and when he came home i read the rest of the script except for the last scene and he asked me what i thought and i said i think it's a wonderful scene but the last line is flat. and you know i don't want you to he had just come from two hours with the way in which billy had said you gotta find something better for the last laugh joey brown says where hope nobody's perfect let me use it a media comes up and out the end you are out of the movie theater you are in the parking lot and you're driving on the way home before you say what the hell does
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that mean it doesn't mean anything there's no logical ending to this movie. nobody's perfect is a pioneer face of the audience i smoke smoke all the time i don't care. how terrible that for three years now but maybe with a saxophone life i forgive you. i can never. going to. be about it and not. imam well nobody's perfect. after its world premiere in new york in march one thousand nine hundred nine some like it hot was released nationally in the us within a few months it was a triumphant success. the third only collected one oscar for its costumes in a year when the epic ben-hur swept up a record breaking eleven academy awards but
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a few months later it won best picture at the golden globes where jack lemmon and marilyn monroe also picked up the prizes for best actor and actress. the film reached the european theater is in september at the height of the french nouvelle voc screen alongside films like the four hundred blows the adventure and hiroshima minimal. and us critics of voted some like it hot the best comedy of all time. i finally wrote a book and i call it i thought we were making movies not history we just don't know we set out to make the best movie we know how to make the fact that fifty years later people are still drawing it. we can't nobody can anticipate nobody it's funny it's still funny
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there's no other reason. and has nothing significant to say whatsoever. maybe that's why they still are. jack lemmon became billy wilder's favorite actor but the director never teamed up again with tony curtis and although he called her a true comic genius never made another movie with marilyn monroe who died three years later in one nine hundred sixty two after a downward spiral of depression drugs mental illness scandal and exhaustion yet beautiful twenty five in jail you are part of the century and about what that future you know that has been right. she will notice she was so. n.p.r.
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didn't. and childish child like. we do. just fine. it gives me a stature you know. i don't do anything that would hurt sub look at heart in any of the movies i made you know they all i felt that every one of them even the lousy ones that turned out loving i had to do well it from beginning to have even in the scenes that i'm not a i'm part of it. i like that will be able. to.
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do at and. you. could legally keep. the. feel. the scars on. the pain still tangible. the suffering her gone. for cities and. they have survived do they also have
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a future. i really understand people who say they don't want to stay here. but i also admire people who want to stay here and who decided to create something . new beginning in peace time for the people making it possible what needs to happen if tolerance and reconciliation are to stand a chance this fight let alone the fish close ones are really difficult complicated because forgiveness reconciliation forgetting they get stuck in your. culture of darkness cities are after more players starting march tenth on t w. e.
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players. play play. play . this is deja vu news live from berlin could this be the beginning of a thaw in the korean nuclear standoff president trump and north korean leader kim jong un have agreed to hold the first ever u.s. president trump makes good on a key campaign promise but could it spark a global trade war the u.s. leader imposes controversial tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.

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