tv Doc Film - The Story of a Film - Billy Wilders Some Like It Hot Deutsche Welle March 20, 2018 10:15am-11:01am CET
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some like it hot west 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 spatz colombo played by george raft guns down a rival gang joe and jerry flee and masquerading as women join 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. as 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 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. in los angeles wilder encountered many fellow country men who were just beginning
to reinvent american cinema douglas sirk robert c. 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. docket 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. he said i'm making my seventy a feral and i still crap my pants every day. bracket and wilder proceeded to 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 servant one liners became his trademark. in one 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 with your i journal first place. and. 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. in is that if 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 that you're a bit into sheet you know you have four million ideas just to bring order to it get the good stuff out you know that egypt is just a bit thick of class but nobody stuff feels that you start with too much. at the end there i think is. a bit of
a kind of void if you want to keep but yourself to be an architect you have to be it's all good i say it's got to be. a bookkeeper all kinds of fish caught and took it took it to get to get off those of the hundreds in city beaches i think they are a joy directed watch more than anything. else that's right in there. but once it's record and you get on that set and yeah those people that's that's fun if the people all what they're doing. the united states had won the war against fascism the east 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 had 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 nine hundred forty seven an anti communist witch hunts 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 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 forged. to come when billy one day said you know i've been thinking and i'd like you to look at an old german film called funfair believe. 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. 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 it called just the bones of what eventually became somewhat. back to them drawing on the sentimentality of the original german screenplay wonder 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 the gangsters of their life their lives are in danger which meant that just because they got bored being a drag. couldn't do anything about it 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 demonstrates the greatest of comedies come from bringing together things that everyone tells you you can't do i got no way. i don't like no witnesses we will be the word you won't break nothing not even a. billy
wilder wants to talk to you. but really what it was a gruff joven expatriate you know voter mind you know 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 we went into a room and this is what he told me i'm going to make a picture of two made 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 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 said this nacho was 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 didn't show up for lunch and it was clear for jack and at that time in a long distance you under work with and once you had marilyn that matter whether jack wasn't a big star yet or not lou wasserman was my agent of m.c.a. he went to billy and said you bought shoes barely. and billy said the you think so he said you must she said a perfect point in a life for 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 borrowing and when you see the movie you'll know it's. 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. and music is absolutely central to the 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 no not at all it's an absolutely crucial aspect goodbye spring. to me. to. not. see. thought through. baby and through.
we know each other i have lived with maryland feel excuse the expression when he 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. 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 wrong and the dumb plans. she brought along her coach paula strasberg wife of the actor studio director least rosberg. also on set was her husband playwright arthur miller who strapped for cash had talked her into doing the movie. marilyn hated the sexual innuendo and the heroine's name sugar. it was the recipe for a nightmare shoot and that. arthur miller.
he thought the picture was terrible and he thought she should be playing. the version rare sukma. of. the arthur miller was the thought. now second day of shooting with barrel and he knowing he's going to have trouble maryland in the first scene in a movie where she walked out of the train station and went really well they yelled 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 is that for you paula and political. if it was ok to look. after that poll and never stuck a nose at it she was a very disagreeable woman and caused
a lot of trouble for chorale with umbrella over my would who lead us. relax. and. really. get outta here i don't think she made a move without problem no she never did when she finished the scene paul it 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 liam paula strasberg thought she really had an acting potential or whether they thought that they would get a great deal of publicity if they took her in which they did they took her in.
the strasburg's became the parents marilyn never hand you're. wilder faced another challenge how he bring josephine and daphne to life how would he make women out of the two male needs 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 out jacket and i on the set we would be waiting to work we loved it and there's joey brown waving at us. and flowers come. you know it
was. really it sucked that we got suckered into it you know who we were strong men but all of a sudden in the book you know it it became a double standard fully for jack and for me when we got tony and i what we thought were the right makeups billy said ok says now we were on the samuel goldwyn lot where we shot he says go to the ladies room we said well he said you go to the ladies' arms ever going to find out whether there's parts of that he says he quoted the ladies rector mysteriously tried to. hide them. to. see why. just because. you look. like. kind.
i'm. out of that rhythm section. i wonder. how girls. among girls. good night shaka. i think you and me. since one thousand thirty four the hays code had governed american cinema applying rigid moral scrutiny to films but increasingly filmmakers were challenging the stifling regulations and wilder 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 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 fair and better 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. some are your heart how you want to talk about you how do you feel about. your
family. 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 tear 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 cakes harbor mobsters diamonds are a girl's best friend and women are sometimes men. the greatest social commentary in
american movies is always on comedy take tootsie as another example. it's not just that you've got these 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 could 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 suicide one night stands stress and loneliness had all taken their toll. 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 disciplined 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 the bottle of champagne and then she would look away then 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 vibration is this she. just disappeared she was tired she wasn't thinking well i didn't let her loads interest you know i was. a good enough
soldier to see what i had to do in that kissing in that kissing sick when she had so many opportunities to drift away. and i guess. you know which. so that way we were able to continue otherwise marilyn was really in bad shape i felt she would never make a movie again. 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 sing as we just saying a lot on a monday sheltering pounds and by the sea by the sea that's what we did we come every morning and rehearse. the most significant thing of course is the whole marilyn a thousand takes on things which. i was not
involved in except you since. you showed me crazy because the famous some of the eighty seven takes she has a back to the camera if at any time billy can stop shooting and later champ's nobody there thousand actually says and i do 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 the both of them a little bit. i had no problem with when they're all men they're all had problems but she had a problem with her self she was. she was slightly this combat related or times she had great difficulties to concentrate. but i think. and it was like pulling teeth you know but by god you know when you went through it when you sat through that thing through the thirty forty fifty takes sometimes or to have a little. you had something they know something out of that unit that cannot be
that cannot be duplicated and you forget up in the picture 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 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 sat i mean you did none of us did 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 loss is written in her face the loss is in the eyes and more than any sexpot in american culture that has had a lot of sexpot. marilyn monroe could bring tears to both men and
see what was. going on that was the end. of the day when she did show up. on the set but she locked herself in her dressing 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 onto running wild there's the microphone you know the lyrics i want you to sing to the playback. to 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 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 make is said through you know and you would treat every act in the same way it's like. you know like it's just having various. patients of a different. illness as on the couch and you have to be all kinds of things that just is that god has to demi have to be. a masochist you have to be a man you have to be a father confessor
a priest you have to cuddle them you have to be sweet to be very severe with them it just depends on the day thank god they're all human beings but defend problems. really was a hero and almost done dot and fewer. we never thought we please them i didn't i never thought he liked me you know i tell a good 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 don't think he liked me. yet and let's be some girl
said if i have a fund that could i'd never get just like that would you do me a favor certainly wanted it i mean have you dr freud or a male for that i've spent fifteen years going out. crack technocrat can't alright if you insist. and. i'm afraid not when i'm getting kissed by marilyn monroe lying down my foot goes up in here so i told izzy diamond that was a piece of business i thought of because i had if you'll excuse expression an erection alysia and made by foot go up. and getting kissed by it it kind of
could have been so i told at daisy diamond i said don't tell billy i told him so if 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 he says good good good. and he looked at me and smiled and i know it and i did it in this in the movie and i walked onto the set and there was billy with these things going like this. and i thought what the hell was he doing he says here take these with you and in between every lie and just go five times i thought it he's made a disaster out of this scene when i saw the film and heard an already in three 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 jay.
congratulations who's a lucky guy. i. think the white. house good proposed to be planning to do and what. do you want to do you can't marry us good. to open carry you can't be serious why did he get married and girls all the. time the fuck you're not a girl you're a guy and why would a guy want to marry a guy security care you're going to like oh you're not well when you start treating me like a child i'm not home and i know. that . well the last sentence last the whole last thing 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 thing 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 here just come for two hours with billy and which billy had said you've got to find something better when it's like joey brown says well nobody's perfect the music immediately comes up and out the and you're 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 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 perhaps for three years not a movie with a saxophone like i forgive you. i could never write. 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 u.s. within a few months it was a triumphant success. the third only collected one oscar for its costumes in e.u. epic ben-hur swept up a record breaking eleven academy awards but 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 voted some like it hot the best comedy of all time. i finally wrote a book 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 enjoying it. we can't nobody can anticipate that nobody it's funny it's still funny 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 british twenty five inches you are part of the french. about what about you know that has been right. she will notice. she was so. n.p.r. 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 lovely i had to do well it from beginning to end even in the scenes that i'm not in a court of it. i like that will be. to. you.
when you were at it and. you. could legally keep. one hundred twenty installations stretching three and a half kilometers all in one german so frankfurt is raging in the glow of the moving up. the two buildings are transformed into objects of our light and sound of. the a roman. thirty minutes on w. . the race for immortality has
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played . this is news. as the investigation into the poisoning of a former spy the foreign secretary points the finger at the kremlin. has to be responsible somebody has to be accountable and we in the u.k. think that the. evidence points the evidence or culpability points to the russian state since comments come as international chemical weapons experts begin analyzing the nerve agent used in the attack.