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Only Some Liked It Hot

"Running wild, lost control. Running wild, mighty bold. Feeling gay, reckless too, carefree mind all the time, never blue. Always going, don't know where, always showing...I don't care! Don't love nobody, it's not worthwhile. All alone, running wild!"
                    -Marilyn Monroe as Sugar Kane singing Runnin' Wild in Some Like It Hot

Chicago gangsters and two struggling musicians in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1929 set the scene for the movie Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The film was released in 1959 and got some heat for its scandalous content and risque dresses worn by Marilyn. They were slinky, twenties-style designs, yet quite provocative for the time. Ironically, Some Like It Hot's Orry-Kelly won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Black-and-White). Upon initial release, the movie was actually banned in Kansas due to a steamy scene between Curtis and Monroe that took place on a yacht. It was also stated that cross-dressing was "too disturbing for Kansans." It was the only state to ban the film. Being one of my favorite classics, I saw the play, Some Like It Hot, in Kansas City starring Tony Curtis in 2002. That time around, however, he played the older character, Osgood Fielding III. Those who originally banned the movie in 1959 would not have approved. 

Among Marilyn's many shortfalls while starring in this particular film was that it took her 47 takes just to get the line "It's me, Sugar," right. She also insisted the movie be produced in color, but the make-up Curtis and Lemmon wore cast an odd green tint on their faces. In the end, director Billy Wilder was able to convince Marilyn it had to be shot in black and white. When asked what it was like working with Marilyn, Wilder replied, "We were in mid-flight, and there was a nut on the plane." But, as the final line of Some Like It Hot says, "Well, nobody's perfect."

The majority of Some Like It Hot was filmed at the famous Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. Color photographs taken on set can be seen in the corridors of the hotel that lead to the beach. A box office hit in 1959, Some Like It Hot is still popular today and was listed by the American Film Institute as the funniest movie in American cinema.

I chose to create my own version of one of the more modest dresses (I am in Kansas, after all!) Marilyn wore as Sugar Kane in Some Like It Hot. It was set in the twenties when drop-waists were the rage, so I included that feature in my design. The dress is simple, yet chic.