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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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, styl

Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Wiley
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May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked the film, but I mostly bought this book to read what he had to say about Marilyn (since I'd previously written a paper about her). So my review is mostly going to reflect that since I skipped over a lot of parts.

If you're interested in hearing what he says about Marilyn, it basically comes down to this. She was addicted to sleeping pills, alcohol, and was drinking vermouth on set. She was chronically late to sets, was practically incapable of performing short takes (though Jack Lemmon s
May 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the best book about movies that I've ever read...

Seriously: if you want to know everything about "Some like it hot", from the casting, writing and technical details (like the lightening of a specific scene or the costume design) to backstage gossip and the famous 81 takes of 'Where's that bourbon?' than this is the book you should read. It's not too long, well written, funny and insightful and just very interesting and entertaining for movie fans.
Tony Curtis likes to talk about himself,
Samantha Glasser
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tony Curtis was one of the last surviving members from the cast of Some Like it Hot. Hardly the most famous member, Curtis is not the first place one might go looking for information about the famous comedy, but he turns out to be quite an interesting source in this book.

Curtis talks a bit about his personal life, his upbringing as the son of a Jewish tailor, his marriage to a bigger star (Janet Leigh), and his transition to stardom. Mostly, though, he talks about Some Like it Hot, the people in
Winter Sophia Rose
Fascinating, Funny, Heartfelt & Riveting! I Loved It!
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some interesting insights into the making of this famous movie. Monroe comes across pretty badly. Even given that she was talented, her unprofessional behaviour almost throughout the production doesn't endear her to the reader.
Curtis is a bit full of himself too, but at least he's willing to point out his failings and the knockbacks he received from others in the business. His curious one-night stand with Monroe is odd, but it was a mutual affair.
Apart from this it's intriguing to see how Bill
Claire Hall
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Half a century after "Some Like It Hot" premiered on the big screen, it's still beloved by fans and is consistently rated one of the funniest, if not the funniest, film comedy ever made. Sadly, most of the key players responsible for it are gone--the director and co-writer Billy Wilder; and stars Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. Fortunately, the other leading player in this classic, Tony Curtis, is still with us, and that's especially fortunate for fans of "Some Like It Hot," because he's provide ...more
Having read Tony Curtis' memoir, Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie on the making of Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, it's hard to believe that the final film product is such a sparkling example of film comedy. It's amazing that the film was even completed, that such a well realized and much loved piece of film history emerged from so much chaos and personal dramas.

At times it is uncertain what parts of Some Like It Hot: Me, Marilyn and the Movie are anecdotally taken from Curtis' memo
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very happy when I found this in a bargain bin, because "Some Like It Hot" is one of my favourite movies. And it was really a good read! It is written in a quite special, very candid style (probably the way Tony Curtis speaks ...or rather: spoke) and offers an inside view of film making in 1958. Some stories are very revealing, most of all everything Curtis has to say about Marilyn Monroe. Having had an affair with her years before (I didn't know that), he now watches with alarm how she may ...more
Elizabeth Periale
Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it

While Curtis is always an entertaining read, his never-ending ego does grow tiresome after a while. He tries to sound humble, but can't help pondering that he was possibly "the handsomest" actor in Hollywood: "Some Like it Hot did a lot for my development as an actor. It was enough for me to be a handsome actor, maybe the handsomest in town. It wasn't enough to learn the lines and show up. Being around artists like Jack and Billy and Marilyn affected me. I
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Tony Curtis and the movie, anyone interested in Hollywood.
I was the production editor for this book, and I can only say that it is a fantastic read. Curtis tells with candor the details of his time filming the classic comedy and doesn't hold back. I won't give anything away; you'll just have to read it. You'll never watch the movie the same way again. ...more
Tyler Zamora
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a huge fan of Some Like It Hot! It’s just a great comedy with a lot of laughs and characters who have hearts of gold. I was extremely excited to start this book and it definitely had a lot of tea. As a narrator, Tony Curtis shines throughout all of these pages. I could almost hear his New York accent while reading. He is definitely a flawed narrator though. There were a few times I questioned his judgment (like having an affair with Marilyn while Janet Leigh was pregnant), but I also appreci ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Even though it took me just over a day to read it, this book was very interesting. I’ve loved the movie “Some Like it Hot” since I first saw it, and find something new to like in it in each successive viewing.

Reading Tony Curtis’s accounts of the filming of such a great movie was fascinating. I learned a great deal about what went on behind the scenes (I will never be able to watch the scene where Marilyn Monroe says, “Where’s the bourbon?” in the same way again), why it was filmed in black and
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I adore the film Some Like it Hot, and have done ever since first watching it as a young teenager, and like a good book, each time I re-watch it I see new angles - for example, its take on gender issues has a whole new resonance now. So, Husband found this book and bought it for me - not my usual fare, but I did really enjoy it. It is co-written by Curtis and at times his voice is just so clear - waspish, arrogant and humble, uncertain, perceptive and vain, dismissive of some and generous to oth ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I was led to this book after reading a wonderful article about the film "Some Like It Hot":

It has the usual ego and armchair psychology of most star bios, but it's still an interesting book. I look forward to watching the film again for the umpteenth time, this time with a bit more insight into the process and personalities involved in the filmmaking process.
Frank Marzano
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot from this book, both about the movie SOME LIKE IT HOT and its cast/crew, as well as Hollywood in general at that time. Curtis' style is very conversational, which makes for an easy read. My only criticism (and it's a minor one) is that at times he tends to focus too much on the minutiae (dates, addresses, etc.). One thing's for certain: I'll never watch SOME LIKE IT HOT the same way again.
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Curtis provided many details about Some Like It Hot, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemon, and Billy Wilder I didn’t know about! If you are a fan of Tony Curtis or this film you would enjoy the behind the scenes peek this book offers. I really enjoyed getting an inside look into how production of this film went.
Camille Maio
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Great behind-the-scenes stories about the making of this great film. It could only have been told in this way by someone as close to it as Tony Curtis.
There is no business - that will
shatter your soul, suck you dry or make you immortal - like show business!
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this cover to cover in one sitting last night. Really interesting. I had no idea Jack wasnt the first choice for the role but so glad he got the part. Tony and Jack were a brilliant duo.
Deborah  Sigel
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll be seeing this movie in a whole different way from now on. ...more
Neil Mudde
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Tony Curtis, being a famous movie star, who has come from New York City, his Father being a tailor, coming from a dysfunctional family, the book is entitled "Some Like it Hot". Me Marilyn and the movie with author Mark A Vierra, being a "famous movie star" seems to entitle person to embellish stories, as though people out there really care, well since I love the movie I thought it would be interesting to read about the goings on while being filmed. Jack Lemmon seems to come out as a professional ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Having written a whole chapter on "Some Like It Hot" in my book on romantic comedies I'll Have What She's Having: Behind the Scenes of the Great Romantic Comedies I was hoping to get new information about the making of this classic film. This is a memoir from Tony Curtis that was carefully researched by his collaborator... using a lot of the same sources I did. So there is some fresh material here, mostly about Curtis's relationship with Marilyn Monroe, a lot of it is readily available elsewhere ...more
Dec 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film, 2011, biographical
"Some Like it Hot" is one of my top five favorite movies of all time, so I was almost guaranteed to like this book, an account of the making of the film as told by one of its stars, Tony Curtis. And I wasn't mistaken--this is a goldmine for a film trivia geek like me. So much of what I wanted to know is here, from how the script originated to casting (director Billy Wilder originally wanted Frank Sinatra for Tony's part and Mitzi Gaynor for Marilyn's) to shooting to the publicity to the reaction ...more
Amy Westgarth
This book provides some insight into the making of Some Like It Hot, but is obviously biased towards Tony Curtis’ own memories and observations rather than a general overview. The initial chapters are purely about Curtis’ early life and film career, although they don’t go on for too long.

I found Curtis came across full of himself which got tiresome: referring to himself as “the hottest guy in town” for example. It wasn’t too long a book so was worthwhile reading, but doesn’t inspire me to read
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Tony Curtis's memories were filled in by research in this memoir of the making of "Some Like It Hot." I found some of the history of 1950s movie production a bit boring, but later enjoyed the memories that gave a feeling of being on set with these famous personalities. I did doubt the veracity of parts of the book, and in regards to his dealings with Marilyn and discussion of her body, the narrator seemed a bit gauche.

Overall it was an interesting read and made me want to watch the movie again t
Christopher Lentz
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tony Curtis, in his own words (or as close to them as we might get), tells a fascinating behind-the-screen tale about the making of SOME LIKE IT HOT. His writing is easy to digest and there are some yummy tales to be devoured here. If you're a fan of Marilyn Monroe ... if you're a fan of The Hotel Del Coronado ... if you're a fan of the film ... you'll enjoy this book. Numerous black-and-white and rare color photos are sprinkled throughout the book, making it both interesting from a storytelling ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I felt like I was reading a gossip magazine in the 1950's. I'm a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, but it was mainly about her coming to work late. She was always known for never showing up on time, so it was interesting to know how long it really did take her to get ready to be "Marilyn". It was awesome reading little behind the scene details on this movie I love and then going back to re-watch and notice those details I didn't see before. ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies-read
Perhaps because of how much I love this movie, I found the book absolutely riveting and read it in three nights. Curtis comes across as rather vain but his inside account of the making of this movie is fascinating. especially the poisonous effect of the Strasbergs on Monroe and the incredible friction between Billy Wilder and Marilyn who blamed each other for their health problems. Jack Lemmon comes out of the story best of all as a genuinely nice guy.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
As someone who's seen "Some Like It Hot" countless times, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this classic film. However, Tony Curtis has proved me wrong. Inside this book are hundreds of secrets (some that would make Daphne and Josephine blush!) and often hilarious observations written as though he was talking directly to me. Thank you,Tony for making this movie and for the laughter you've brought to the silver screen. You are very missed, but will never be forgotten! ...more
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Such a funny film deserves a closer behind-the-scenes view, so I was delighted to find this at my local library.

While a few things I took with a grain of salt (this is a Tony Curtis memoir after all), I found this a quick and fun read. Reinforced my admiration for Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder, and sadly reconfirmed the darker side of Marilyn.

If you love the movie, time with this book will be enjoyable.
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Tony Curtis was an American film actor whose career spanned six decades, but had his greatest popularity during the 1950s and early 1960s. He acted in over 100 films in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious drama. In his later years, Curtis made numerous television appearances.

In October 2008, Curtis's autobiography American Prince: A Memoir, was published. In it, he

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