A Jumble of Stereotypes

Bedfellows don't come much stranger than Joe/Josephine and Jerry/ Daphne in Billy Wilder's classic 1959 comedy, Some Like It Hot. On the run from mobsters, the characters played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon don drag and take refuge in an all-girl band, sharing beds, submerging stereotypes and sending sexual expectations out to sea. Has there been a more subversive ending than when Jerry/Daphne and his millionaire admirer Osgood sail off into uncharted waters? "Uh, I'm a man," Jerry says, ripping off his wig. "Well," Osgood replies, "nobody's perfect."

It's a sweet sentiment, which is echoed in the closing moments...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!