© 1959 Ashton Productions

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Well, Tony Curtis has passed away. It was of course not a huge surprise, as the man was 85 years old. However, it is sad, sad because Curtis was, until near the end of his life, a living and active link between the heyday of Hollywood and today. He lived and worked in a world occupied by Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Vivian Leigh, Natalie Wood, Burt Lancaster and Cary Grant, all of whom left us before him. Curtis continued to keep that era of American film alive in recent years, publishing his autobiography and giving talks around the US. I wanted to do something to mark his passing. I thought about trying to dig out my copy of Houdini, which has always been a favorite for me, and went, almost by default, to Some Like It Hot, which is not only his most well-known film, but also his best performance. I have already seen this film more times than I could count, but one thing that really struck me was the enormous optimism and enthusiasm which Curtis brings to the role. I think this enthusiasm really was part of Curtis, which allowed him to rise above his humble beginnings as a kid in Brooklyn, soon of Hungarian immigrants, with the boy not speaking English until the age of 6, and go on, with the help of his enthusiasm and impossibly handsome looks, to become one of the most elegant and charming actors of his day.

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