Some Like It Hot

Introduced by David Thomson

“Well, nobody's perfect!” says Joe E. Brown in one of the greatest punch lines of all time. But some people don't even try. Billy Wilder (Berlin and Beverly Hills) was torn between being a hit and hitting people. So in his greatest films there is often that nagging thought-can I bear to look at people, let alone like them? There was a run of films through the early fifties-Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Blvd., Ace in the Hole-where the world was a place for vermin and crazies. That Wilder wasn't really “comic.” But at the end of the fifties, he shattered every notion of genre and made a film (about murder and getting girlish) that people like David O. Selznick told him would be impossible. This is the world where genre clichés have replaced reality and the lack of perfection is a cue for anything goes.

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