Review: 'Some Like It Hot' Never Hotter than on 4K UHD

by Frank J. Avella

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday March 8, 2022

Review: 'Some Like It Hot' Never Hotter than on 4K UHD

Billy Wilder is my favorite film director, and I consider "Some Like It Hot" one of the best comedies of all-time (most cinephiles do), so it was with great excitement that I sat down to watch this 4K UHD release. I was not disappointed! Charles Lang's stunning Oscar-nominated cinematography took my breath away. I can only imagine this was close to how audiences in 1959 experienced it.

For those who have not seen this perfectly crafted, brilliantly written (by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond) comedy, what is wrong with you? There would be no "Tootsie" or "Victor/Victoria" without this gem, and I'd argue "SLIH" is more relevant, even today. The film asks questions about sexual identity that movies at that time would never dare to ask.

The clever plot involves two Chicago musicians (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) who witness gangland mob murders and must flee or die. So, they don heels, wigs and frocks and pretend to be part of an all-gal jazz band headed to Florida. On the train they meet Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe in arguably her best screen performance), a gal who "always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop."

Curtis pursues Monroe, while the great Joe E. Brown crushes on gal-Lemmon, who is dazed and confused but flattered by the attention.

Brimming with gay subtext, especially in the somewhat daring Lemmon/Brown courtship scenes, "SLIH" also contains quite a bit of homoerotic tension between Curtis and Lemmon (although homophobe Curtis would disagree). In addition, the gal-comradery is quite lesbianesque, as is Joan Shawlee's Sweet Sue protector role.

Wilder knew how to showcase Monroe, whether she's crooning "I'm Through with Love" or boozing it up with the girls, or frolicking on the beach — she is mesmerizing. Monroe won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance, but was, as always, overlooked by the Academy.

Lemmon is hilarious and deeply affecting as "Daphne." The guy is a natural in a dress. He received his second of eight career Oscar nominations (winning two).

Even Curtis excels with quite the character arc. "Josephine" is fine work from an actor who maybe managed three great performances total ("Sweet Smell of Success," "The Defiant Ones").

"Some Like It Hot" received mixed reviews upon its release, but would eventually garner major acclaim. The film was nominated for six Oscars and won for Costume Design (Orry-Kelly).

I popped in my Criterion Collection Blu-ray to do a real visual/aural comparison, and although both (I'm guessing) came from the same restoration, the visual difference was incredible — the Kino 4K is sharper, clearer — just gorgeous. There was, however, a tint issue (a differing hue on one side of the screen) that was more prominent in brighter scenes (same with the Criterion), but in no way too distracting. The 4K comes with 5.1 surround and the original mono — both crisp.

The 4K disc contains two terrif audio commentaries worth a listen.

The Blu-ray disc is loaded with nearly three hours of special features, carryovers from previous releases (most from the 2018 Criterion) including three featurettes that boast honest interviews with Wilder, Curtis, and Lemmon, where all three discuss Monroe at length.

Upon its release, "Some Like It Hot" was condemned by the Legion of Decency as promoting homosexuality, lesbianism, and transvestitism. If that isn't enough to recommend it, I don't know what is.

4K UHD Extras Include:


  • New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Joseph McBride, Author of Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge

  • Audio Commentary by Paul Diamond (Son of I.A.L. Diamond) and Screenwriters Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel: Featuring Interviews with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon

  • 5.1 Surround & Original 2.0 Mono

  • Optional English Subtitles

  • UHD 100 Triple Layer Disc


  • The Making of "Some Like it Hot" (25:45)

  • The Legacy of "Some Like it Hot" (20:22)

  • Nostalgic Look Back: Documentary (31:13)

  • Memories from the Sweet Sues: Featurette (12:03)

  • Virtual Hall of Memories (21:04)

  • Billy Wilder and Volker Schlöndorff Discuss "Some Like it Hot" (14:27)

  • More with Billy Wilder and Volker Schlöndorff (6:02)

  • Tribute to I.A.L. Diamond (2:01)

  • Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

    "Some Like It Hot" 4K UHD is currently available.

    Frank J. Avella is a film journalist and is thrilled to be writing for EDGE. He also contributes to Awards Daily and is the GALECA East Coast Rep and a Member of the New York Film Critics Online. Frank is a recipient of the International Writers Residency in Assisi, Italy, a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, and a NJ State Arts Council Fellowship. His short film, FIG JAM, has shown in Festivals worldwide ( and won awards. His screenplays (CONSENT, LURED, SCREW THE COW) have also won numerous awards in 16 countries. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.