Filmsite Movie Review 100 Greatest Films
Some Like It Hot (1959)
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Plot Synopsis (continued)

While Josephine remains in the tub to soak in the bathtub, Sugar and Daphne are off to the beach to rent bathing suits at the bathhouse - and to apply lotion:

She'll rub it on me, I'll rub it on her. Rub a dub each other.

But Jerry's intuition is correct - Joe has schemed to impersonate "Junior" - an unmarried, mild-mannered millionaire playboy with glasses (stolen from Beinstock). He situates himself on the beach to meet the naive Sugar while wearing a naval outfit (from band manager Beinstock's stolen luggage filled with foppish yachting clothes and his thick glasses). He stands next to a domed, spire-topped section of the hotel [a phallic symbol]. To impress her, he will make references to his wealth and use all the ploys and secrets he knows about her 'dream man' to bowl her over and exploit her weaknesses.

At the beach, the girls frolic in the surf, with Daphne exclaiming to Sugar, with double-entendre: "Look out, here comes a big one" as he grabs her and falls into a wave. Sugar, in an old fashioned one-piece, form-revealing suit with low-cut sides, notices that although Daphne is a big girl with large shoulders and arms, she's also flat:

I mean your shoulders and your arms...There's one thing I envy you for...You're so flat-chested. Clothes hang better on you than they do on me. (Daphne looks at her bounteous chest, and then looks up.)

Wearing Beinstock's thick spectacles, a yachting jacket and a cap for his disguise as 'Junior', Joe is reading a Wall Street Journal. He trips Sugar as she runs by where he sits to retrieve a beach ball. She is instantly intrigued by his eligibility. Parodying a Cary Grant accent (to accentuate his celebrity power) and with sexual word play, he drops hints about his wealth and about the size [another phallic symbol] of his expensive yacht on the water (although it's not the biggest one there):

Joe: Usually when people find out who I am, they get themselves a wheelchair, a shyster lawyer, and sue me for three quarters of a million dollars...
Sugar: Don't worry. I won't sue you, no matter who you are...Who are you?
Joe: Now really!...
Sugar: Haven't I seen you somewhere before?
Joe: Not very likely.
Sugar: Are you staying at the hotel?
Joe: Not at all.
Sugar: Your face is familiar.
Joe: Possibly you've seen it in the newspapers or magazines, Vanity Fair.
Sugar: That must be it.
Joe: Would you mind moving just a little please? You're blocking my view...They run up the red and white flag on the yacht when it's time for cocktails.
Sugar: You own a yacht? Which one is it? The big one?
Joe: Certainly not. With all the unrest in the world, I don't think anybody should have a yacht that sleeps more than twelve.
Sugar: I quite agree. Tell me, who runs up that flag? Your wife?
Joe: No. My flag steward.
Sugar: Who mixes the cocktails? Your wife?
Joe: No. My cocktail steward.

He tells her that the stock market is "up, up, up," another sexual illusion. She tells him that she sings with Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopaters appearing at the hotel. He describes his preference in music, not liking 'hot' jazz - but preferring cooler classical music - in an off-hand reference to the film's title:

Joe: Syncopaters - does that mean you play that very fast music - jazz?
Sugar: Yaaaah, real hot.
Joe: Oh, well, I guess some like it hot. I personally prefer classical music.
Sugar (fibbing): Oh, I do too. As a matter of fact, I spent three years at the Sheboygan Conservatory of Music.

He picks up a basket of shells, telling her that it's his hobby:

Sugar: You collect shells?
Joe: Yes. So did my father and my grandfather. You might say we had a passion for shells. That's why we named the oil company after it.
Sugar: Shell Oil?
Joe: Please, no names. Just call me Junior.

Daphne-Jerry does a double-take - he freezes with one foot in the air - when he realizes Joe is impersonating a millionaire. Sugar invites Junior to "come and hear us play." Daphne spitefully adds: "Do come!...And bring your yacht!" As they return from the beach, Daphne realizes that Joe is advancing toward Sugar, so he advises her to be careful:

How about that guy!...If I were a girl, and I am, I'd watch my step...

They both run to the hotel room to describe to Josephine the wonderful thing that just happened to her on the beach - Daphne predicts that it would be a 'believe-it-or-not' miracle if Josephine were there: "This is one for Ripley." And then they hear Josephine singing "Runnin' Wild" from the bathroom. She is submerged under foamy bubbles. Sugar is ecstatic that she has met a "real gentleman" - not "one of these grabbers":

I met one of them...Shell Oil Jr.. He's got millions, he's got glasses, he's got a yacht...he's young and he's handsome. He's a bachelor. And he's a real gentleman. You know, not one of these grabbers...Well, I'm not gonna let this one get away. He's so cute. He collects shells.

Daphne quips: "Oh you know, the old shell game." After Sugar leaves their room, Jerry is very disgusted by Joe's phony millionaire act:

What are you trying to do to that poor girl, putting on a millionaire act!...Joe, I've seen you pull some low tricks on women. This is without doubt the trickiest, lowest, and meanest...

He also criticizes his impeccable, clipped Cary Grant voice impersonation: "Nobody talks like that." [In 1929, Grant's voice had not yet been heard in a film. The connection is made to a major male star and romantic icon - a phony Cary Grant - who appeared in director Howard Hawks' brilliant screwball comedies Bringing Up Baby (1938) and His Girl Friday (1940).] Aggravated, Josephine slowly stands in the bathtub - viewed from behind - he reveals that he is fully clothed.

Osgood calls to invite Daphne to his yacht The New Caledonia, just the two of them, for "a quiet little midnight snack" (cold pheasant and champagne with Rudy Vallee records) following the show that evening. So Joe accepts the invitation on Jerry's behalf - and then forces Daphne to take Osgood tango dancing while he lures Sugar to Fielding's yacht to romance her.

During the show, Sugar sings "I Wanna Be Loved By You," wearing a sheer, see-through gown as she performs in the hotel's nightclub lounge. The spotlight tantalizingly teases the viewer with shadows as it moves over her translucent, backless dress with transparent fabric, just cutting off her breasts. Daphne and Josephine in sequined flapper dresses appreciatively ogle at her. Sweet Sue closes the show:

Well, that's it for tonight, folks. This is Sweet Sue saying good night, reminding all you daddies out there that every girl in my band is a virtuoso, and I intend to keep it that way.

With the aid of a bicycle, Joe/Junior races to the pier to meet Sugar. At the last moment before his rendezvous with her, he pulls off his earrings. She is enthusiastically dying to meet her dream man: "Just imagine me, Sugar Kowalczyk from Sandusky, Ohio on a millionaire's yacht. If my mother could only see me now." At first not knowing the controls of the shore motorboat, Joe laments: "I seem to be out of gas." She lies langorously back in the boat: "It's not how long it takes, it's who's taking you."

In a memorable, racy seduction scene (dripping with sexual innuendo and imagery) on the yacht of the rich oilman, Sugar is overwhelmed by its size:

It looks so small from the beach. But when you're on it, it's more like a cruiser or a destroyer...It's exquisite, like a floating mansion.

Joe also points out the difference between the fore and aft of the yacht, explaining that it depends on: "whether you're coming or going." Fancy servingware, candles, and a midnight snack are set out. When she points out a large trophy fish mounted high up on the wall, he pops the cork on the bottle of champagne and explains how the effects of alcohol deflate size:

Joe: It's a member of the herring family.
Sugar: A herring! Isn't it amazing how they get those big fish into those little glass jars?
Joe: They shrink when they're marinated.

They share a glass of champagne, toasting: "Down the hatch" and "Bon Voyage." He impersonates an indifferent member of the upper class, and he also pretends that he is a great, world-class sportsman with lots of trophies for skeet shooting, dog breeding and water polo (on horses). The gullible Sugar asks:

Sugar: Water polo? Isn't that terribly dangerous?
Joe: I'll say! I had two ponies drowned under me.

He assures Sugar that she has nothing to worry about being completely alone with him on the yacht - he has a complex about women and can't get excited about them:

Sugar: You mean we're alone on the boat?
Joe: Completely.
Sugar: You know, I've never been completely alone with a man before in the middle of the night, in the middle of the ocean.
Joe: Oh, it's perfectly safe. We're well anchored. Ship's in ship-shape shape. And the Coast Guard promised to call me if there were any icebergs around.
Sugar: It's not the icebergs, but there are certain men who would try to take advantage of a situation like this.
Joe: You're flattering me.
Sugar: Of course, I'm sure you're a gentleman.
Joe: Oh, it's not that, it's just that I'm, umm, harmless.
Sugar: Harmless? How?
Joe: Well, I don't know how to put it - but I've got this thing about girls.
Sugar: What thing?
Joe: They just sort of leave me cold.
Sugar: You mean like frigid?
Joe: Well, it's more like a, a mental block. When I'm with a girl, it does absolutely nothing to me.
Sugar: Have you tried?
Joe: Have I? I'm trying all the time. (He kisses her.) See. Nothing.
Sugar: Nothing at all?
Joe: Complete washout.
Sugar: It makes me feel just awful.
Joe: Oh my dear, it's not your fault.

Joe explains that he can't fall in love anymore - he's basically impotent because Mother Nature threw him "a dirty curve." He can't fall in love and nobody has been able to help him, since a tragic accident with his beloved girl friend (named Nellie!). As he tells her the story of his incapacity, he spears pieces of pheasant with a fork, and twirls the implement in the air. Nellie's unexpected death, after their freshman year together at Princeton, occurred at the Grand Canyon as they prepared to kiss:

We were standing at the highest ledge watching the sunset, when suddenly, we got this impulse to kiss. I took off my glasses. She took off her glasses. I took a step toward her. She took a step toward me....(Sugar gasps and covers her face, speculating how the story ends.) Yes, eight hours later, they brought her up by mule. I gave her three transfusions. We had the same type blood, Type O. But it was too late.

Ever since then, he's had an unfeeling heart: "Numb, no feelings. Like my heart was shot full of novocaine." After gaining her sympathy, he substitutes a drumstick for the fork and waves it in the air. He laments his "hopeless" situation:

All the money in the world and what good is it...My family did everything they could. Hired the most beautiful French upstairs maids. Got a special tutor to read me all those books that were banned in Boston. Imported a whole troupe of Balinese dancers, you know, with those bells on their ankles and those long fingernails. What a waste of money!

Reversing male-aggressor and female-passive roles [and their own typical personalities], he pretends to be an impotent benefactor so that she can seduce him. She accepts the challenge to be the aggressor after he successfully convinces her to help him overcome his insensitivity and mental block toward sex. He has had no success with psychiatry, so the soft-hearted, not-so-bright Sugar asks for the privilege of seducing him and helping him to overcome his problem and awaken his deadened libido. As he pretends to be indifferent to her passionate kisses, she drapes herself over his prone body "flat on his back" on the sofa to cure him - substituting herself for a Freudian therapist. She initiates the love-making scene by offering more champagne, and proposing mood music and the dimming of the lights:

Sugar: Have you ever tried American girls?
Joe: Why? (She takes the drumstick from him - and plants a long kiss on him.)
Sugar: Was it anything?
Joe: Thanks just the same. (He retrieves the drumstick and chews on it.)
Sugar: You should see a doctor - a good doctor.
Joe: I have. I spent six months in Vienna with Professor Freud, flat on my back. (He lies on the sofa.) Then, there were the Mayo Brothers, injections, hypnosis, mineral baths. If I wasn't such a coward, I'll kill myself.
Sugar: Don't say that! (She rushes over to him.) There must be some girl some place that could...
Joe: If I ever found the girl that could, I'd marry her just like that.
Sugar: Would you do me a favor?
Joe: Certainly, what is it?
Sugar: I may not be Dr. Freud or a Mayo brother, or one of those French upstairs girls, but could I take another crack at it?
Joe: All right, if you insist. (They kiss deeply accompanied by a phallic image - his foot rises at the end of the sofa behind her.)
Sugar: Anything this time?
Joe: I'm afraid not. Terribly sorry.
Sugar: Would you like some more champagne? Maybe if we had some music? How do you dim these lights?

Joe seduces her further by mentioning various unfulfilled sensory experiences (hearing while deaf, not inhaling while smoking), implying that he can be kissed passionately, but he'll feel nothing:

Joe: Look, it's terribly sweet of you to want to help out but it's no use. I think the light switch is over there. That's the radio. It's like taking someone to a concert when he's tone-deaf. (She brings over two champagne glasses for him to drink.)
Sugar: You're not giving yourself a chance. Don't fight it. Re-lax. (Another kiss.)
Joe: It's like smoking without inhaling.
Sugar: So inhale. (Another torrid kiss.)

Daphne, in the meantime, carries on an "affair" with Osgood Fielding III and has great success. The yacht scene is cross-edited with the inspired tango-dance scene between them as they twirl each other on the dance floor. Daphne is scolded by Fielding: "Daphne, you're leading again."

After more 'hot' kisses, Sugar causes his glasses to steam up:

Sugar: Well?
Joe: I'm not quite sure. Do try it again. (More kissing) I've got a funny sensation in my toes, like someone was barbecuing them over a slow flame.
Sugar: Let's throw another log on the fire. (More kissing)
Joe: I think you're on the right track.
Sugar: I must be. Your glasses are beginning to steam up. (More kisses)

A rose in Daphne's teeth is transferred to Fielding's teeth as they tango. Joe admits that she has victoriously succeeded in curing him and consequently made a "chump" out of the experts. Simultaneously, Sugar successfully seduces him and is seduced by him:

Joe: I never knew it could be like this.
Sugar: Thank you.
Joe: They told me I was kaput, finished, all washed up. And here you are making a chump out of all those experts.
Sugar: Mineral baths, now really!
Joe: Where did you learn to kiss like that?
Sugar: I used to sell kisses for the milk fund.
Joe: Tomorrow, remind me to send a check for $100,000 to the milk fund.

Fielding and Daphne are the last dancing partners amidst an empty nightclub with chairs stacked on the tables - the band is blindfolded to endure the sight of them. Joe returns Sugar to the dock at dawn, just as a love-sick Fielding returns from his date to return to his yacht:

Joe: How much do I owe the milk fund so far?
Sugar: (calculating) $850,000 dollars.
Joe: Let's make it an even million. (They kiss again.)
Sugar: I forgot to give you a receipt. (They kiss once more for a receipt.)

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