My favorite sequence in “Some Like it Hot” is the one where Jack Lemmon (as Daphne) is dancing the tango with his millionaire suitor, Osgood Fielding III, a white rose clenched in his teeth. You see the couple turn and now Fielding’s got the rose clenched in his teeth. Next thing you know, the rose is tucked behind Fielding’s ear and Daphne’s got him down in a dip. Olé!
Whether Daphne’s mixing bootleg Manhattans in a hot water bottle for the other girls in the band from her berth on the train to Florida, or fending off Fielding’s advances in the elevator, you can’t take your eyes off Lemmon’s character. Marilyn Monroe is delightful to watch, and Tony Curtis does a pretty good imitation of Cary Grant when he’s courting her, but Lemmon carries this picture. He’s having way too much fun in a dress, and when he tells Tony Curtis’s character that he and Fielding are engaged, his comic timing is perfect.
Of course, Fielding gets in the last word. Our two “girls” are in Fielding’s motorboat, escaping from the mob. Fielding thinks that he and Daphne are eloping, and Lemmon’s got to tell him the truth:
Daphne: Osgood, I’m gonna level with you. We can’t get married at all.
Fielding: Why not?
Daphne: Well, in the first place, I’m not a natural blonde.
Fielding: Doesn’t matter.
Daphne: I smoke! I smoke all the time!
Fielding: I don’t care.
Daphne: Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I’ve been living with a saxophone player.
Fielding: I forgive you.
Daphne: I can never have children!
Fielding: We can adopt some.
Daphne: But you don’t understand, Osgood! (he pulls off his wig) I’m a man.
Fielding: Well, nobody’s perfect.
(11 April 2011)