Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr 1m
Still proclaimed as the proverbial greatest comedy film after almost 60 years, Billy Wilder's transgressive comedy nonetheless remains defiantly sharp, loopy, and surprising.
Two frantically unlucky musicians, Joe and Jerry, (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) are already struggling to keep afloat in crime-ridden 1920s Chicago when they inadvertently become witnesses to a mob massacre. Hunted for their silence, the two make a bid for freedom by hiding out in an all-girl band on its way to Florida, adopting the flimsy personas "Josephine" and "Daphne".
On arrival, two more obstacles make their attempts to lay low even harder: Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), an oblivious gold digger in the band who catches Joe's attention, and Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown), a randy, mother-dependent millionaire who makes a determined bid for "Daphne".
Wilder piles on the farcical confusion, but never confuses the audience or stoops to obvious pantomime: as Joe and Jerry become trapped in their disguises, the ironies of their situation become even richer, and, despite the vintage black-and-white look (adopted because the disguised Curtis and Lemmon looked "hideous" in colour) the fluid attitude to gender only makes the film seem more adventurous and modern.
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