Feminist Live Reads: ‘Some Like It Hot’ in Vancouver

A live reading of Some Like It Hot will be hosted by Feminist Live Reads on October 1st at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, Canada, during this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), as Janet Smith reports for The Georgia Straight. (Incidentally, the poster art shows not Marilyn but Sandra Warner, who was part of Sweet Sue’s Band. She stood in for Marilyn who was unavailable on the day of the photo shoot.)

“The film is as groundbreakingly fluid about its genre as it is about gender—opening as a mafia chase movie before Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon go undercover as women to hide with an all-female jazz orchestra led by Sugar Kane (Marilyn herself).

‘Some Like It Hot is one of my favourite movies, actually,’ says Vancouver actor Katie Findlay (best-known for the ABC series How to Get Away With Murder), speaking to the Straight over the phone from her Vancouver home. ‘My dad only watches movies made before 1960.’

‘I’ve always wanted to be handsome and dashing and morally questionable,’ she enthuses about reading the part of Tony Curtis, who essentially plays three parts: Joe, the jazz musician who witnesses a mafia shootout with his buddy; Josephine, a female jazz musician in disguise; and Junior, a faux millionaire who woos Sugar and sounds an awful lot like Cary Grant. ‘People seem to have trouble with women being more than one thing. And I get to do a Cary Grant impression!’

It helps that her bestie Kacey Rohl (who stars in VIFF 2019 movie White Lie) is reading Jack Lemmon’s role; they’ve watched Some Like It Hot many times together.

In this era of #MeToo and talk of consent, Findlay sees the ongoing relevance of Wilder’s film. When Curtis and Lemmon become women, they’re suddenly the target of a lot of unwanted attention. ‘As a movie I think it has female consciousness; it’s aware of how a woman feels,’ Findlay observes of the male characters facing constant harrassment once they take on female personas.

Adding to the experience, [Chandler] Levack reads stage directions on-stage while local songstress Jill Barber brings to life some of Monroe’s iconic songs from Some Like It Hot ( ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ ).”

Thanks to Eiji Aoki

Marilyn Flies High With United Airlines

This exuberant press shot of Marilyn arriving in Vancouver in July 1953 (en route to film scenes for River of No Return – more info herefeatures in a new display at the remodelled Global Services reception area for United Airlines’ elite customers at Los Angeles International Airport (L.A.X.), as Lewis Lazare reports for Chicago Business Insider. (She also flew from New York to Chicago with United Airlines when she visited Bement, Illinois to honour Abraham Lincoln in 1955.)

Photo by Eve Arnold, 1955

Marilyn in Vancouver

On July 27th, 1953 – exactly sixty years ago – Marilyn Monroe came to Vancouver. This anniversary is marked by John Mackie in today’s Vancouver Sun.

“Marilyn Monroe stopped off in Vancouver 60 years ago en route to Jasper, where she was to film River of No Return. She spent five hours in the city before departing on a Canadian National train, and caused quite a stir.

Vancouver Sun columnist Jack Wasserman met her in Seattle and spent eight hours ‘interviewing, protecting and just looking’ at the screen goddess he dubbed ’20th Century Fox’s contribution to culture.’

‘She is a sweet, unaffected, smooth-talking, sloe-eyed American girl with a 37-inch bust and a sense of humour,’ Wasserman wrote. ‘During the time (in Vancouver) she signed hundreds of autographs, posed for 373 amateur and professional photographers, was interviewed by 32 newspapermen (11 of whom had actually been assigned to the story), strutted her stuff on the tarmac at Vancouver International Airport and went on a sightseeing tour of Stanley Park and the Capilano Indian reserve.’ Wasserman found her witty and forthright.

‘I’m a 37-inch bust, 23 waist and 34 hips,’ she said. ‘My upper hips are 34. Where they measure 37 really isn’t the hips at all. I’m really my own self, from tip to toe. No, I take that back; I tint my hair.’ Wasserman wasn’t the only media type to spend time with Marilyn.

There is a photo of the dashing local photographer Ray Munro escorting Monroe into the Hotel Vancouver, and the Province’s Norm Sedawie wrote a story about chauffeuring her around Stanley Park and the Capilano reserve in a convertible. Chief Joe Matthias jogged up to the car to greet her. ‘You’re that Hollywood woman, ain’t you?’ he asked Monroe.

‘She said yes in that low, breathless voice she almost always uses,’ wrote Sedawie. ‘He shook her hand all the way up the elbow, then scampered off to find some feathered garments with which to accommodate our photographer.’ That would be Harry Cantlon, whose photo of Marilyn and Matthias is still in The Sun and Province archives. Alas, the rest of the photos that ran in the papers that day have vanished, including a fabulous front-page shot by The Sun’s Dave Buchan of Marilyn posing in front of a United Airlines plane at the airport.

A similar photo by the Province’s Bill Cunningham is in the Vancouver Public Library collection, however. Oddly, the Cunningham shot doesn’t seem to have run in the Province – the editors chose to run four other photos.”