Hot stuff on and off screen

The Jewish Chronicle - - Arts&entertainment -

Vieira, tells the story of how the film came to­gether, and also lingers over the sub-plot of Cur­tis’s ro­mance with Mon­roe, which had started sev­eral years ear­lier when both were strug­gling for recog­ni­tion in Hol­ly­wood. At that time, New York Jewish boy Bernie Schwartz was des­per­ate to rein­vent him­self as Tony Cur­tis, while Mon­roe awaited her big break. Their re­la­tion­ship was tor­rid and not long-last­ing.

By the time they ap­peared on the Some Like it Hot set, both were mar­ried, Cur­tis to ac­tress Janet Leigh and Mon­roe to play­wright Arthur Miller. This did not stop Mon­roe invit­ing Cur­tis to her ho­tel room, or Cur­tis from ac­cept­ing. Fans of the film will cer­tainly en­joy the blow-by-blow ac­count (re­called in un­canny de­tail) of the mak­ing of the com­edy in which Lem­mon and Cur­tis dress in drag to es­cape from the Mob hav­ing wit­nessed a mur­der.

But the book is most com­pelling in its de­scrip­tion of the ma­jor play­ers. Wilder is por­trayed as a hugely tal­ented, rest­less worka­holic, while Mon­roe comes across as a bun­dle of con­tra­dic­tions — gifted, ex­hi­bi­tion­ist, yet un­sure of her­self and her tal­ent. Lem­mon was the ul­ti­mate pro­fes­sional.

As for Cur­tis, he cer­tainly em­braced his star­dom but strug­gled to come to terms with his hum­ble and un­sta­ble up­bring­ing.

Si­mon Round is a se­nior JC writer

Hello, sailor: Cur­tis (seated) chats on the beach dur­ing film­ing with co-stars Jack Lem­mon, in drag, and Marilyn Mon­roe`

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