When you watch classic movies again, there is always the risk that it will not meet your expectations. Maybe it doesn & # 39; t suit today’s political and social sensibilities, and you find yourself moaning and groaning and sucking in your teeth while wondering, “Why did I ever think it’s okay?” Or maybe the humor has changed through the generations and now the hijackers land about as poorly as Disney Portraits of Native Americans. While half remembering the plot of Some like it hot, it’s a valid concern – are Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon running around in Miami in full makeup and dresses? Marilyn Monroe depicts an alcoholic gold digger named “Sugar Kane”? This is a recipe for some seriously uncomfortable accidents.
Happy, Some like it hot is relatively exceptional in his field after offering just over sixty years of legendary success and unearthing a wave of cultural changes that still affect modern society to this day. Although the film does have its fair share of flaws, there is no doubt that its depiction LGBTQ + issues within mainstream society largely contributed to the social inclusion and accessibility of information around the struggle that the community faces every day. Regarding this, here is a list of all the ways Some like it hot positively impacted the LGBTQ + community.
Revocation of the Hays Code
Until the mid-1960s, the Motion Picture Production Code (informally known as the Hays Code) had a tight grip on the regulation of censorship in film. Many of the demands were, from a 21st-century perspective, oppressive, and designed to enforce a strong religious, child-centered ideal of morality in Hollywood, including regulations against insultingly called depictions of “mixing” (interracial relationships) and “mockery of the clergy.”
As expected, “cross-dressing”, or the depiction of certain LGBTQ + themes, was not allowed within the Hays Code, due to its consideration as an element of “sex perversion” and incompatibility with the imposed public consumption of “traditional values.” In fact, after the release of Some like it hot, it was described by the Catholic League of Decency as, “seriously offensive to Christian and traditional standards of morality and decency.” However, the film made the decision to persevere with its original subject matter and these limitations (such as many other great medieval films), leading to the burlesque picture we all know and love.
Fortunately, when the Hays Code was revoked in November 1968 and replaced with the more inclusive Motion Picture Association film rating system, Some like it hot was at the forefront of films to help create a more inclusive and queer-friendly culture, give more recent movies the opportunity to openly discuss sexuality and gender expression.
Kindness towards homosexuality
At first glance, it seems that the film gives a few fists to the gay community for the sake of cheap laughter, but many of the film’s jokes actually undermine the expectations of its heterosexual audience. In an era where homosexuality is still condemned, even who regarded sodomy as a crime before 1962, a conversation between Jerry and Joe directly addressed the distinctive mentality of his time by asking, “Why would a guy want to marry a guy?” Although Jerry blows out the quick response of “Security,” the film offers a series of knowledgeable winks that subtly reject the predetermined expectation that love should exist exclusively between a man and a woman.
In fact, over the course of the film, Jerry (“Daphne”) also rips off his blonde wig in front of Osgood, the older man he’s considering marrying for money, in an attempt to establish his true status as a biological man. to reveal. Osgood’s steadfast answer? “Well – no one is perfect.” While the script could easily have involved a scene surrounding Osgood’s furious reaction to the revelation that his beautiful partner “Daphne” was secretly a man, the choice to maintain Osgood’s infatuation despite the masculinity of his partner shows the film ‘s support for the idea that love can exist regardless of gender expression or sexual orientation.
Having fun with traditional masculinity
The reason it’s so entertaining to see conventionally attractive, commercially successful “leading men” dress like women and parade along the Florida coast is because it’s generally quite unexpected (it was at least in the age of Classic Hollywood Cinema). While Tony Curtis typically played a variety of charismatic romantics and women in his earlier career, Some like it hot opened the door for heartbreakers to be considered more feminine. Although the costume was indeed in a comic context, films from earlier periods would have experienced much more setbacks, but Billy Wilder’s masterpiece blurs the issue without causing controversy.
Sure, a lot of it was played for laughs; it is to be expected that part of the appeal of the appointment of Marilyn Monroe is the contrast between the absolute pinnacle of femininity and the clumsiness of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon walking around in heels refusing to eat carbs. Without medieval comedies like these that normalize and remove the “sinful immorality” aspect of men wearing dresses, the opportunity for a more serious conversation about LGBTQ + equal rights might not have occurred to him as quickly as it did.
Female sexual liberation
While the film did not definitively portray any of its main characters as anything other than heterosexual, the struggle for equal rights among LGBTQ + men and women was interconnected during civil movements throughout the 1960s, respectively. In a further rejection of the traditional “Christian” values that espoused misogyny and homophobia, Sugar’s character was portrayed as a complicated woman who had a series of short-term relationships and was generally portrayed as a by-product of the flourishing sexual revolution. is. It helped break down the idea of the heterosexual “nuclear family” from within, one of the primary components of the stigma surrounding homosexuality.
Sugar may not have been an LGBTQ + character (nor should any of the characters, if inclusion should be relied on self-appointed labels), but her role as a generally less-than-conservative woman may have easily helped raise expectations around changing women’s roles and therefore, by default, allowed change around the roles of men and subsequent embodiments of sexuality and gender.
Whether you hate, love or wildly admit Some like it hot, it requires a certain kind of remark for it to still enter discussions more than fifty years after its original release. Even if there are still make major improvements when it comes to providing representation for the LGBTQ + community in film, Some like it hot was one of the original cornerstones of pushing society one step closer to inclusion and equality.
The upcoming comic book series The United States of Captain America will introduce a new openly gay version of the iconic character.
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