Happy 55th, “Some Like It Hot”

The seminal comedy gets a party on Coronado Island. (Where else?)

ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT: Movie mavens have some funny ways of saying they like a film. "I liked it" is never simply enough; rather a fan "loooooves it" (with as many extra o's as possible) or it is "the best ever" (as opposed to the "best ever" film they saw the week before) or "it looks like it was made yesterday!" This last compliment is a quirky one, and there are some layers to it, but basically the buff is saying the plot, performances, directing and writing all feel as crisp as crisp can be. Not too many movies make that compliment cut but at the top of the happy heap, time and again? "Some Like It Hot." Director Billy Wilder is famous for feeling au courant -- watch "Sunset Boulevard" and its satiric skewering of Hollywood and say it wasn't made last month -- and his comedy opus sparkles with new dew on every repeat viewing. It is a film at the top of many happy heaps (it's #1 on AFI's "100 Years...100 Laughs" list) and at the top of many hearts in California. Specifically in Coronado Island, which served as a setting for the 1959 flick. The San Diego burg often fetes its most famous film, and will again, on Thursday, June 26 with a 55th anniversary screening of "Some Like It Hot."

THE SWANK AFFAIR... involves wines and appetizers at Hotel del Coronado -- of course the Del will be involved, given its starring role in the flick -- and a "red carpet screening" at the Village Theatre. Tickets are $150 to the Coronado Island Film Festival screening and include a book and DVD, too. And you'll want to wear your Marilyn Monroe best, too (or Tony Curtis or Jack Lemmon, if you prefer). Of course, if you can't make the 55th birthday bash, you can still visit the Del any day of the year. It looks pretty unchanged from when Mr. Wilder filmed there over a half century ago. It's almost as if "Some Like It Hot" was just filmed there, yesterday.

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