Film Still: Some Like It Hot

Louise Ashwell 26 November 2013

I refuse to re-watch films. There’s too much to see that hasn’t yet been seen. But Christmas Day rules that thou shalt lie spread-eagled across the sofa watching telly, and so with twelve views under my belt and counting, my family’s go-to Christmas film, Some Like It Hot, has become my one exception.

Delivered with the deftest of touches, this final scene never fails to knock me out. Daphne, or Jack Lemmon in drag, has been trying to extricate herself from marriage to relentlessly cheery fiancée Osgood Fielding III. His nonchalance undented, Daphne, in a fit of exasperation, pulls off her wig to reveal the clincher – that she’s a man.

This scene lasts all of fifty seconds, so why does it always stay with me? It’s the most perfect closing line in cinematic history. Every year, the same routine. You look the nearest relative in the eye, count down from five and all together we repeat Osgood’s immortal come-back. Unfortunately we’ve never yet managed to time it exactly with the film. But then, as we all well know, nobody’s perfect.