Tony Curtis on cross-dressing… Some Like it Hot

Tony CurtisOrry-Kelly did the dresses for Marilyn Monroe, and Jack and I were going to wear clothes out of Western Costumes. So I went to Western Costumes and they fitted us out in these dresses that belonged to Loretta Young and Kate Smith and Debbie Reynolds and Lola Momez, they tookΒ  all our measurements… and none of them fit. They all puckered tight up and I didn’t like them, I didn’t like the idea that these women had worn these dresses, so I went to Billy Wilder, I said, “Billy can’t you have Orry-Kelly make our dresses?” He says, “All right, let him make your dresses.” I knew it was rare for Orry-Kelly to do guy’s dresses, so that was really nice.” Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT, edited by Alison Castle with interviews by Dan Auiler, published by Taschen


  1. “Nobody talks like that!”
    Tony was so right to ask for Orry-Kelly. Those dresses were great!

    OH! I made a sensation at Christian Bible Camp in Vista California when I was 9. I had just seen Some Like It Hot so when we had talent night I put a mop on my head and sang “I Want To Be Loved By You.” My parents got a phone call the next day… but the boys loved it and chased me around for a week begging for a kiss from “Marilyn”.

    • Orry-Kelly did something noteworthy – he made these characters look chic and tailored and attractive, I’d say handsome, in dresses which really suit Curtis and Lemmon. So instead of looking laughable in drag, they look natural, and the comedy comes from their performances and the situation they find themselves in. Remarkable and pitch perfect movie costume design.

  2. Dearest V
    One must comment that Mr Curtis looks more at home with mascara than Mr Lemon… he was the better looking woman after all!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  3. aubrey

    I’m looking at Tony and all I can think of is “Sweet Smell of Success” and ‘…Cleopatra on a plate”!

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