PDA

View Full Version : Some Like it Hot



Chris Tarman
10-31-2010, 07:04 PM
Yesterday I bought a DVD of one of my favorite movies, "Some Like It Hot" . I hadn't seen it in ages, so my wife and I watched it tonight. Ok, so yeah, everyone knows about Marilyn Monroe "playing" ukulele in this film. I don't know if she actually played it or not, but there is a pretty iconic scene of her playing her white uke with the band on the train just after "Daphne" and "Josephine" (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) join the group. At the end of the tune, Marilyn drops a flask of alcohol out of her dress, and the band leader and manager are going to fire her... there is a good close-up of the fingerboard of her ukulele. I couldn't believe my eyes! I paused the DVD, backed it up and froze it on the view of her fingerboard. It had white lines inlaid down the center of the board, and diamond-shaped position markers (doubled, one on each side of the center lines for each position). That's right... someone actually painted a Martin Style 3 white!!!! Gah!!!! The headstock shape is right, too. I did a Google search, and also found a picture of her with what looks like a Style 2 (NOT painted white).

You can sort of see that it's a Style 3 in this picture:17104, but if you look at this eBay item and click "enlarge", you can REALLY see it:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230507986119#ht_3236wt_1141

And here's the scene, but it cuts just before the "money shot" of the fingerboard:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9X1cQFQPeU

mm stan
10-31-2010, 09:52 PM
Yesterday I bought a DVD of one of my favorite movies, "Some Like It Hot" . I hadn't seen it in ages, so my wife and I watched it tonight. Ok, so yeah, everyone knows about Marilyn Monroe "playing" ukulele in this film. I don't know if she actually played it or not, but there is a pretty iconic scene of her playing her white uke with the band on the train just after "Daphne" and "Josephine" (Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis) join the group. At the end of the tune, Marilyn drops a flask of alcohol out of her dress, and the band leader and manager are going to fire her... there is a good close-up of the fingerboard of her ukulele. I couldn't believe my eyes! I paused the DVD, backed it up and froze it on the view of her fingerboard. It had white lines inlaid down the center of the board, and diamond-shaped position markers (doubled, one on each side of the center lines for each position). That's right... someone actually painted a Martin Style 3 white!!!! Gah!!!! The headstock shape is right, too. I did a Google search, and also found a picture of her with what looks like a Style 2 (NOT painted white).

You can sort of see that it's a Style 3 in this picture:17104, but if you look at this eBay item and click "enlarge", you can REALLY see it:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230507986119#ht_3236wt_1141

And here's the scene, but it cuts just before the "money shot" of the fingerboard:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9X1cQFQPeU
Aloha Chris,
Actually I've heard of them through my friend, he had one....they're are rare and really elusive.. The white Martins seem to be the rarest...the way my friend talked about it,
I wanted one, but never seen one ever....this was ten years ago....I think even alot more rare than the 5K..... anyone knows of one, let me know...wouldnt mind buying one..MM Stan...

Chris Tarman
11-01-2010, 07:03 AM
Thanks, Stan. I never knew Martin made white ukuleles, but I guess I'm not terribly surprised. I thought the white paint job looked pretty well-done from what I could see, so I had actually wondered if it was a factory job. I suppose if I was working at Martin and got an order for a white Style 3 for Marilyn Monroe, I would drop everything and bend over backwards to make that white uke!

TCK
11-01-2010, 02:06 PM
Well, she may have played it in reality, but not in the film. Her left hand never changes.
What an awesome white uke- maybe I will paint mine (just kidding Stan).

Chris Tarman
11-01-2010, 02:48 PM
Actually it looks like she plays 2 different chords in the fast part and then a 3rd chord when it changes to half-time (when it shows her in close-up). The rest of the time, she isn't strumming, and you don't hear any ukulele. While I was doing my google search for images of her uke, I saw a reference to Bill Tapia having taught her (maybe just for the movie). He taught several movie stars how to play, apparently, or at least coached them for their films.

bassfiddlesteve
11-01-2010, 03:11 PM
I don't think Martin made white ukuleles. It was most likely painted white for the movie. You have to remember that at that time a Martin Style 3 would not have been a particularly rare or valuable instrument.

The real tragedy in that film is the bullet holes in Jack Lemmon's Kay bass! :eek:

- Steve

Chris Tarman
11-01-2010, 03:12 PM
I don't think Martin made white ukuleles. It was most likely painted white for the movie. You have to remember that at that time a Martin Style 3 would not have been a particularly rare or valuable instrument.

The real tragedy in that film is the bullet holes in Jack Lemmon's Kay bass! :eek:

- Steve

I THOUGHT that was a Kay. Maybe they were those stick-on decals that you see on cars... lol.
I would still be willing to bet that if Martin got an order for a white one for Marilyn Monroe, they'd have happily done it!

mm stan
11-01-2010, 03:21 PM
Aloha Chris,
I saw Bill Tapia with a white uke too once, not sure it was his...but not a martin....wonder it they were popular in the 40's and 50's white ukes or was it the uke to get.....MM Stan