Even Mad Men, which tends to lend some fresh vibrance to its cultural touchstones, treated Marilyn Monroe like an artifact, using her death to buttress a Season 2 episode about shame and shock and identity—and a failed Playtex account. Secretaries wept and the curvaceous Joan tried to explain the sorrow, but it wasn’t until the end that Marilyn’s legend really came alive, with her performance of the song “I’m Through With Love,” from 1959’s Some Like It Hot, playing poignantly over the credits. Said Billy Wilder film has been dissected as much as any canonical comedy, but it’s the horndogs, not the intellectuals, who really know the score: Monroe is ablaze, and that Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis don’t wither in her glow is a testament to their comedic talents. Fifty years out, all that transvestitism still seems ingenious, not quaint.
THE FILM SHOWS at 4:45 P.M. AT THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE ROAD, SILVER SPRING. $6–$10. (301) 495-6720.