The 1959 comedy, directed by Billy Wilder, teamed Curtis with Jack Lemmon as a pair of musicians who must disguise themselves in drag to escape the mob after witnessing the St Valentines Day Massacre. They end up with an all-girl travelling band which inevitably, means their paths cross that of Sugar Kane, vocalist and ukulele specialist, played by Marilyn Monroe at the height of her powers.
Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe were not best friends off-screen, but created movie magic on it
Although Tony Curtis's co-star Marilyn Monroe was notoriously unreliable in terms of arrival, punctuality and general helpfulness, Billy Wilder extracted a performance from her that rightly belongs in the canon of perfect screen moments.
Here, she encounters for the first time Tony Curtis in yet another alter ego, that of an unnamed oil magnate who doesn't have one of the big yachts on the horizon, as it's unseemly to "sleep more than 12".
Because of Marilyn's notorious record for tardiness, three days had been set aside for filming this complicated scene. In fact, the pedigree trio and their director had the whole scene in the can in less than 20 minutes.
"I was sure Tony was right for it," explained Wilder, "because he was quite handsome, and when he tells Marilyn that he is one of the Shell Oil family, she has to be able to believe it."
Chaos ensues... helped along by a dizzy Marilyn, a seething Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis giving us his very best Cary Grant impression. What could be better?
Tony Curtis was 85 when he died in 2010, after enjoying a six-decade career in film - one which transcended his dazzling looks to celebrate his increasingly striking screen presence - followed by a very serious hobby of painting. He made more than 100 movies, and also teamed up with Roger Moore for TV series 'The Persuaders!'.