There is no nudity or graphic discussion of sex.
During Daphne’s ‘Train Party’ there are a lot of bare legs on display when all the girls decide to join in. All feet are also bare, and whilst fairly innocent today, these were body parts generally covered up in films made prior to the 1960s.


No suggestive male attire or nudity.
A woman wears a dress in which her breasts are almost completely bare except for some covering of her nipples. However the film is black and white so it is difficult to see clearly
Scenes of two characters kissing on a couch (no sexual activity).
Characters frequently scantily clad.


Some sexual innuendo and play with sexual identity in the dialog.
Humor is often based on sexual confusion and comic sexual situations
Comic verbal innuendo
At one point, it is implied a man (desguised a woman) has an erection


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


One day in 1958, Billy Wilder and screenwriter i.a.l. deldmont found the theme from an old French film Remake in Germany in 1951. They said that two frustrated musicians tried to find a job. They found a place in a women’s jazz band, but they had to dress up as gypsy women, and then all kinds of farce happened. Billy and diamond found inspiration and decided to transform the prototype in 1929 (an unstable 1920s due to prohibition), and the location was Chicago in the north and Miami in the south. At the same time, they added more localized elements to the film – such as gangs, underground pubs, gang massacres, Florida millionaires, jazz bands and sexy blondes. This was a very bold adventure at that time, because it not only included different clothes, alluded to homosexuality, with many provocative contents, but also used a famous massacre in American History (Chicago Valentine’s Day tragedy) as a seasoning. When the idea was first mentioned to the producer, the producer rejected it impolitely: “Valentine’s Day murder? Are you crazy? Do you mean putting real guns and blood into a comedy? It will be a complete failure.”

Facts have proved that this doomed film has made unexpected achievements. In addition to its long-lasting box office, “passion like fire” ranked 14th in the Centennial best film list selected by the American Film Critics Association in 1996. At the same time, it was rated as the first of the funniest comedy films in the 20th century, even surpassing Chaplin’s modern times. The New York Times described the film as “grotesque and ingenious. It made people laugh from beginning to end. It was like detonating a string of firecrackers and flashing vivid sparks.” Famous film critic Roger Ebert believes that the film “is a masterpiece of crazy comedy. Its unparalleled inspiration and production technology make it an immortal treasure in film history.”

I think the success of “passion like fire” is just due to its theme that was originally considered “doomed to failure”: “two men who inadvertently witnessed the gang killing, disguised as women and joined the women’s band in order to avoid being chased.” This sentence contains two important keywords, which directly refer to the core theme of the film – “gangster” and “cross dressing”. In other words, compared with comedies of the same age and type, “passion like fire” has an essential leap – different from the classical comedy of Marx Brothers chasing and fighting, and frank Kapura’s romantic comedy “one night” (1934) is also different from George Courco’s Philadelphia Story (1940) and Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s journey (1942) and Lady Eve (1942) are even different from more absurd raising babies (1938) (Howard Hawkes). With its unique pioneer flavor, passion like fire carefully walks on a steel wire and breaks through some inherent subject limitations. In other words, in terms of subject matter, it has been trying to expand in two “marginal directions” – one is about gang crime and killing each other, The other is about how two men dressed as women mingle with women.

What’s more interesting is that the film takes an understatement and indifference to terrible social cases, men disguised as women, or “boys fall in love with boys”, Even some satirical lines of “cynicism” (such as the popular “no body is perfect”) are added to weaken the conflict, It shows an astonishing and advanced thought (which is why although it lost to Ben Hur at that time and didn’t win the best film Oscar at that time, it has more fresh and lasting vitality than the former). In fact, without such a relaxed and humorous attitude, such cutting-edge ideas can not quickly integrate into the mainstream and become a part of popular culture. In other words, if the production technology and strong star lineup (Mary Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Raymond, as well as a group of first-line comedy stars and gangster stars) make this film a classic of box office popularity, the cynicism and rebellious temperament in the film is the reason why it really becomes immortal.

Billy Wilder said of 1959’s passion like fire: “we are telling an unruly story in a regular way.” In fact, in the late 1950s, the “unruly” films had a tendency to be restless and walked restlessly on the road to a new face – starting from the subtle depiction of a dark and neurotic woman in the streetcar desire in 1951, noon in 1952 tried to subvert the established image of “hero” under the inherent mode of western films, The rough young people (Marlon Brando and James Dean) in the 1954 “wharf wind and cloud” and 55 “rebellion without cause” are all carrying out painful and difficult growth rituals in an attempt to break away from the old framework and constraints. With the birth of a crazy “passion like fire” in 1959, its rebellion is actually the most restless child, although it is hidden in the depths (for example, it is still carrying out regular narration in classical methods). Its emergence is like a catalyst, or a watershed. After the 1960s, the rebellion in this challenge “Dad’s film” was no longer hidden. It was particularly obvious in the late 1960s – with the sudden change of the values of the whole American society, all works after 65 years slipped to taboo themes – the 1967 graduate involved incest and free marriage In 1967, Bonnie and Clyde declared war on society with a bloody gesture, including the extremely alternative and cruel American dream shown in midnight cowboy in 1969 – these works are free, decadent, full of discontent and protest, but they were widely popular and enduring in that era.

In the same kind of “breakthrough” works, “passion like fire” seems to go further. Referring to the extreme words of an anonymous American film critic, it is that “modern clumsy imitators are too poor. They throw a lot of absurd and obscene jokes on the screen. They are of no use except to ease and weaken their emotions, which is completely inferior to” passion like fire ” A foot raised in a kiss. ” In comparison, the hidden and hidden madness of “passion like fire”, as a transit station, and the uncanny cutting means, are more unforgettable. Only after watching such a film can we know that the highest state of breaking through or destroying the Convention is to let the audience deconstruct the old ideas with laughter in the seemingly most traditional mode.

Black primer

The film has always been permeated with a lingering black style. From a strange opening to the final paragraph, it seems to have nothing to do with comedy. It is more like an original gangster film. The film begins with a four minute chase scene: a police car and a funeral home’s funeral car are speeding along the road, several policemen are standing on the side of the police car and constantly shooting at the funeral car, while the black men transporting the coffin calmly take out their long guns from the roof and fight back one by one. Several cars even hit sparks in the middle of the road and slid to the edge of the road, The bullets left clear bullet marks through the car wall, and they also penetrated the coffin. After the coffin lid was opened, the broken wine bottle poured out gurgling liquid… At this time, the subtitle of “Chicago, 1929” (an era of prohibition of alcohol) – this is a very classic era of gangster film, Along with it are vivid memories such as the Scarface thief (1932) and Little Caesar (1930). It shows the criminal world in the dark of modern metropolis, but also has a sense of Billy Wilder’s early image style.

However, it is quite strange that such a paragraph is inserted in the opening of a crazy comedy. It is completely different from comedy, but this gloomy atmosphere does not end because of this opening, and the black becomes more intense – after the coffin delivery funeral car gets rid of a large number of police forces, it slowly drives into the back door of a funeral home called parror, With a melancholy funeral song, the coffin was carried in. The next scene turns to the police chief, who gets down from a car, follows the instructions of the informant “toothpick Charlie”, disguises himself as a customer, enters the funeral shop from the front door, and enters the real core of the smuggling Hotel, a drinking and Carnival pub hidden inside. Nearly eight minutes into the film, as the police officer enters the tavern, the man who plays saxophone and the man who plays bass on the edge of the stage begin an interesting conversation: discuss who should repay the money they borrowed from that night, or go to mend their teeth or gamble on the dog. This is the first shot of the real hero Joe and Jerry in the depressing paragraph of the first eight minutes of the film. This appearance is very interesting. At the moment of their appearance, there was a subtle “transformation” in the whole film, from the previously explicit gloomy style to the potential funny style. The reason why this sudden change doesn’t make people feel particularly abrupt is that when the police chief opened the door of the tavern, the extremely noisy and cheerful music has emotionally separated the external world from the internal world. The sudden music is like a psychological hint, indicating that a comedy will begin soon.

In the first paragraph, the film has been trying to create a nostalgic gangster world, including the use of the most prestigious old stars in Hollywood, and they are all old faces in gangster films. They have formed their own types of roles. For example, pat O’Brien plays the chief of police, and George plays “toothpick Charlie” George stone plays, and the actor who plays the head of the Chicago Gang is the more famous George George rafts… Gangster movies and crazy comedies, the two very different, friction and heat when they meet. In fact, these two types as independent existence were not new topics at that time – gangster films flourished in Hollywood in the 1930s, transformed into black films in the 1940s, and gradually declined and died in the United States after the 1950s; Madness comedy, after playing around in various gimmicks, began to be stretched in the 1940s, only Preston Sturges still insists on making some comedy works written and directed by himself, and the whole crazy comedy as a type has inevitably declined, and it seems that there is no more novel theme. However, in 1959’s “passion like fire”, the two put together, but there was a magical chemical reaction, emitting unparalleled charm. Just as Jerry and Joe, two obviously comic characters, burst into the freshness of the gang world, the film lingered in two extreme styles. The possible reasons for this good effect are as follows:

First, the combination of two different styles will make the film more thrilling and interesting (there are jokes in horror, and comedy is thick).

As a comedy, the original joke is that the protagonists Joe and Jerry are “two men who are constantly unlucky”. So since they came out, the degree of bad luck has been increasing: at first, they played musical instruments in the tavern, and they have already owed a lot of debt. It was a wage day, but the tavern was immediately sealed up by the police. After they escaped, they sold their coats to gamble on dogs, and the coats were lost, It was not easy to seduce Nelly (a woman from an employment agency) to borrow her car to play in the suburbs for a night to earn some money. When she went to get the car, she just witnessed the Chicago gangster and his men killing “toothpick Charlie” in the parking lot (historically known as “Valentine’s Day Massacre”), which became an eyewitness chased everywhere. At the end of the film, the gang leader and his gang were also shot to death, and they happened to hide under the table… On the surface, it seems that these two people will only appear in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are incompatible with the terrible and bloody scene and are completely frightened. In fact, when they stand in a gangster scene full of armed men with bulky instrument boxes in panic and shock, their laughter is likely to burst out from the audience the next second. In fact, this is a very well-designed funny strategy of the whole film. While rendering the blood and terror of the gang world, it is creepy; On the other side, two unimaginable people were unlucky and finally broke into the murder scene and faced an unprecedented crisis.

Second, the creator does not want to simply make a simple and pure comedy film. There may be too few things to explore. One of the most important characteristics of the traditional comedy film is that it never cares about history and politics, or rarely analyzes them from a truly profound level, and this film is just unwilling to make an indifferent attitude to society and history. Wilder and screenwriter delmond want the film to contain more real and complex things – first, it shows a special historical era (prohibition and the early stage of the economic crisis), the national depression, two poor musicians who hope to gamble but lose. This is not just a case of them, It reflects the general situation of an era, just as Jerry predicted in the tavern: “I think the whole city will be under the flood.” When they enter the employment agency, every office is empty and idle. How can such an era not be closely related to crime? In this way, the emergence of gangs is very reasonable. Secondly, the real historical case (the Chicago Valentine’s Day Massacre) is also reproduced in the film in a dramatic way, and the horror is painted with a layer of funny color – two musicians are found by the perpetrators after witnessing the murder scene. They show up from their hiding place and talk nonsense due to excessive fear. Their answers are irrelevant and logical, Produce a comic effect.

Finally, this kind of humor with black style can also make the creator better show the cynicism and cynicism he wants to show. For example, the dialogue that makes a small mockery of politics, economy and culture repeatedly appears in the film; There is also a relaxed and descriptive attitude towards some very heavy issues, such as sexual orientation and political assassination. It’s like telling us that “no one is perfect”, and the world we live in is more imperfect. We can survive better only by mocking ourselves.

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