CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fun Summer Movies: THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1955)

Summer Release Date: 3 June 1955. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts, Marguerite Chapman, Oskar Homolka, Carolyn Jones.Written by Billy Wilder and George Axelrod. Directed by Billy Wilder.

The Seven Year Itch is my favorite Marilyn Monroe movie. Mind you not my favorite role of hers. That would be Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But here in The Seven Year Itch, she is just as good, giving the classic Marilyn performance...breathy voice, the bemused facial expressions, the child like mannerisms..all done to perfection. It helps she has such a great co-star in Tom Ewell as the hapless Richard Sherman, a married man who fancies himself the object of desire by every woman he meets. He constantly daydreams about having secret rendezvous with all kinds of women. So when Marilyn, simply known as The Girl, and who lives above him in the same apartment building, meets him, let the fun begin.

Richard and The Girl trying to keep cool

Budgeted at $1.8 million and filmed on location in New York City, The Seven Year Itch proved to be a massive hit, one of Monroe's biggest. It made over $12 million in the United States alone. Filled with iconic moments such as Marilyn in the perfect white summer dress standing over a subway grate with the wind gusting up to blow her dress, much to her and Richard's delight. Directed by ace Billy Wilder, The Seven Year Itch is a perfect fun summer movie. And check out the great quotes..particularly by Marilyn. Notice her fondness of the word "elegant".

A stairway to nowhere! I think that's just elegant.
I think it's wonderful that you're married! I think it's just elegant! 
 I think it's just elegant to have an imagination. I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other things, but I have no imagination.
When it gets hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox! 

I wonder......

Notable Facts:

After seeing Walter Matthau's screen-test performance in the part of Richard Sherman, Billy Wilder believed he had found his lead man. However, 20th Century-Fox was unwilling to take the risk on a newcomer. That's when Wilder next turned his sights on the actor who had originated the role on Broadway, Tom Ewell.

Amazingly, Marilyn Monroe's very narrow spike heels don't get stuck or break in the subway grating that she stands on it in the movie's most famous scene, although this was a universal problem, at the time, for the countless women wearing that very popular style heel in New York City in that era. 

 The iconic scene

 The movie premiere was on June 1st, 1955 which happened to be Marilyn's 29th birthday.

 Marilyn's iconic white dress set a record when it was auctioned for $4.6 million in June 2011 (rising to $5.5 million after taxes and fees were included), quintupling the previous record for a movie costume ($923,000 for Audrey Hepburn's "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's). 

 My love of classic movies is beyond measure



Lasso The Movies said...

This is one of those movies that I don't watch very often because everyone makes such a big deal about the white dress and it gets old. To be clear the people that talk about it get old, the dress never will. I love Marilyn Monroe! She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but her movies are so much more to me than just one scene with her dress flying up. Truth is I would watch her any time any where. Perhaps I will even watch Seven Year Itch tonight. (Or wait until the end of July and buy it on Blu-Ray!

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Kristen said...

I watched this for the first time during my Month with Marilyn and loved it. I definitely need to watch it again!

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Kalli said...

I love this movie, classic Wilder humor and wonderful Marilyn! Tom Ewell is fantastic, too.

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