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The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Seven Year Itch poster

Director Billy Wilder might have dismissed it eventually as a ‘nothing picture’ but oh what lingers in the mind is Monroe in this astonishing portrait of the midcentury American male. About to enjoy a bachelor summer with his wife and son packed off to summer camp in Maine, publisher Tom Ewell’s fantasy becomes reality when Monroe sublets the upstairs apartment. His actual fantasies are concerned with being punished for being found out about this itch that will have to be scratched (with a psychiatrist at hand to advise) but his model/actress neighbour is so ravishing, funny and delightfully sweet that nobody can help but fall for her. Who on earth could take their eyes off her? Guilt, hell. We can resist anything but temptation. The censorship issues meant that this adaptation of George Axelrod’s hit play about adultery meant … that there wasn’t any. Monroe’s the whole show here, and there isn’t half enough of her. And if we learn nothing else in life:  standing over a subway grating’s a helluva way to cool down and it isn’t right to drink champagne in matador pants. It’s the little things.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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