THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH
BILLY WILDER | USA | 1955 | 105 MIN | NR
While his family escapes the city heat, New York publishing executive Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) vows to remain faithful to his wife, unlike so many of his married peers left alone for the summer. What he didn’t count on, however, was The Girl (Marilyn Monroe), a sexy commercial actress who’s just moved into the sweltering apartment upstairs. Richard, burdened with an overactive imagination, fantasizes about seducing the young ingénue. Emboldened by his imagined success, he invites The Girl down to enjoy his air conditioner with drink, which is when he discovers that she’s much different than the sultry sophisticate of his dreams. Monroe is unforgettable in the role, essentially playing a version of herself (or at least the icon that she had already become). She gives The Girl an irresistible mix of innocent naivete and knowing sexuality that is perfectly crystallized in one of the most recognizable moments in film history: Marilyn standing over a subway grate, her dress billowing up as a train rushes by underneath. Despite being stripped of some the racier content from its Broadway source material by the Hays Code, director Billy Wilder delivers the sensuality and delicious euphemism of his other classic romantic comedies of the era like THE APARTMENT and SOME LIKE IT HOT. A witty, sexually charged farce about sex, marriage, and infidelity, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH was named by AFI one of the 100 funniest movies in American cinema for good reason.
Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts
“Laughs come thick and fast, [and] the general entertainment is light and gay.” –Variety