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Encyclopedia > The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch
Directed by Billy Wilder
Produced by Charles K. Feldman
Billy Wilder
Written by George Axelrod
Billy Wilder
Starring Marilyn Monroe
Tom Ewell
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 3, 1955; premier June 1
Running time 105 min
Language English
Budget $3,200,000 (est.)
IMDb profile

The Seven Year Itch is a three-act play, written by George Axelrod. Billed as a "romantic comedy", the play was first presented by Courtney Burr and Elliot Nugent at the Fulton Theatre, New York City, on November 20, 1952. The cast included Tom Ewell (Richard Sherman), Neva Patterson (Helen Sherman), Vanessa Brown (The Girl), Robert Emhardt (Dr. Brubaker) and George Keane (Tom Mackenzie). The production was directed by John Gerstad, with set and lighting by Frederick Fox. This is a copyrighted poster. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... Charles K. Feldman (April 26, 1904 - May 25, 1968) was a film producer born in New York City. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... George Axelrod (June 9th, 1922 - June 21st, 2003) was an American screenwriter, producer, playwright and film director. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... Norma Jeane Mortenson (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), better known as Marilyn Monroe, was a Golden Globe Award-winning American actress, singer, model and pop icon. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Fox Plaza, the company headquarters. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... June 1 is the 152nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (153rd in leap years), with 213 days remaining. ... George Axelrod (June 9th, 1922 - June 21st, 2003) was an American screenwriter, producer, playwright and film director. ... Romantic comedy films are a sub-genre of comedy films as well as of romance films. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ...


In 1955, 20th Century Fox released a film adaptation starring Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. It was directed by Billy Wilder and presented in DeLuxe Color CinemaScope. Often cited as one of the great comedies of its time, the film version won critical acclaim and became the biggest US box office hit in the summer of 1955. It contains one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century in which Marilyn Monroe's dress is blown up above her waist by a passing train underneath a subway grate she is standing on. A famous quote, "Isn't it delicious?" has originated from this scene and was even posed as a question on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Fox Plaza, the company headquarters. ... Norma Jeane Mortenson (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), better known as Marilyn Monroe, was a Golden Globe Award-winning American actress, singer, model and pop icon. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... A Fox logo used to promote the CinemaScope process. ... The term box office can refer to either: A place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to a venue The amount of business a particular production, such as a movie or theatre show, does. ... A game show involves members of the public or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, playing a game, perhaps involving answering quiz questions, for points or prizes. ... Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (also called simply Millionaire for short) is a television game show which offers very large cash prizes for correctly answering successive multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty. ...


Film Plot

After sending his wife and son to Maine to escape the sweltering summer, Richard Sherman meets a nameless 22-year-old blonde television model, who is renting the apartment upstairs. Despite recent paranoia about becoming unfaithful (he is reading a book his company is going to publish about a "7-Year Itch"; which claims a significant proportion of men have extra-marital affairs after seven years of marriage) Richard invites the girl downstairs for a drink. However, his over-active imagination works overtime, to the point where he imagines his wife carrying on in Maine with their hunky neighbor, Tom McKenzie. He is torn between silly fantasies of seduction, and horrible thoughts of his wife catching (and, in one fantasy sequence, shooting) him. Official language(s) None (English de facto; French is also an administrative language) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... An affair is often a euphemism for a situation where two people are involved in an inappropriate romantic relationship. ...

Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) and The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) in a famous scene in which The Girl's dress is blown upwards, revealing her underwear.
Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) and The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) in a famous scene in which The Girl's dress is blown upwards, revealing her underwear.

This is a copyrighted poster. ... This is a copyrighted poster. ... Tom Ewell ( April 29, 1909 – September 12, 1994) was an American actor. ... Norma Jeane Mortenson (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), better known as Marilyn Monroe, was a Golden Globe Award-winning American actress, singer, model and pop icon. ...

Memorable quotes from the film

  • Richard Sherman - This thing about women and me. I walk into a room. They sense it instantly. I arouse something in them. I bother them. It's a kind of animal thing I've got. It's really quite extraordinary.
  • The Girl - When it's hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox!
  • Tom McKenzie - What blonde in the kitchen?
  • Richard Sherman - Wouldn't you like to know! Maybe it's Marilyn Monroe!
  • The Girl - Don't you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn't it delicious?
  • The Girl - Ooohhh! This feels just elegant!

Quotes from Fantasy Sequences:

  • The Girl - Rachmaninoff!
  • Richard Sherman - The Second Piano Concerto!
  • The Girl - It isn't fair!
  • Richard Sherman - Not fair? Why?
  • The Girl - Every time I hear it, I go to pieces!... It shakes me! It quakes me! It makes me feel goose-pimply all over! I don't know where I am or who I am or what I'm doing! Don't stop! Don't stop! Don't ever stop! (Sherman stops playing the piano) Why did you stop?
  • Richard Sherman - You know why I stopped.
  • The Girl - Why?!
  • Richard Sherman - Because! Because now I am going to take you into my arms and kiss you. Very quickly and very hard!
  • The Girl - So he lured me down to his apartment. He made me sit on his piano bench. Then he made me play Chopsticks. Then suddenly he turned at me. His eyes bulging. He was frothing at the mouth. Just like The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
The Seven Year Itch

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (Russian: , Sergej Vasil’evič Rachmaninov, 1 April 1873 (N.S.) or 20 March 1873 (O.S.) – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. ... Sergei Rachmaninoffs Piano Concerto No. ... Chopsticks (original name The Celebrated Chop Waltz) is an extremely well known, simple waltz for the piano. ... Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 black-and-white science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Film Trivia

  • Walter Matthau screen-tested for the lead role. The test footage survived and is featured in the DVD of the film.
  • Footage of Monroe's dress blowing over her waist was shot twice. The first take was shot at Manhattan's Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street and the second on a sound stage. The sound stage footage what made its way into the final film, as the original on-location footage's sound had been rendered useless by the over excited crowd present during filming.
  • Many lines and scenes had to be cut because they were deemed to be unsuitable by the Hays office. A frustrated Wilder complained that the film was being made under straight-jacketed conditions. This also led to a key change: in the play, Sherman and The Girl become intimate, but in the movie, their romance is all in his head.
  • Although they were used in print ads for the film, footage showing Monroe's dress clearly blowing above her waist were removed from the final movie because authorities considered it inappropriate.
  • Filmed between 1st September 1954 and November 4th 1954.
  • This is the only Wilder film released by 20th Century Fox.
  • A remake was intended to be released in 1983, starring Al Pacino as Richard Sherman, but he turned down the role in order to play Tony Montana in Scarface. As a result, the 1983 remake was never made.
  • Nicolas Roeg's 1985 film Insignificance features a character based on Monroe and a re-enactment of the shooting of the subway/dress scene.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
The Seven Year Itch
  • Photo Op Crisis: Marilyn showed up at 52nd Street, in the dark, in her white halter top dress, ready to pose for the soon to become famous "blowing skirt" photo shoot 20th Century Fox had scheduled (and unofficially "leaked" to make sure a large crowd showed up). Reportedly, Marilyn was wearing the same thing under her clothes that she always slept in... her "Chanel". We can imagine the frantic wardrobe mistress charged with finding a way to fix her worst fashion nightmare - a mega star about to meet a subway breeze without any panties on. She solved the problem by convincing a Fox secretary or assistant to loan her panties to Marilyn for the shoot. They quickly discovered that one pair of white briefs wouldn't quite do the trick under all those unforgiving film lights and the blinding flashbulbs from that mob of waiting photographers. More frantic scurrying was necessary before a second pair of panties could be borrowed, and the fan turned on so shooting could begin. There is one more bit of trivia related to that morning's shoot: subway trains could not be depended on to run when Fox wanted Marilyn's skirt to billow up, so some very lucky electrician was paid union wages to stand on a platform under the subway grate and operate an electric fan on cue.

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Seven Year Itch (1955) (1677 words)
The Seven Year Itch (1955) is a delightful, sophisticated and witty farce, using to the fullest extent the mordant humor of director Billy Wilder on the subject of sex.
The 'seven year itch' refers to the urge to be unfaithful after seven years of matrimony, with a desire to satisfy one's sexual urges ('itches').
He knows that since he has been married for seven years, he is entering the phase when married men's eyes and attentions are tempted to wander for extramarital adventures, but he has been faithful.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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