The Seven Year Itch (NR)

Comedy 105
By Keith Harris
A gaggle of interchangeably seersuckered Manhattan business functionaries bundle their wives and children off to the country for the summer and prepare to celebrate their emancipation with the shortest skirt within reach--according to this Billy Wilder comedy from 1955. But Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) won't disobey the orders of his wife and his doctor not to drink or smoke; the most rebellion he'll allow himself is popping the cap of a soda bottle on the handle of a kitchen cabinet before indulging in a series of imagined romantic escapades. But his reserve is challenged when the upstairs apartment is sublet to a free-spirited blonde--played by Marilyn Monroe at her most breezily comfortable and enticingly innocuous--who relentlessly (if inadvertently) tweaks his repressed, middle-aged male libido. Monroe is also at her most iconic here: The shot of her white dress billowed up past midthigh remains a freshman dorm favorite to this day. Though his direction is inevitably stagy, Wilder's lively screenplay manages to send up cut-rate psychoanalysis, sex-sells advertising, and everything else muddled about postwar America. (Keith Harris)
Billy Wilder Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts, Robert Strauss, Oskar Homolka, Marguerite Chapman, Victor Moore, Dolores Rosedale Billy Wilder, George Axelrod


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >