Seven Year Itch, The (1955)

The Seven Year Itch (1955), directed by Billy Wilder.


The Girl: You know what? We can do this all summer. Hmm?

Richard: (moans softly)

As a kid I used to laugh hysterically at this when it was on TV. Somehow boys (at least) get sexual humor long before they have serious interest in sex itself. In this case I think it is not the presence of the Goddess, but rather Tom Ewell's homely, fantasy-prone clowning, the Everyman who will never know how ridiculous he is.

The character is truer than I suspected at the time (I say now from the other side of the hill). Men have rich sexual fantasy lives where they imagine themselves to be super studs, God's gift to women. We all beseech Marilyn that it may be true, to some extent, from time to time, at least a little...but if you take such egomania too seriously: you are a clown. Listen to the laughter from the audience.

As always, watching Marilyn Monroe suggests the "mystery of celebrity". A person has X because everyone agrees they have X. And they do, even if you've decided not to play that game. She is a Sex Goddess, whatever you think of her looks, which are often lovely, but not always. I keep trying to penetrate the glamor, appreciating her comic talent but still wishing she could have done more non-goddess work.

Adapted from a play about adultery and transformed into a comedy about guilty fantasies of adultery, which never actually occurs! Just a few kisses. Tom Ewell did the Broadway version over 700 times.

I might have trimmed some material that seems like comic filler. Do we need the kayak paddle?

Bits I probably wouldn't have noticed as a kid:

That iconic image of Marilyn's skirts blown up:

...doesn't appear in the movie; we see only her legs.

Available on Blu-ray with an aspect ratio of 2.55:1. The black levels could be better.