The Seven Year Itch
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell and Evelyn Keyes.
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Released: June 3 1955
by 20th Century Fox Pictures
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hr, 45 mins)
With his family away for their annual summer holiday, New Yorker Richard Sherman decides he has the opportunity to live a bachelor’s life – to eat and drink what he wants and basically to enjoy life without wife and son. The beautiful but ditsy blond from the apartment above his catches his eye and they soon start spending time together. It’s all innocent though there is little doubt that Sherman is attracted to her. Any lust he may be feeling is played out in his own imagination however.
Probably the most iconic Marilyn Monroe film, everyone know the famous skirt scene, regardless of whether they’ve seen The Seven Year Itch or not. I watched this film on a bit of a whim, and since the 50th anniversary of Marilyn’s death was on Sunday (August 5th), I’ve written this review in her memory.
The basis of The Seven Year Itch‘s plot is the concept of Manhattan’s married men running wild while the wives and kids are away for the summer. From a glance, it doesn’t sound too thrilling, but it’s the specific events surrounding Richard (Tom Ewell) and the Girl (Marilyn Monroe) that makes it more exciting. Every scene has Richard speaking in soliloquy for a short amount of time or even the whole scene. These soliloquies proves a bit too much for me to the point that I sighed in relief every time someone joined the scene. The scenes that feature both Richard and the Girl are by the the strongest and funniest scenes in the film.
I have to say that, in my opinion, Marilyn gave her best comedic performance as the Girl. I love how she combined innocence and sexuality to create her own version of the Girl, which was somewhat unique to the other characters she had played in comedies. Although, and I hate to say this, Marilyn wasn’t an amazing actress she had impeccable comedic timing and she delivered her funniest lines incredibly well.
I loved the setting of Manhattan in the summertime. It just has the feeling of things rushing by but also that of people feeling sluggish due to the heat. It may be hard for some people to tell, but I felt it was reflected in the scenes. For me, the scenes with the Girl move quickly than those with just Richard delivering one of his many soliloquies.
I can honestly say that this film features Marilyn’s best comedic performance and she is what makes The Seven Year Itch as great as it is. And, to quote the Girl, “it’s just elegant”!