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Friday, May 29, 2015

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

After sending his wife (Evelyn Keyes) and son (Butch Bernard) to Maine for the summer, a Manhattan publishing executive (Tom Ewell) finds himself attracted to the blonde (Marilyn Monroe) living upstairs. He contemplates adultery but can he go through with it? Based on the hit play by George Axelrod, who co-wrote the screenplay with its director Billy Wilder, the film suffers from not being able to shake off its theatrical origins. It's a theatrical device to have a character speak his thoughts out loud so the audience knows what he's thinking but in cinema, it comes across as artificial and unrealistic. Tom Ewell is recreating his stage role and he's just not an appealing screen actor. The film would sink under the weight of its own tediousness except for one thing ..... Monroe! Whenever she's on screen, she's so radiant that she lights everything up and even Ewell begins to seem tolerable. The film contains one of the most iconic images in all cinema, Monroe standing over a subway grate as her white halter dress billows up around her. With Carolyn Jones, Oscar Homolka, Marguerite Chapman, Sonny Tufts and Victor Moore.

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