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seven-year-itch

THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1955)

To spare his wife and son from the hot, muggy New York City summer, professional book reader, family man Richard Sherman, sends them to the countryside. Though he allows himself to enjoy this temporary bachelorhood, Richard vows to remain faithful to his wife.  This vow is sorely tested when  a gorgeous, drop dead, friendly blond moves upstairs to the apartment above, which stimulates his imagination, opening the door to temptation.

The cast includes: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts, Robert Strauss, Oscar Homolka, Marguerite Chapman, and Victor Moore.

Directed by Billy Wilder.

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Marilyn Monroe: "When it gets hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox!"

Quote: "A Fabulously Funny, Fast-Paced Sex Farce From The Fifties... It's "Just Elegant!" Allison Dragotto

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"The Seven Year Itch" is a hilarious look at a man's struggles with temptation; the temptation being a seductive starlet, Marilyn Monroe, who has moved into the upstairs apartment for the summer of 1955.

This opportunity for Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) to stray from his marriage vows made to his wife Helen (Evelyn Keyes), pops up, because his wife and son go away from the steamy, hot New York City weather for the summer, going on holiday without him to Maine, as he has to stay in the city because of his work. Keeping his marital commitment in tack proves to be a tough assignment, when faced with this flirtatious, sensuous woman's attentions, when he, on his part, is suffering from "the notorious seven year itch."

This funny screenplay, by director/writer Billy Wilder, & writer George Axelrod, who wrote the original stage play, has fun teasing the audience if Richard is really going to go through with an affair with this luscious blonde woman or not.

Director/writer Billy Wilder had a long and lustrous career in both writing and directing, and had a solid 25 year span of hit movies due to his comedic genius. He was active in his film making projects from 1929 - through 1974. He made a few films after that, but was basically retired by 1981. He was offered a role in Jerry Maguire, but turned them down flat. He also really wanted to direct "Schindler's List," but Steven Spielberg wanted to direct it himself.

Wilder's direction of this film is truly inspiring, as his flair for comedy brings this hilarious screenplay to life. The actors and actresses were well-casted for their roles, and did a great job.

Tom Ewell, a well-known, successful comedic talent from the 1950's and '60's, was perfect as Richard Sherman. Ewell was known for his ace comic foil roles with such beautiful women as Sheree North ("The Lieutenant Wore Skirts") and Jayne Manfield ("The Girl Can't Help It"). However when Ewell was cast with Marilyn Monroe in this film, he was immortalized by his reactons to the famous scene where Marilyn's skirt is blown up by the air vent, revealing her beautiful legs.

Marilyn Monroe continued to build her sexy image in her role as the tempting girl upstairs. She does her role with a comedic flair that adds to the film's humorous moments. This is one of her best efforts, a film that she is known for. After this film, she went to study with Lee Strausburg to develop her talent, as she wanted to grow as an actress, replacing her sexpot image with that as an actress with talent for a variety of movie genre, ranging from comedy to dramatic. Critics loved her in "Bus Stop,"and were amazed at her growth.

Wilder's "The Seven Year Itch" is described as a "hilarious, scandalous sexy comedy, an outrageous mating dance," that is sure to entertain Marilyn Monroe fans, as it is one of her best film efforts. Some may find it a bit long in sections, but the comical situations are directed and acted perfectly, to produce a very funny film, exploring the issue of infidelity, human desire verses commitment, in a comedic script, worthy of great acclaim.