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. Written by
The screenplay was adapted from the original Broadway show "The Seven Year Itch", which was written by George Axelrod and starred Tom Ewell (who reprised his role as the imaginative Richard Sherman) and Vanessa Brown. When the project was moved from Paramount to 20th Century-Fox, Brown was replaced by top sex symbol Marilyn Monroe for the film adaptation. Due to the Hays Office Production Code censorship rules, the play's racy dialogue and sexual innuendos were significantly toned down for the film. See more »
When Helen shoots Richard in his fantasy, seven shots are heard although the gun is a six shot revolver. Moreover, she enters the apartment by emptying the gun into the front door, yet she doesn't reload. Some of the bullet holes disappear between shots. Since this is Richard's fantasy, it need not conform to reality. See more »
[in his fantasy]
Rachmaninoff... It isn't fair... Every time I hear it, I go to pieces... It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over. I don't know where I am or who I am or what I'm doing. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't ever stop!
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When the title appears, one arm of the T in ITCH reaches down and scratches the stem of the letter. See more »
Naive and Innocent in the Present Days, Tested the Limit of Censorship in the 50's
In summertime in Manhattan, the plain and average Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) sends his wife and son for vacation in the country. Sherman is the key man of a publishing firm, Brady & Company, which publishes cheap pocket books. The faithful Sherman has a routine life with his family and dreams on being successful with women. When a beautiful and sexy blonde lodges the upstairs apartment of his small building, Sherman first opens the front door for her and then he invites her to have a drink with him after the fall of her tomato vase on his chair on the backyard. Along the days, he spends some time with the girl and feels tempted by her, but later he misses his family and travels to meet them.
"The Seven Year Itch" is a naive and innocent romantic comedy in accordance with the contemporary moral standards, but actually this feature tested the limits of censorship in a time when Hollywood was ruled by a rigid moral code. The story is based on a George Axelrod popular 1952 Broadway play about a man that has an affair with his upstairs neighbor. Unfortunately in the 50's, the American cinema did not have the same artistic freedom as theater. The screenplays and movies were submitted to the scrutiny of the powerful Hayes office, the censorship of Hollywood. There was a Production Code in Hollywood that stated that adultery should not be the subject of comedy or laughs, and this story violated the Code. Billy Wilder was fascinated by this story and purchased the rights of George Axelrod. However, to make the movie was a challenge for this great director, since many scenes and lines were ripped away by the censorship and by the National Legion of Decency, mutilating the plot.
Marilyn Monroe was selected to the cast, but Billy Wilder wanted a plain, average and non-handsome actor for the role of Sherman. His first choice was Walter Matthaus, but Fox direction did not want to take the risk of an unknown lead actor, therefore they selected Tom Ewell. The most famous scene of Marilyn Monroe, with her dress being lifted by the air of the subway, was first an exterior scene, but later Billy Wilder needed to shot again in the set because the noise and whistles of the viewers spoiled the original footage. This external scene also provoked the end of the marriage of Marilyn with Joe Dimaggio, who felt humiliated with the manifestation of the public.
One dialog that I particularly like is when Sherman and the blonde leave the movie theater and she says that the creature needed to be loved, in an analogy between Sherman and the creature of the black lagoon. The restored DVD is fantastic and this is the most sexually suggested role of Marilyn Monroe to date. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Pecado Mora ao Lado" ("The Sin Lives on the Next Door")
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