When Grandduke Charles, the prince-regent of Carpathia, a fictitious Balkan country which could start a European war by switching alliances, visits London for the coronation of the new ... See full summary »
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
George Cukor was the original choice to direct the film. He turned down the project and eventually Billy Wilder, whose contract with Paramount ended in 1954 (his last film with that studio was Sabrina (1954)), took it. See more »
Both Richard and his boss, who are in the book publishing industry, refer to "The Portrait of Dorian Gray". The title of the Oscar Wilde novel is "The Picture of Dorian Gray". See more »
One iconic image, otherwise Billy Wilder's weakest film
Director Billy Wilder gets a great, comic book-styled performance out of Marilyn Monroe: she's guilelessly sexy and playful, and has no idea she's enchanting the married man who lives downstairs in her building. Unfortunately, hers are the only moments of inspiration in an otherwise dim-bulb comedy which must rank as Wilder's most disappointing venture. Beginning with the animated credits sequence (where colored boxes open to reveal teeny-tiny print), Wilder's handling is flat, his timing is off, and the central situation--a husband rationalizing having an extra-marital fling--has no heart. As the man whose wife and child are away on vacation, Tom Ewell gives a flaccid performance, overplaying every emotion and generally making this picture unbearable. Ewell fantasizes different scenarios and constantly jabbers to himself, but he's only in the way (and Billy Wilder does everybody a disservice by staging one overlong sequence in Ewell's shower--with Ewell in it!). Worthwhile for Monroe's fans who won't mind slogging through the inept, timeworn gags and groaning dialogue, just to see the platinum blonde's skirt get that famous blast of air over the subway grating. Too bad the rest of "The Seven Year Itch" wasn't as imaginative. *1/2 from ****
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