Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the disapproving father of Lorelei's fiancé to keep an eye on her, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
The title river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.
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
"When something itches, my dear sir, the natural tendency is to scratch"
After sixteen wonderful pictures, I didn't think that Billy Wilder could do wrong. However, after lulling me into a false sense of security, the director then delivered a right hook to my jaw, leaving me dazed, confused and with a splitting headache. As melodramatic as that sounds, I really did spend last night with a niggling feeling of discomfort in my brain, as though I'd been unexpectedly betrayed by an old friend. 'The Seven Year Itch (1955)' has the best of intentions, and it showcases sex-icon Marilyn Monroe in one of her most alluring roles, but overall it just doesn't work; by the end of the film, I found myself more than a little exasperated. The screenplay was adapted from George Axelrod's popular 1952 three-act play of the same name, which Wilder apparently liked to such that he prophetically included an allusion to it in his 'Sabrina (1954).' Whether or not film censorship played a role in diluting the director's true vision, all I can say is that I am decidedly disappointed.
"A stairway to nowhere! I think that's just elegant." So says The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) when she notices the low-budget fashion in which a former-duplex has been converted into two separate apartments. This is exactly how I feel about this film: it's a stairway to nowhere. The story starts off with definite promise, as a middle-aged husband (Tom Ewell) says farewell to his beloved family for the summer, and must fight the urge to misbehave in their absence ("oh, no, not me!"); that means no drinking, no smoking and no women. Oh, what glorious temptations Wilder could have flung in this man's path! Unfortunately, this is where the story's foundations in theatre come into play. Just as the story promises to get interesting, it stumbles into an inescapable rut, and everything suddenly stagnates, the running time prolonged through frustratingly-pointless monologues and imagined conversations. Ewell's neurotic overreacting, funny at first, becomes grating, and I couldn't wait until he rid himself of that so-called Seven Year Itch.
That there are shafts of light beaming into this dark tunnel is a welcome reassurance to this keen Wilder fan. The casting of Marilyn Monroe is perfect, bringing a sex appeal that was unrivalled by even the finest beauties of her time. Young, lively and naive, The Girl accepts Richard Sherman's awkward advances as just another daily occurrence, frequently mistaking his obvious lust for simple neighbourly kindness. That imaginative money shot above the New York subway is justly iconic, and probably most fully defines Monroe's screen persona, even though Wilder would utilise her to even greater effect in 'Some Like It Hot (1959)' four years later. Despite my general dissatisfaction with the screenplay, there are, nonetheless, a few great lines of dialogue, many delivered by Oskar Homolka as the straight-shooting psychiatrist Dr. Brubaker ("At fifty dollars an hour, all my cases are interesting!"). Remarkably, 'The Seven Year Itch' was a considerable box-office success, something I can't quite understand, considering the failure of some of his most impressive pictures. Sorry, Billy I guess nobody's perfect, after all.
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