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Richard Sherman: "Oh no. Not today".
The story to The Seven Year Itch is about a New Yorker Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) ships his wife, Helen (Evelyn Keyes), and their son off to Maine for vacation. Left alone to work back in Manhattan, Richard encounters a gorgeous blonde model (Marilyn Monroe) who has moved into the apartment upstairs, and becomes immediately infatuated. While pondering infidelity, Richard dreams of his beautiful new neighbor - - but will his fantasies about her become a reality?
I couple of days ago it just came to me that I haven't seen any movies starring the icon herself Marilyn Monroe. I mean wow how can I go through life without seeing the most ionic actress of all time on the screen showing her brilliance in front of my eyes, but I rather waste my time watching garbage Hollywood movies release today and I know I can skip them and already skipped some movies that I had zone interest in, but for the bad movies from this year will be in my worst movies of 2015 list which is coming out at the end of December, because if your going to make the best list of the year you got to have the worse as well. But anywhere I'm only seeing these classic one by one, because it's all about perfect timing to watch them if I'm in the kind of mood to watching them, but after noticing that I haven't seen any Marilyn Monroe films so I quickly went to watch one of her films and I picked this movie and it was a good pick.
Tom Ewell who plays the love himself thinking he can get any women he likes kind of guy and he was a funny character. Tom really played he's character really well as he made his character likability and understandable. He had great line delivers and in a way he's a bit like some men out there that can't get a date and think that every women wants them, and I think a lot of people can relate to that by the character and Tom Ewell great performance.
Now let's talk about the great beauty herself, Marilyn Monroe and by the first sentence of "Hi", I already liked her. This is my first movie that I've seen starring Monroe and this is a performance worth waiting for because she was so adorable and just unforgettable and as I said before her first ever sentence won me over just like that. Marilyn Monroe gave a brilliant performance that I'm going to check out her other movies pretty soon. Nicely done Marilyn.
The chemistry between Monroe and Ewell was spot on perfect. Both of them had great scenes together that made them look like the perfect couple that some people wish for. I think it's something to do with the writing and the actors themselves as they the ones one pulled it off and made it worked, so I give the actors credit for that.
The comedy was good, the directing was great and extremely well done, the character's & actors made the chemistry funny and watchable.
Now for problems: This movie was release in the 50's and yeah I know the 50's can have it's goofy judging by the movie that was release at that time and I'm mostly given for that, but this movie takes it up the walls, I mean these a scene where Tom Ewell character has day dreams of women falling for him and that scene alone took me out a little bit as it was like the movie was trying to push the message into me face saying "Look he loves himself and he's kind of lonely, isn't that just sad, or just look at that". I already got the message that this guy is lonely as he talks to himself maybe to the fact that he's been alone for a while, but beside that nick pick I still enjoyed the movie.
Overall The Seven Year Itch in my opinion is a good comedy as the acting and character's made the movie want it is.
Notable for featuring one of 20th century's most iconic images, Billy
Wilder's The Seven Year Itch is forever etched in the annals of cinema
for that sequence alone rather than the film itself. And though by no
means does it mean that it's not a good film because it's another fine
comedy from Wilder that teases with the idea of infidelity but is still
no match to his most acclaimed works.
The story of The Seven Year Itch concerns a faithful & overly imaginative middle-aged man who after sending his family off during summer holidays tries to live a bachelor's life but finds himself tempted by a beautiful neighbour. The title refers to the declining interest in monogamous relationship after 7 years of marriage or so they say.
Directed by Billy Wilder, the film has all the ingredients of a quality story but feels like it needed a push that never came. The imaginary sequences start off nicely but only become less interesting as the story progresses, camera-work is fluid, editing could've trimmed a few more moments and the performances by its cast is excellent as it benefits from Tom Ewell's impressive act & Marylin Monroe's unmatched screen presence.
On an overall scale, The Seven Year Itch feels incomplete as there was a lot that could & should have been done with the story but it never comes to that moment. Also, the shot of Marylin Monroe standing on a subway grate as a white dress is blown by a passing train isn't exactly shown in the manner it has become a part of our pop culture. So there's a little disappointment in that as well. Yet, the screenplay packs enough energy & Wilder's direction is brilliant enough to keep the viewers interested for the majority of its runtime.
A very cute romantic comedy that any one should watch: married or in a
long term relationship. Even singles should watch this film just in
case they ever find themselves in a committed relationship.
The movie does bring up possibilities and questions when meeting someone that you find "eye-catching" while you are in a committed relationship. "Should I cheat?" "What happens if I get caught cheating?" "Is my other half cheating on me?" "Will I regret cheating?" "Will I be happier with someone else?" "Would my significant other be happier with someone other than me?" - more questions come to my mind as well.
A very cute flick for a Sunday matinée.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There isn't much to object to in this story of Tom Ewell, whose family
is off for the summer, leaving him to work on manuscripts in his hot
New York apartment. His doctor has given him the inevitable advice:
stop smoking, drink less, avoid stress. (He missed "lose weight" and
"undertake a regular exercise regimen.") Ewell is proud of his
determination to spend a celibate and healthy summer. He fantasizes
chats with his wife, whose phantom sits knitting in a chair on the
Then, cherchez la femme. The platinum blond, amply bosomed Marilyn Monroe moves into the vacant upstairs apartment for the summer and almost kills him by dropping a tomato plant on his balcony. He forgives her immediately and invites her down to his air-conditioned flat for a drink. The encounter is preceded and accompanied by several of Ewell's strictly middle-class fantasies. Remember, this is the early 1950s when even the words "seduction" and "adultery" were banned from the screen. It would be another five years before Doris Day would find it necessary to preserve her virginity in the face of Rock Hudson's blandishments. This is safe stuff, not raunchy.
There are some very funny fantasies. In some ways the best is when Ewell imagines Monroe in a glittering evening dress and himself in a smoking jacket. They sit together at the piano while he rolls through the opening bars of Rachmaninoff's romantic piano concerto. Then he stops playing, turns to her and says in a snooty voice, "I'm now going to kiss you -- very quickly and very hard.") Later, in real life, he manages to lure her to the piano with Chopsticks and when he tries to enact his fantasy they fall on the floor. He apologizes abjectly. "This never happened to me before." Monroe brushes herself off, straightens her dress, and says, "Really? It happens to me all the time." I should mention, in case the kids don't get it, that "U. S. Camera" was a popular magazine at the time and one of the few respectable ones where you might catch a glimpse of an artistically arranged nude body.
The movie is appropriate to the times alright, as I recall all too well. Actually I saw this on Broadway with Ewell and, I think, Vanessa Brown. In the early 50s it was exceedingly difficult to bring the alligator and the pear together, as Groucho Marx once metaphorized.
So, yes, it's George Axelrod's work. It was directed by Billy Wilder but you'd never know it. His specialty was finding humor in cynicism and finding tragedy in betrayal. Billy ("Double Indemnity") Wilder filmed the play accurately enough but couldn't very well add much to it without ruining its fragile charm.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have had the pleasure of catching this film 2 times in the last week
on HDNet. For those of you who have never seen this film it is a gem
from start to finish. It did not receive any Oscars but was recognized
by the Golden Globes for best actor Tom Ewell, who believe it or not
steals the show in this film. Richard, played by Tom Ewell, sends his
family away from Manhattan for the summer to their place in Maine, like
many other tenants in his building. One tenant that remained was the
girl, played by Marilyn Monroe, who lived upstairs from him, and after
the girls tomato plant falls onto Richards deck, Richard kindly offers
her a drink and the comedy begins. Richard convinces himself through
his own neurosis that his wife Helen is going to find out that he had a
lovely blonde in their home.
Richard, although he has done nothing wrong, feels guilty but has continuing interactions with the girl throughout the summer, constantly battling with his own conscience. The never ending diatribe Richard goes through is the meat of the film as his imagination takes over. Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe have incredible chemistry and were part of one of the most memorable scenes in a film, when Marilyn Monroe steps over the grates of the subway and is warmed from the heat below. This scene has been forever etched in the history of film and is Marilyn's most remembered scene from any film that she has been in.
Miss Monroe was excellent playing the sweet, sometimes ditzy blonde that she does so well. Her interactions with Well are incredibly organic and their dialogue is well written and well delivered. For any Marilyn Monroe fan this is a must see.
If you're reading these reviews trying to determine whether or not to
watch this movie, I'll do my best to break down - quickly - why this
movie is considered a classic and why it is worth watching.
The Seven Year Itch is a throwback comedy that was very incendiary during it's day. I'm writing this review a few months after 'The Hangover Part 2' came out, so by today's standards there is hardly anything controversial at all. This is part of the beauty of these older movies though, they are subtle in their shock-and-awe.
There was a board in Hollywood that did nothing else except for censor movies, and so getting a movie like 'The Seven Year Itch' out was a real coup. There is an amazing short documentary on the DVD about this process, and they mention there was actually a priest on set watching and critiquing on the entire production! What a weird history America has ...
Anyways, so the story moves along at a quick pace, the humor is subtle and brilliant, Marilyn Monroe proves she can act, Tom Ewell is perfect in his comedic timing, and it moves a lot faster than it's just under 2 hour run time. This is one of those intro-to-classic-film movies that you need to see if you're interested in giving older movies a chance.
How come such a thoroughly paper-thin story could attain the monumental
success as not only a classic comedy but also Marilyn Monroe's career
The prestigious Billy Wilder did conquer many obstacles in order to stimulate the placid mundane life with some enjoyable ripples, such as the daring boldness to persist the employment of the obscure Tom Ewell from the original play instead of some Hollywood red- hot marquees, Gary Cooper for example.
Marilyn Monroe's embodiment as a naively appealing neighbor is beyond any heterosexual man's pipe dream, the too good to be true empathy sustains as a main motif all along the way. Piercingly ludicrous as the opponent of the average-Joe Tom, the whole film could be interpreted as a placebo to the ordinary mass who are more than willing to watch their fantasies come true on the celluloid.
Adapted from a play with the same title, theatrically speaking Tom Ewell is virtually the ace in the hole in both his monodrama and the two-hander with Monroe. His initial physical contour did arouse me with some doubt about his capacity being the male protagonist, thankfully his full-fledged devotedness and the magic chemistry between him and Monroe have rescued the film from being one of the insignificant cheesy chick-flicks. And for Ms. Monroe, it is no big deal of her acting skill, her natural temperament, arresting sexual attraction plus violet voice is a treasure itself, and thanks to Billy Wilder, which has been exploited at its most!
Being a film based upon a comedic play, the low cost of the setting (90% of the screen-time takes place within Tom's flat) inescapably could bring about a tad weariness, that's why the one prominent exception, which now is notoriously well-known when Monroe standing on the air vent of the sewer system, is so invaluable.
..Then this is the most memorable movie ever made about masturbation! I
don't want to be gratuitously nasty here, but with a very imaginative
middle-aged man who used to suppress his sexual feelings, like any
peaceful bourgeois, + the perfect, real perfect, presence of that
"fantastic" girl in his life, so easily by the way (being originally a
"photo" he saw once accidentally) + ending every sequence between both
with a magical smile and a suspicious fade out can say a lot about a
sexual dream comes after that we just can't be allowed to watch + the
obvious nervous move of his finger especially while sleeping
that OH MY GOD made it one heck of a psycho-drama that could be
superbly entertaining on one hand, and the earliest most famous
Hollywood movie ever made about such a sexual activity on the other
Hence, aside from harmless traditional symbols (like the kid's wheel that keeps forcing the lead to fall down as a reminder of his marriage and fatherhood), the skiing board that (Tom Ewell)'s character carries all over the city could symbolize a strange erection he feels out of getting free of the wife and the kids. And it is a thing he wants desperately to deliver to the wife as she, or he, forgot it. I know, Freud's stuff can be so amusing, but I felt it's used here so wickedly, since the American cinema was coerced to be polite back then; therefore with metaphoric games like these, the trick was so smart on the censorship and worth the try.
Actually, it's a comedy about fear. So when the lead got to declare his fear and challenge it through the one he thinks his opponent (the bold hansom image he misses), the conflict just ended and he found himself finally deserving his wife, needing no "girl" or grand sexual fantasy to dally with his inner weakness, take him away his boredom, or falsely assure beating his fears.
(Marilyn Monroe) was playing herself; the greatest sexual fantasy. Therefore she was truly natural. I hated just the kisses to (Ewell). Not because that he's lucky to have them, and I'm not! But because dramatically "the girl" can't bless this neighbor with these many kisses like this. However, who said anything about a real girl ?! That was part of the hot dream that (Ewell)'s character was having and creatively making up!
(Ewell) was super. He mastered his role so much. I bet selecting any of the big stars of the era would've smashed the credibility of the story. And (Ewell) was so right physically before being so right as an actor. He maybe didn't make it to be a star afterwards, but undoubtedly he is the star in this role.
It's such a bright time. Everyone along with everything was so fine. I refused only one thing which's deleting the scene in which the air blows (Marilyn)'s skirt. Despite that the scene became highly a classic while it's unseen (through the hundreds of photos for it!), I still must veto as the censorship this time executed the hottest sexual dream of the movie, and us!
Sometimes I feel that making mainstream movies like this nowadays became like a fantasy. And with a star as Marilyn.. it is a fantasy !
For a director like Billy Wilder, who has written and directed some of the finest films in Hollywood history, such as Double Indemnity and Sunset Blvd., to make a film like The Seven Year Itch is merely to cash in and have some fun doing it. Indeed, after seeing this film, one can tell that Wilder probably did have fun, and who wouldn't? Who would object to standing behind a camera watching Marilyn Monroe strut around in gorgeous white dresses, especially in color. As a film, some of the scenes don't work and the whole character of Richard Sherman, played wonderfully by Tom Ewell, comes off as extremely annoying. But one shouldn't expect too much since this was basically just a vehicle to showcase Monroe's gorgeous looks and "acting" ability. While I believe she acted better in Some Like it Hot, she still holds her own here and certainly isn't bad to look at. Overall, this is not one of Wilder's better films, but it is better than most trash Hollywood makes today. So, see it if you are a Wilder or Monroe fan, but once is probably enough.
I don't agree that Ewell was a mistake as Richard Sherman, the nerdy,
awkward man who is alone in NYC for the summer.
Monroe is beautiful as always, and seems much more innocent than her 33 years (her age at the time this film was made).
Yes, there are the classic scenes with the subway, and her date with Ewell as she sees "Creature From the Black Lagoon". Some amusing dialog as she tells Ewell she sympathizes with the creature, one can imagine the unlikely pairing of Ewell with Marilyn Monroe. Too funny.
I found Evelyn Keyes to be stilted and cardboard, one-dimensional; but then again this was 1955 and she was the resident housewife with one child. There are also some amusing scenes with Sonny Tufts and the maintenance man.
Overall a fun comedy, not to be taken seriously, and Monroe excels as usual. Highly recommended. 9/10.
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