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The Seven Year Itch (1955) Poster

Trivia

Despite being one of the most iconic images in pop culture history, as well as one of the most recognizable photographs of Marilyn Monroe, the famous full-length image of Monroe standing with her dress being blown up never actually appears in the film. The shot used in the film is only of her legs, cut with reaction shots, and never shown full-length.
The classic shot of Marilyn Monroe's dress blowing up around her legs as she stands over a subway grating was originally shot on Manhattan's Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street on September 15, 1954, at 1:00 a.m. with 5,000 onlookers, who whistled and cheered through take after take as she repeatedly missed her lines. Bill Kobrin, then-20th Century Fox's East Coast correspondent, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun in 2006 that it was Billy Wilder's idea to turn the shoot into a media circus, and he even had bleachers set up. This occurred in the presence of an embarrassed and angry Joe DiMaggio, Monroe's husband at the time. The original footage never made it to the screen; the noise of the crowd had made it unusable. Wilder re-staged the scene on a Fox set replicating Lexington Avenue, and got a more satisfactory result. However, it took another 40 takes for Marilyn to achieve the famous scene.
Billy Wilder preferred shooting in black-and-white, but Marilyn Monroe's contract with Fox called for all of her films to be shot in color.
Marilyn Monroe's iconic white dress set a record when it was auctioned for $4.6 million in June 2011 (rising to $5.5 million after taxes and fees were included), quintupling the previous record for a movie costume ($923,000 for Audrey Hepburn's "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)).
Amazingly, Marilyn Monroe's very narrow spike heels don't get stuck or break in the subway grating that she stands on it in the movie's most famous scene, although this was a universal problem, at the time, for the countless women wearing that very popular style heel in New York City in that era.
Not without a distinct ring of irony, the nine-month Marilyn Monroe-Joe DiMaggio marriage officially ended during this shoot.
After seeing Walter Matthau's screen-test performance in the part of Richard Sherman, Billy Wilder believed he had found his leading man. However, 20th Century-Fox was unwilling to take the risk on a newcomer. That's when Wilder next turned his sights on the actor who had originated the role on Broadway, Tom Ewell.
Marilyn Monroe's lifelong bouts with depression and self-destruction took their toll during filming; she frequently muffed scenes and forgot her lines, leading to sometimes as many as 40 takes of a scene before a satisfactory result was produced.
In the early 1980s 20th Century-Fox (which has the film rights) wanted to remake this movie. Al Pacino was rumored to play Richard Sherman and Melanie Griffith was rumored to play the Girl. However, the project was turned down and, as of 2009, remains in development hell.
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An important promotional campaign was released for this film, including a 52-foot-high cutout of Marilyn Monroe (from the blowing dress scene) erected in front of Loews State Theater, in New York City's Times Square.
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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.
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Adapted from the Broadway play by George Axelrod starring Tom Ewell and Vanessa Brown. When the project moved from Paramount to 20th Century-Fox, Brown was replaced by Marilyn Monroe. Due to the Hays Code, not only was most of the racy dialogue omitted, over the objections of Axelrod and Billy Wilder, Sherman's romance with The Girl became a product of his imagination.
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Marilyn Monroe was anxious to work with Billy Wilder but had to agree to do There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) before Fox would allow her to do this film.
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The movie's poster was at # 22 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.
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The New York movie theater showing Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) was really showing the Leslie Caron musical Lili (1953) at the time; the side of the theater visible to viewers had the 'Creature' title on the marquee (along with a standee of monster and maiden on top of it), but the front of the theater marque (not visible) was still listing 'Lili'. A photo of the theater will all "conflicting" marquees visible was tacked up in the Fox photo department for decades.
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Marilyn Monroe's constant tardiness and behavioral problems made the budget of the film swell to $1.8 million, a high price for the time. The film still managed to make a nice profit.
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Tom Ewell won the 1953 Tony Award for Actor in a Drama for "The Seven Year Itch" in the role of Richard Sherman, which he reprised in this film.
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The movie premiere was on June 1st, 1955 which happened to be Marilyn Monroe's 29th birthday.
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The original Broadway production of "The Seven Year Itch" by George Axelrod opened at the Fulton Theater on November 20, 1952 and ran for 1141 performances. Tom Ewell reprises his role in the movie. The play's author collaborated on the screenplay for the movie version.
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The air conditioners so central to the film's plot were Emerson units from the 1954 model year - a Custom model for the living room and Compact models elsewhere. The Emerson logo was removed from the living room unit for filming.
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Gary Cooper, James Stewart and William Holden were considered for the role of Richard Sherman.
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The film rights to this film had originally been bought by Paramount Pictures. After director Billy Wilder left Paramount, the project moved to 20th Century-Fox.
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Final film of Donald MacBride.
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In the 1970s, Billy Wilder called the movie "a nothing picture because the picture should be done today without censorship... Unless the husband, left alone in New York while the wife and kid are away for the summer, has an affair with that girl there's nothing. But you couldn't do that in those days, so I was just straitjacketed. It just didn't come off one bit, and there's nothing I can say about it except I wish I hadn't made it. I wish I had the property now."
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George Axelrod brought his script from the play with him to his first meeting with Billy Wilder, and told Wilder he thought they could use it as a guide. Wilder famously replied, "Fine. We'll use it as a doorstop."
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According to George Axelrod, the reason The Girl has no name is because neither he, nor Billy Wilder could think of one.
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The caption that goes by the "Textures" picture in U.S. Camera is about the Ruwenzori Mountains (Africa).
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Final film of Victor Moore.
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Saul Bass created the opening animated title sequence for the film, his only title sequence for a 'Billy Wilder movie.
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Even though he played Richard Sherman 730 times in the Broadway production, and won a Tony Award for his troubles, Tom Ewell said he "never expected to get the part" in the film adaptation. "In fact, I had already taken a house on Martha's Vineyard for a vacation. Needless to say, I'm happy they did choose me."
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Footage featuring Yankees catcher Yogi Berra and pitcher "Steady" Eddie Lopat that was filmed during an Indians-Yankees game on September 1, 1954 was meant to be a part of the gossip sequence when Sherman daydreams about news of his activities with The Girl spreading throughout New York City. Shooting for the film began on that Wednesday afternoon. Twelve days earlier, Hedda Hopper reported on the upcoming scene in her gossip column, adding that the script for the movie was the "best I've ever read."
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Bell Chips, then a west coast regional brand trying to go national, sent cases of their goods to various movie sets. When Billy Wilder ended up casting them as the chips Marilyn Monroe ate, Bell became famous. However, the company went out of business in 1995.
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In an interview with Cameron Crowe in 1999, Billy Wilder revealed that the crew argued over who got to work on the dress-blowing moment.
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The film was banned in Ireland, due to the fact it was "indecent and unfit for general exhibition."
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The famous grate scene was parodied in a 2016 Snickers commercial featuring Willem Dafoe as a angry hungry Marilyn Monroe during the filming of the infamous scene.
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This was the only film that Billy Wilder made for 20th Century Fox.
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