The Seven-Year Itch

Must-See Cinema! One of the raciest movie of the 1950s!

Famous for the moment when Marilyn Monroe lets the updraft from a subway ventilation shaft lift her skirt, this Billy Wilder comedy gave a catchphrase to the nation and a new insight into marriage. It follows the summer misadventures of Manhattan publisher Tom Ewell, whose imagination goes into overdrive when his wife and children go off on holiday.

Original poster for the 1955 sex comedy The Seven Year ItchAlone for the first time in years, Ewell starts to fantasise about the voluptuous blonde (Monroe) who moves into the apartment upstairs. If you haven’t seen it before, you could well wonder what all the fuss was about, but in the more prudish 1950s this film -- and the George Axelrod Broadway hit it was based on -- were very risqué indeed.

The film is still very funny, and beautifully played by Monroe and Ewell (plus veteran Victor Moore as a plumber; don’t ask!), but the attitudes, of course, have dated. Just make allowances for the period and enjoy yourself.

– Tony Sloman, Radio Times

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