After a short while, I’m continuing with my Marilyn Monroe movie reviews. This time I took a look at the famous The Seven Year itch (1955). You might not know a lot about a movie just the fact that it’s the one with the iconic Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway grate in a white dress scene.
As my previous Marilyn Monroe reviews Gentlemen prefer blondes or that Marilyn Monroe movie and How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe, I watched The Seven Year itch on a train as well. I guess I have started a new tradition for myself. Every time I travel home I watch a Marilyn Monroe movie.
Let me share with you my thoughts on this one.
Even though Marilyn is just a minor character in the story that revolves around Richard Sherman, played by Tom Ewell, she is quite significant.
To be fair, every movie she stars in turns into “that Marilyn Monroe movie”.
The basic storyline: it is about a middle-aged guy going through a mid-life crisis. His wife and child leave for the summer and a poor guy is left home alone in hot weather with a hot Marilyn.
How can he not cheat on his wife when sweet Marilyn is right there?
This movie was just as I imagined a movie from 1955 would be like.
It contains lots of features that would not work well if the movie was released nowadays.
It’s a fact that Hollywood is full of sexist movies. That is a fact now. That was a fact back then.
Marilyn is a perfect character for that.
So far in every movie I saw staring at her she ended up playing hot dumb blond.
In The Seven Year itch, she plays The Girl. No name was really given to her character. She’s just the girl next door.
Never have I expected a movie from 1955 to break the fourth wall as they did. There is one scene where no one knows the name of the girl and the main character Richard sarcastically says that maybe she’s Marilyn Monroe.
That came out as a surprise to me and I laughed so hard.
Marilyn plays a girl every guy falls in love with. She often complains about this unpleasant destiny and states she doesn’t want to get mary any time soon.
She’s so sweet and naive because she actually feels safe with a married guy because she doesn’t believe he could make a move on her when he’s already married. Believes in good in people.
My favorite scene got to be the one where Marilyn sits in an armchair and looks stunning. Richard is having one of his monologues about life and mansplains something to Marilyn. She’s not paying any attention. Instead, she’s trying to figure out a way to get to his airconditioning as it’s hot summer in New York. We all have different goals and dreams.
Of course, I loved the subway scene as well.
Honestly, I thought there would be more of that scene considering the enormous hype at the time it was shot. There are way more photos from filming the scene than from the actual movie.
The most surprising to me was the Richards monologues. When he first started talking to no one but himself I was quite baffled and tried to figure out who is he talking to.
These days when the creators want to give a character some deeper meaningful speech or explanation of their actions, they try to narrate it as a dialogue. The character is talking to a friend, therapist, writing a diary, someone else is telling the story, but talking to themself about themself is unusual.
I have a bad habit of tuning out when a guy starts to rant and complain about whatever.
Movies, tv shows, real life. If a man starts to complain and pity themselves about something as ridiculous as feeling tempted to cheat on his wife- I’m out. It was very hard for me to focus on Richards’s monologues.
Tom Ewell did an incredible job. His facial expressions and basic acting were much better than his characters’ thoughts and words. I enjoyed his performance rather than the character he was portraying.
Why was Richard Sherman a bad person?
Well, let me start.
First of all, he believes he’s a good guy and wants a pat on the back for it.
He cheats on his wife and stops not because it’s morally wrong but because he’s too afraid of the reciprocations she could make out of it.
He’s worried about his career rather than his family.
He took advantage of a way too young and naive girl.
His actions are irrational, which is ridiculous considering his constant overthinking.
He’s convinced every woman wants him.
He’s trying to prove to his wife that the women find him irresistible and tries to make her jealous. Seriously like what are you gonna win with that one?
He’s making poor attempts at excusing his actions.
I understand life is an unpredictable mess, shit happens and sometimes we stumble. Those moments are all about what we chose to do with a bad situation next. In my opinion, Richard chooses poorly and selfishly.
In the end, that felt very rushed, he chooses good and runs back to his wife. Marilyn gets what she always wanted – an apartment with airconditioning.
It’s exactly what you might expect from a movie called The seven-year itch.
The movie contains some light moments when you actually laugh, but most of the time it’s making a moral dilemma out of something that’s pretty morally clear.
Don’t be a dick. That’s it. It’s that simple.
Somehow they managed to do 105 minutes of rom-com out of it. Without Tom Ewell’s spectacular performance and sheer Marilyn Monroe’s presence, this movie would not have any success.
The White Dress made this movie legend that it is.
Most of the people have no idea what it’s the movie about just that Marilyn’s skirt gets blown in it.
Unfortunately, I liked this Marilyn Monroe movie the least from the ones I saw so far.
Stay tuned for the next one. xo