The Seven Year Itch (1955)

If you’re a fan of Marilyn Monroe, you’ve probably already seen The Seven Year Itch. If not, this film is a must-see, owing to its iconic moments and classic characters.

In Billy Wilder’s 1955 film, Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is left alone in his New York apartment while his wife Helen (Evelyn Keys) and son Ricky (Tom Nolan) vacation in Maine. When he reads a book claiming that men tend to have extra-marital affairs after the seven-year mark in their marriage, he decides to take advantage of his wife’s absence.

Enter “the Girl” (Marilyn Monroe). Monroe’s character is a walking fantasy who effortlessly tantalizes Richard. It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with her. On the one hand, she’s the woman who tempts Richard into unfaithfulness. However, viewers feel bad that she must endure Richard’s lack of charm and wit. The most notable aspect of the Girl is her obliviousness towards her own allure.

We’re all familiar with Monroe’s iconic dress scene: Monroe walks over a subway grate and the skirt of her dress blows up while she tries to hold it down. Well, you can find that scene in The Seven Year Itch.

The most dubious fixture of this film is the lack of identity in Monroe’s character. The reason for her ambiguity is because she’s nameless. Supposedly, Wilder and co-writer George Axelrod could not think of a suitable name, which is why Monroe remained “the Girl.”

Nonetheless, Monroe’s lack of identity contributes to the mystery of the film’s plot. Regardless of the immorality of the situation, we find ourselves rooting for Richard and the Girl. Despite the futility of their relationship, or perhaps owing to it, their fling is undeniably enthralling.

The Seven Year Itch is a tale of temptation, mystery and “harmless” side affairs. The film provided Monroe with one of her most iconic roles, one that is unforgettable to date.

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