Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Seven Year Itch (1955)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

In director Billy Wilder's romantic sex comedy:

  • about the dilemma of a married Manhattanite Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) after seven years of marriage to Helen (Evelyn Keyes) - in a fantasy scene with his wife, he bragged: "Seven years we've been married and not once have I done anything like that. Not once. Don't think l couldn't have either. Because l could have, plenty. Plenty. Don't laugh, Helen. l happen to be very attractive to women. This isn't a thing one likes to tell his wife but women have been throwing themselves at me for years. That's right, Helen. Beautiful ones, plenty of them. Acres and acres of them" - and then fantasized in three scenarios about attempted seductions that he had refused, including a spoof of the From Here to Eternity beach kissing scene
  • the scene of plain, nudism-loving and middle-aged health-food waitress (Doro Merande) in a vegetarian restaurant on 3rd Avenue who espoused the virtues of nudity and naturism to customer Richard - she explained that although she didn't accept tips, she did solicit contributions for a fund established for a nudist camp: "Nudism is such a worthy cause. We must bring the message to the people. We must teach them to unmask their poor suffocating bodies and let them breathe again. Clothes are the enemy. Without clothes, there'd be no sickness, there'd be no war. I ask you, sir, can you imagine two great armies on the battlefield, no uniforms, completely nude? No way of telling friend from foe. All brothers, together"
  • the introduction of light-headed, gorgeous and voluptuous upstairs neighbor - The Girl (Marilyn Monroe as a quintessential blonde) to her married New Yorker neighbor Richard Sherman, a paper-back publisher; she had . forgotten her outer building key so she hit his buzzer to get in, allowing her entrance to the upstairs apartment that she had rented for the summer
  • the "balcony scene" when the Girl told Richard: Let me just go put something on. I'll go into the kitchen and get dressed...Yes, when it's hot like this - you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox."
  • Richard's fantasy of seducing the Girl by playing Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto, while wearing an elegant red dressing gown, as she begged him: "Rachmaninoff...It isn't fair...Every time I hear it, I go to pieces...It shakes me, it quakes me. It makes me feel goose-pimply all over. I don't know where I am or who I am or what I'm doing. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't ever stop!"
  • the 'party' scene of him helping to fasten the straps of her seductive white dress, while she was holding a bottle of champagne and a bag of potato chips: "I figured it just isn't right to drink champagne in matador pants. Would you mind fastening my straps in the back?...Potato chips, champagne, do you really think you can get it open?" - there was a long struggle to open the bottle, then the Girl's reassurances: "Hey, did you ever try dunking a potato chip in champagne? It's real crazy. Here...Isn't that crazy?...Everything's fine. A married man, air-conditioning, champagne and potato chips. This is a wonderful party"
  • the memorable sequence of the two playing Chopsticks on the piano - she joined him on the piano bench, banging and singing out the tune with him in a child-like manner; after she told him: "I don't know about Rachmaninoff and this shakes you and quakes you stuff, but this really gets me...and how...I can feel the goose pimples...Don't stop. Don't stop," he attempted to kiss her, they fell backwards off the piano bench
The Famous Subway Scene
  • the Girl's famous pose in a white dress flying and billowing up around her knees when a train whooshed by as she stood spread-legged astride a New York subway grating to cool herself during a hot summer: ("Isn't it delicious?"); Richard standing nearby observed: "Sort of cools the ankles, doesn't it?"


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