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:

  • the dilemma of a married, paperback publisher and Manhattanite Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) who was prone to fantasy - after seven years of marriage to his wife Helen (Evelyn Keyes), 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 he 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 innocently told Richard how she kept cool during the summer: "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"
  • in a memorable "Chopsticks" sequence, she was startled that he banged out the tune Chopsticks. She exclaimed: "Chopsticks! I can play that too. Shove over." She joined him on the piano bench, and they sang: ("Bum bum bum bum bum bum...") and played together. When they finished, she giggled and gushed: "I don't know about Rachmaninoff, whether it shakes you and quakes you and stuff, but this really gets me...and how!" After another hearty round of the song, she admitted: "I can feel the goose-pimples...." She began again, but he stopped. When she asked why: ("Don't stop. Don't stop"), he approached his musical partner with a romantically-snooty Charles Boyer-like accent:

    "You know why...Because, because now I'm going to take you in my arms and kiss you, very quickly and very hard."

    She jerked backwards, and his lips never quite reached hers as expected. They fell backwards off the piano bench as she blurted out: "Hey! Wait a minute." They were left sprawled on the floor together:

    "What happened? I kinda lost track."

The Famous Subway Scene
  • one of film's most iconic and immortal sexual poses was found in this film; the Girl's famous pose in a white dress flying and billowing up around her knees; the sequence began as they left a movie theater screening. They discussed the movie they had just seen: The Creature From The Black Lagoon. She felt sympathy for the creature:

    "Didn't you just love the picture? I did. But I just felt so sorry for the creature at the end...He was kinda scary-looking, but he wasn't really all bad. I think he just craved a little affection - you know, a sense of being loved and needed and wanted."

  • then, she stood spread-legged astride a New York subway vent grating to cool herself during a hot summer, when a train whooshed by underneath her. She smiled as moving trains below blew and lifted her dress upwards above her legs with a rush of air: "Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway. Isn't it delicious?"
  • she attempted, unsuccessfully, to keep her dress down; standing close by, Richard gaped at her and observed: "Sort of cools the ankles, doesn't it?"; soon, another train came by, and she squealed with child-like delight as it blew her skirt up one more time ("Oh, here comes another one!").

Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell)

Spoof of "From Here to Eternity"

Waitress Espousing the Virtues of Nudity

The Girl (Marilyn Monroe) - The Upstairs Neighbor

Balcony Scene: "I keep my undies in the icebox"

Richard's Fantasy of Seducing The Girl With Rachmaninoff

Strap-Fastening Help

Playing Chopsticks Together


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