The Seven Year Itch

SevenYearItchSuggested by Brad Nelson • A married New Yorker whose wife is away for the summer must control his sexual fantasies when a voluptuous new neighbor moves into his apartment building and wants to make friends.
Buy or Rent on Amazon
Suggest a video • (628 views)

This entry was posted in Videoshelf. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Seven Year Itch

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Before watching this, I’m pretty sure I’d never watched a Marilyn Monroe film all the way through. This was likely a first. I’m currently watching The River of No Return with Robert Mitchum. A surprise in this film is that I didn’t realize that Marilyn was such an outstanding singer (despite the horrible songs in this particular film).

    In The Seven Year Itch, Tom Ewell dutifully carries the bucketful of corny comedy delivered in out-loud stream-of-consciousness fashion. I supposed he did those lines as well as could be expected of anyone (although I kept thinking that Walter Matthau might have done this better).

    The real sparkle in this film is Marilyn who is fresh, vivacious, and ripe as a peach. I wouldn’t say that she plays the dumb-blonde as much as she plays the opposite of a femme fatale (whatever name you’d like to call that). She’s dangerous only in her faux ah-shucks innocence that makes her even more attractive. She nails the role of “What, little ol’ me, attractive?”

    She knows exactly what she’s doing to Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) and they both enjoy the sexual tension that may go somewhere or it may not. But it fills the room with a refreshing and life-enhancing sparkle. This is a light movie and the infidelity aspect is a comic moment, not a vehicle for moralizing, although there is a good moral at the end of the film that belatedly ties it all together.

    Marilyn has probably never looked better than in this film. Although I found much of the corny dialogue by Ewell to test my patience, Monroe carries the film with her soft and ingratiating sizzle. She never crosses over to vamp. And the film is better for this subtlety.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I commend your dispassionate description of Monroe’s gifts.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks, Mr. Kung.

      I’m 2/3 into “River of No Return” (also starring Monroe) and this movie is abundantly mediocre. Marilyn’s talent (except for her singing) are wasted or misdirected. Perhaps they are mis-
      Directed, even though Otto Preminger (“Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “In Harm’s Way”) is directing. There is some nice cinematography shot in the Canadian Rockies but that’s about it.

      Except for Robert Mitchum. None of the above applies to him. You’d be hard-pressed to define “movie star” as opposed to “great actor.” Well, here’s one possible way to refine that definition: Mitchum is acting with a stature and smoothness as if his character is in a bubble insulated from the surrounding mediocrity. As a Mitchum fan (any sensible person is), you can watch this just for his performance. He’s a fine actor but he also has that star power that can light your way through — and light up — this kind of bland film.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I agree with you about “River of No Return”. I don’t even think I sat through the whole film.

        Mitchum is an interesting actor. I liked him in many of his roles, but I believe he would have been the perfect Philip Marlowe in his thirties. He did play Marlow when he was in his late fifties, but I think that was too late.

        Although he was nothing like the character in the books, he played a believable Pug Henry in the Winds of War and its sequel.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m not sure if I’ve seen Mitchum in “The Big Sleep.” I might have to check that out. A rundown on a couple of my Mitchum favorites:

          + Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison: Tame by today’s standards, but a rich and simple look at a Marine stranded on an island with a nun (Deborah Kerr). Huston’s masterful direction (not always a huge fan of his stuff) holds your interest in this two-person (plus a few unnamed Japs here and there) story. Just two actors. Nowhere to hide mediocrity. Like Sinatra or Karen Carpenter singing into the mike without benefit of voice enhancers and pitch perfecters. And neither needs it. Mitchum’s performance is particularly poignant as the plain-spoken love-struck Marine. They don’t make them like this anymore. “Father Goose” with Cary Grant is a splendid comedy in the same vein (although Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is not comedy). Watch them both if you haven’t already.

          + The Enemy Below: Another sparse movie that depends upon the strong Mitchum persona to draw you in and hold you. Along with the splendid Curd Jürgens as the German U-boat captain, both of them do just that. Bogart. Kirk Douglas. Gregory Peck. John Wayne. Jimmy Stewart. Clarke Gable. Richard Burton. Steve McQueen. James Cagney. And possibly William Holden. The list is short of actors who had the screen presence to command a movie on their own is a short one. Mitchum is one of them.

          + The Longest Day: To my mind, he steals this picture as he single-handedly defines all-American leader.

          + El Dorado: How do you play a charming drunk without the usual dropsy comic relief? Mitchum does it. Wayne is brilliant as well. Here’s one of the best move lines ever.

          + Midway: A great movie not made great by Mitchum alone in this all-star cast. But he adds some nice gravitas as Bull Halsey.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s review of the TV show My Living Doll, with Julie Newmar (perhaps best known for playing Catwoman) as Rhoda the Robot. He noted that he extensively studied her, purely dispassionately as any good roboticist would do.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I finished “River of No Return” with Monroe and Mitchum last night. It’s a completely forgettable movie except for the stars. But there is one hilarious moment. Monroe and Mitchum are going down a river in a raft and the Injuns are attacking from the shore. A couple Native Redskins swim into the river and one makes it as far as grabbing Marilyn’s shirt and ripping it from her before he falls back into the river. (Underneath is some white blousey thing.) Just then a large wave comes from the opposite side of the boat and drenches Monroe.

    And where is the camera at this wet t-shirt moment? Preminger has it pointed behind her and from quite a distance. And he calls himself a director.

Leave a Reply to Brad Nelson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *