Review: ‘The Seven Year Itch’

The film version of The Seven Year Itch bears only a fleeting resemblance to George Axelrod's play of the same name on Broadway. The screen adaptation concerns only the fantasies, and omits the acts, of the summer bachelor, who remains totally, if unbelievably, chaste. Morality wins if honesty loses, but let's not get into that. What counts is that laughs come thick and fast, that the general entertainment is light and gay.

The film version of The Seven Year Itch bears only a fleeting resemblance to George Axelrod’s play of the same name on Broadway. The screen adaptation concerns only the fantasies, and omits the acts, of the summer bachelor, who remains totally, if unbelievably, chaste. Morality wins if honesty loses, but let’s not get into that. What counts is that laughs come thick and fast, that the general entertainment is light and gay.

The performance of Marilyn Monroe is baby-dollish as the dumb-but-sweet number upstairs who attracts the eye of the guy, seven years married and restless, whose wife and child have gone off for the summer. The acting kudos belongs to Tom Ewell, a practiced farceur and pantomimist who is able to give entire conviction to the long stretches of soliloquy, a considerable test of Ewell’s technique.

The Seven Year Itch

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Billy Wilder; Producer Billy Wilder, Charles K. Feldman; Screenplay George Axelrod, Billy Wilder; Camera Milton Krasner; Editor Hugh S. Fowler; Music Alfred Newman; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, George W. Davis

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Marilyn Monroe Tom Ewell Evelyn Keyes Sonny Tufts Robert Strauss Victor Moore

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