Mad Men & Wilder Women: Focus on Billy Wilder ACMI Presents

The Seven Year Itch

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“Laughs come thick and fast”

Variety

After sending his family on holiday, New York businessman Richard (Tom Ewell) stays behind to work through the summer. Little does he know that temptation is about to come knocking when a model (Marilyn Monroe) moves into the apartment upstairs.

Though constrained by the Hays Code, The Seven Year Itch demonstrates how Hollywood filmmakers tried to keep up with unrestricted European cinema and differentiate cinema from TV  by pushing the boundaries of what was allowed on screen. The result? One of the most iconic scenes in cinema.

For the first time in Wilder’s career, the narrative is propelled by the pursuit of an extramarital affair, and Monroe’s character, who to many symbolises the crossroad in Richard’s life, is celebrated for her sexuality instead of punished.