The Seven Year Itch (Billy Wilder, 1955) Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell
This is a stage farce transformed into a movie farce by Billy Wilder’s imagination. And while the cinematic additions are nice enough, there’s still a great wodge of unlovely George Axelrod play to be waded through. As it’s basically a two-hander, and Marilyn Monroe can’t be there all the time (because the set is Tommy Ewell’s flat) we have to put up an endless stream of his internal monologue – verbalised. When one sentence would have been too much.
So there’s that, and then there’s the fascinating MM – fascinating for me because I’m amazed that one actress can cram so many facial expressions into one second of screen time – of the order of two or three. In one second. I was so bored I wandered out of the room during the subway grating moment, and had to replay it. (It turned out to be much less ‘revealing’ than all of those production stills.)
I bought the set of ten Billy Wilder films, and may not bother with any more of them. I love The Apartment, but it’s not that long since I’ve seen it. I may watch Some Like It Hot again, if only to hear the best last line in all HW films.
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 20 March, 2017 | Now: 31 March, 2020