The Seven Year Itch

I spent a lot of exam grading exams, which allowed me to stay inside an air-conditioned office during the hot afternoon.  I gave a brief lecture and headed home.  I watched the Blu-ray disc of “The Seven Year Itch,” which I first saw many years ago.  There were signs of a New York that doesn’t exist anymore with Penn Station.  The big attraction if Marilyn Monroe.  I thought about the funniest lines she had were about classical music not having vocals, and after falling on the piano beach, saying that it happened to her all the time.  I think this movie introduced me to Rachmaninoff.  It seemed appropriate that I was watching this movie on a warm night, because it is a summer movie.  The introductory sequence with the Native Americans was very curious.  I had noticed before that Carolyn Jones, Morticia from The Addams Family, was Miss Finch the nurse.  Marguerite Chapman, who was the secretary Miss Morris, died in 1999.  I knew that Mr. Kruhulik looked familiar, and when I listened to the disc’s audio commentary, I learned that Robert Strauss was Animal in “Stalag 17.”  One shot of Tom Ewell had the bottle of raspberry soda out of focus.  The person who designed Marilyn’s famous white dress was William Travilla, who died in 1990.  Marilyn’s potato chips were Bell Brand Potato Chips, which went out of business in 1995.  The Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 was also used in David Lean’s “Brief Encounter.”  When I first saw this movie, I wondered why Ewell stuck his finger into the champagne bottle rather than just cover the top with his thumb.  I couldn’t imagine this movie in black and white because you couldn’t see Marilyn Monroe in her full beauty unless it was in color.  I thought she was funny in her Dazzledent commercial, and the references to The Creature from the Black Lagoon were amusing.  Billy Wilder said that there was nothing to the movie because the Tom Ewell character just imagines things and does nothing to feel guilty for.  I’m not sure, then, that Wilder understood people who always feel guilty.  The name Richard Sherman is known to today’s sports fans as a football player for the Seattle Seahawks.  It is well known that the Marilyn Monroe character does not have a name, and is just The Girl.  Watching the special features brings up the question of what the movie would have been like with Walther Matthau playing Richard.  I certainly didn’t see Matthau was the “imaginative” type.  The ending isn’t a witty ending with a hilarious last line of dialogue.  Even given Richard’s preoccupied and anxious state of mind, it’s hard to imagine him running out to the sidewalk without his shoes.  I kept wondering whether Marilyn would remember to phone Brady and Company to tell them about the two weeks off that Richard was taking off.  I would bet that she did not make the call.  The last show shows Richard running down the street with the newspaper wrapping coming off Ricky’s paddle.  Even if the play was gutted on its way to the screen, it didn’t seem to matter to movie fans.  They wanted to see Marilyn.  I don’t know much about Vanessa Brown, who played the Marilyn role on stage.  She was in movies like “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” “The Heiress,” “The Bad and the Beautiful,” and “Bless the Beasts and Children.”  I am glad that the remake of “The Seven Year Itch” with Al Pacino and Melanie Griffith was never made.  One other fun thing to see in the movie was the Saul Bass opening credit sequence.  It’s too bad that he would not do another Wilder movie.  Some of the people who died on May 3 include Jerzy Kosinski (1991), Jack Weston (1996), Zulu (2004), and Jackie Cooper (2011).  Today is a birthday for Rob Brydon (52) and Frankie Valli (83).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 3, Jimi Hendrix recorded “Voodoo Child” in 1968.  In 1980, Bob Seger reached Number One on the album chart with “Against the Wind.”  In 1986, Robert Palmer had the Number One single, “Addicted to Love.”  In 2003, Matt LeBlanc married Melissa McKnight.

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