Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 1955. Charles K. Feldman Group, Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, George Axelrod, based on the play by George Axelrod. Cinematography by Milton R. Krasner. Produced by Charles K. Feldman, Billy Wilder. Music by Alfred Newman. Production Design by George W. Davis, Lyle R. Wheeler. Costume Design by Travilla. Film Editing by Hugh S. Fowler. Golden Globe Awards 1955.
Billy Wilder comedy that is most notable for the now historic image of Marilyn Monroe standing above a subway grate while her dress billows in the rushing air coming from below. Tom Ewell (recreating his stage role) is hilarious as a happily married man who sends his wife (Evelyn Keyes) and son away to the Hamptons for the summer and remains behind to continue work in New York City. When a gorgeous blonde (Monroe) moves in upstairs, he discovers that he is suffering from the urge that hits all married men after seven years of marriage: the need to cheat! Monroe’s timing couldn’t be better, but most of the racier aspects of the original play suffered the wrath of the censors’ scissors, leaving the entire thing a little limp. This film was the last Monroe would film before studying at the Actors Studio in New York City; there’s a distinction easily made between her easy comic timing and the overly self-conscious work in Bus Stop that would follow a year later.