Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
The Seven Year Itch DVD (1955)

"The Seven Year Itch" may be famous for turning Marilyn Monroe into an icon as she posed over a subway grating, but as the new DVD release reveals, we only got a tiny glimpse of what we could have seen.

TECHNICAL FEATURES

Picture A jewel in Marilyn Monroe's movie career, this film has received the best restoration work of all the ten titles in 'The Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection'. At times the image quality is flawless, and it truly enhances her screen appeal.

Sound The witty dialogue basis of this movie means it requires nothing special in terms of a sound mix, but the 3.0 effort on offer does a good job of splitting the Alfred Newman score between the front speakers.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Back Story This 23-minute Fox TV presentation comes with the type of opening graphics and voiceover that make you think you're about to watch a programme on car crashes. Instead this show details an interesting battle that director Billy Wilder fought with the censorship board of the time and with the Catholic League of Decency, a society that could instruct millions of Catholics not to go see the film and thus hurt its box office potential.

One of the interviewees is writer of the play, and co-writer of the movie, George Axelrod. He and Billy had to strip away many of their best lines due to their sexual nature or what they implied. What the censor board hadn't reckoned with was Billy's ability to shoot the film in such a fashion that the missing lines would not mean the movie would be ruined. As George reveals though, there were many times they thought the film would be unworkable with all the restrictions imposed upon them.

Other gems include a screen test for Walter Matthau and newly-discovered racier footage of Marilyn above the subway grating and in the bathtub scene. The shooting of the air vent scene cost Marilyn her marriage to baseball legend Joe Di Maggio and this turbulent story is covered in some detail, along with Marilyn's problems on the set of the movie.

Additional Extra Features Also on the DVD is a restoration comparison, a short Movietone reel, two deleted scenes (the naughty ones!), and a small image gallery.

Region: 2
Chapters: 22
Ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 3.0
Technical Features: Scene selection, multiple languages and subtitles, and English captions for the hearing impaired.

This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.

End Credits

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: George Axelrod, Billy Wilder

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

Genre: Comedy

Length: 105 minutes

Cinema: 1955

DVD: 5 August 2002

Country: USA