Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Keep Cool ... the Marilyn Way!

It's too darn hot out there, so why not strattle a subway grating and let the fabric fly!

That's precisely what Marilyn Monroe did in the silly 1954 classic 'The Seven Year Itch', cooing with seduction over wary Tom Ewell. The exact location she performed her iconic flirtation, filmed at 2 in the morning, was on the grating at 52st Street and Lexington. We recommend going down and trying it yourself, although expect to get stares from the Jean Louis David hair salon nearby.

One place you won't find that famous grating in is the actual movie. Crowds of wily men and adoring Marilyn fans (1,500-2,000 of them, to be precise) were so crazed that the footage could not be used for the actual film. (The version in the movie was filmed on a soundstage). However the arguably more-famous publicity stills by photographer Joe Coudert, later used in the movie poster, were taken from the shoot.

A 52 foot version of Marilyn's pose was hoisted above a movie theater on 42nd Street at its film premiere, and images of it may be the most recognizable film advertising in history.

Graham Smith wrote a very enjoyable but rather exhaustive analysis of that scene, putting it all in deep philosophical and Freudian terms. Definitely worth a read.

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