Thinks happen

Comments and journal pages.


Marilyn, the dress and the subway...
















Eighteen? No! This is actually a duplicate of number four!




























The total is up to Forty-Four now. It has taken more than a year to find one new one. Is everyone looking?

Thousands of people visit this page. Some from Morgan Hill, California, download every picture on it.

These pictures were all found on the net somewhere but it took a long time. Isn't it nice to have them all in one spot?

Is the total really just 44?

I suppose everyone has seen this photo more than once.

Or was it this one…?

The event was a publicity stunt dreamt up by director Billy Wilder and team to promote the movie Seven Year Itch. It starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. The event was the filming of the sidewalk scene of Marilyn’s character enjoying the breeze coming up from the subway grating on a hot New York evening.

originally uploaded by
Daisuke Tanaakaa.

These poses of Marilyn have been used in thousands of venues including posters, comics, lampoons, t-shirts, ceramic statuettes, and have been repeated on stages by actors from look-alike mimics to female impersonators. It’s famous.

The image has reached a visual familiarity status like Mickey Mouse or Joe the Camel, the portraits on paper money or the Che Guevera stencil, the Statue of Liberty or the Michelangelo’s statue of David. It’s very famous.
Sure, with today’s computers one could make a capture of each unique frame of the whole sequence if one wanted to bother. But that’s not the mystery here. Where are the photographs caught by maybe hundreds of still cameras on the scene? Had the paparazzi not been invented yet?

In the crowd there must have been other cameras. Where are those pictures?

The film crew and actors drew crowds of casual onlookers, news photographers and fans. There were many pictures taken. Many. Some were deliberate poses for promotional purposes; others were shot by professionals. Some of these photographs have reached artistic fame. Where are their out-takes and rejects? Are they still tied up in copyright protection? It’s been fifty years!

Some of the posed shots were used for posters, print advertising and labels, often artfully adjusted to fit many venues.
It has become the prime scene of the movie. Iconic if you wish.

I count is now up to just 44 unique shots. How many have you seen?

These shots with Tom Ewell were done apparently during shooting or rehersal or set up.

You think maybe that these shots might be just seconds apart? Almost a sequence?

Look at the picture again, only this time examine the clothing on Tom Ewell. The coat tail and the pants cuffs will tell you that he has moved around quite a bit between those two shots.

Here is Ewell on the other side of Marilyn, a still from the movie for sure. You usually see this shot cropped to just Marilyn. (see the media jackets and posters above)

This is a long shot by professional photographer Sam Shaw showing some of the crowd behind the camera.

Marilyn Monroe This is a new addition as of 04/19/2008. It is almost the same moment as the Sam Shaw photo above but from a different angle. It is likely a Sam Shaw photo too. It was located by DRXBLOG who has quite a store of Marilyn Monroe pictures as well as other celebrities. Note: It is entered as #09 so that it will appear with the similar shot.

Marilyn Monroe

Getting just the right amount of "wind" blowing up through the grating, appeared to take some experimenting.

Here is a bit of what has probably happened to many of these photographs. The shot on the right is a combination of the other two. The middle one is probably the original. In the PhotoShopped version on the right, the right arm has been brushed out and certain bits(nickers) from the first panel have been substituted...

The dapper gentleman(identified as Billy Wilder himself)enters. These three shots were done apparently within a second or two of each other, only from different angles. See the position of the flood light or the iron grate in the sidewalk.
The gentleman is in the right panel but gone in the left one. He might have just stepped aside or was he erased?

These two shots, comparing the angle, the lighting and the grating in the sidewalk, are probably from the same pose as the five just above. Some of the background has been blacked out, including the theater marquee.

The poster on the right is from 20 Century Fox. Is that a reflection of the camera in the storefront window
....there, just at her knee? The one on the left is from Almost Wholesale if you would like a copy. It was apparently shot during the same session as the one from Fox.

These three panels are by photographer George S. Zimbel. There are two more from the "Stand-On-One-Foot" pose.

These three look similar to the camera position of the three above. The origin is uncertain.
Three more from the session in front of the merchant's door.
The photgraphs in this strip are all by the excellent photographer, George Zimbel. Starting from the left, the numbers are:43, 37, 36, 39 and 35.

This sensitive shot from that same night and the strip of five above are all by
George S. Zimbel.

This pair compares one shot from "Seven Year Itch" to a scene from a very old silent movie. This is from a site that theorizes that that maybe, just maybe Billy Wilder might have remembered this scene and used the idea for the famous Marilyn subway scene.

See also: Thinks happen: A Marilyn Moment

Or perhaps
HERE for additional Marilyn Moments...

If you are a real MM fan, try THIS SITE for a very large gallery of photographs.

Labels: , , , ,