Decades after her tragic death, Marilyn Monroe remains relevant as a sex symbol. All her life she could not escape her fame. Public interest in Monroe crept into all facets of her life. It even prompted a film studio to reshoot a film scene that is now considered truly iconic. The darn seventh year The production team originally shot the famous scene in which Monroe’s dress blew up around her on location in Manhattan. It later had to be reshot on a sound stage due to crowd interference.
Marilyn Monroe’s dress that blows up is one of her most memorable
Before her tragic death at the age of 36, Marilyn Monroe was featured in countless magazines and 33 films. While All about Eve was her breakthrough film, it was far from her most memorable. Monroe’s most iconic role was probably in The darn seventh year. At least it’s the movie with her most famous scene.
In the film, Monroe’s character, The Girl, becomes the object of a married man’s infatuation. Richard Sherman, played by Tom Ewell, found out about his tendency to cheat in his seventh year of marriage, just as he met his new, very beautiful neighbor. He takes them out to dinner and to the movies, but eventually returns to his family, who are spending the summer out of state. The film captures the iconic moment when Monroe stands over a subway grate as “the girl” and her dress is blown up around her.
20th Century Fox attempted to film Marilyn Monroe’s dress scene on location
The scene was the most iconic moment in the entire film. In fact, you could say that this was the moment that defined Marilyn Monroe’s career in a way. Capturing the scene and the photos that would later become more famous than the film scene was no easy feat.
Director Billy Wilder planned to film the moment on location in New York City. A large crowd formed as they began filming on Lexington Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets. Each time Monroe’s dress was blown up, as portrayed in the scene, the crowd reacted enthusiastically. The screaming was so loud that the footage was completely unusable. It was an important moment in the film, so something had to be done.
Billy Wilder later reshot the scene on a sound stage
The roar of the crowd during each take made it impossible for the production team to use the footage captured on the streets of Manhattan. Back then, it was impossible to separate the sound intended for the film from the sound of the increasingly enthusiastic crowd.
The production team went to a sound stage and re-filmed the scene to solve the problem. Wilder closed the stage to everyone to ensure the cameras recorded usable footage. Melissa Stevens, the granddaughter of famed photographer Sam Shaw, told Biography: “Billy Wilder reshot the scene on a closed sound stage in Los Angeles. Only my grandfather, the set photographer, was allowed into the studio.” The famous photo of Marilyn Monroe, shown here in a flowing dress, was actually taken on set. Shaw failed to capture the moment on a busy New York City street.
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