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The Seven Year Itch: The Title Credits

Feature by Rumsey Taylor

Posted on: 08 August 2005

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Titles Designed by Saul Bass

An empty screen is filled with pastel rectangles. Certain patches will swing open, like a door, and reveal a credit beneath in white calligraphic handwriting on black. The film title is revealed in four segments (one for each word), occupying the extent of the frame’s width. The horizontal bar of the “T” in “Itch” bends to scratch the vertical shaft. The remaining credits appear in a similar fashion, appearing in varied locations about the frame. Billy Wilder’s final director’s credit is black lettering on a white card, literally springing out of the plane attached to an unwound coil.

A vehicle for Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch is a promotion of several controversies: temptation, infidelity, and, predominantly, sex. However, it is not Monroe’s character’s intention to encourage these traits—she is amiable, fashionable, and oblivious to the torment she elicits in men. Like this character the credits sequence is playful and fashionable; the color mimics her dress and her playful activity. Wilder’s final credit springs out of the plane and demonstrates the response of arousal Monroe famously elicited in this film’s archetypal image.