Elliott Erwitt on the Set of The Seven Year Itch

Elliott Erwitt first shot Monroe on the set of Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955). He photographed the iconic scene in which her white dress flies up as a train passes through the subway below in both colour and black and white. Whilst Monroe was crippled by anxiety and self-doubt when shooting on film, she enjoyed the intimacy of photography. As her press agent, John Springer, said, she was “pleased if you liked her most recent motion picture but if you talked about her recent magazine cover or photo layout, she really came alive with pleasure.”

Erwitt would go on to photograph Monroe relaxing in her dressing gown between shoots of Some Like It Hot (1959) when her ease in front of the camera shows through in her relaxed poses and wide smiles. He was charmed by Monroe, saying he “had always thought that all those amusing remarks she was supposed to have made for the press had probably been manufactured and mimeographed by her press agent, but they weren’t. She was a very bright person, an instinctive type… It would be difficult to take a bad picture of her,” he has said with his usual modesty, “she’s very photogenic.”

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