by Scott McCulley & Tracy Kaler
The film was The Seven Year Itch.
The scene happened at Lexington and East 52nd Street. A train drove by as Marilyn Monroe stood on top of the subway grate, blowing her white dress up in the iconic scene.
The original scene was shot there, but it was only used in the ads. There was so much noise from the crowd that it couldn’t be edited out of the movie. The white dress’s pleated skirt also blew up too high, exposing her double pair of white panties. The film scene was way too racy for the times. The street was recreated and shot on a soundstage at 20th Century Studios for a more controlled environment instead.
Joe DiMaggio was present for the filming and was furious. He hated the dress and their short marriage was already on the rocks.
When they returned to Suite 1105 at the St. Regis on East 55th Street, they had a fight, which resulted in the marriage ending. The couple filed for divorce before the movie premiered. The Daily News headline on October 5, 1954 summed it up, “Marilyn Splits With Joe Over Sexy Pictures.”
The movie premiered in New York on June 1, 1955, also Monroe’s 29th birthday.