The Seven Year Itch (1955) Script

Manhattan Island derives its name from its earliest inhabitants...

...the Manhattan Indians.

They were a peaceful tribe, setting traps, fishing, hunting.

There was a custom among them:

Every July, when the heat became unbearable...

...they would send their wives and children away.

Up the river to the highlands...

...or, if they could afford it, to the seashore.

The husbands remained behind to attend to business:

Setting traps, fishing and hunting.

Our story has nothing whatsoever to do with Indians.

It plays 500 years later.

Portland, Rockland, Plymouth and Bar Harbor.

Departing at 6:30...

We brought up the subject to show how nothing has changed.

Manhattan wives and children are still sent away in the summer.

Husbands remain behind to attend to business:

Setting traps, fishing and hunting.

We want you to meet a typical Manhattan husband.

This is Mr. Richard Sherman, his wife, Helen, and son, Ricky.

Ricky, what are you doing?

He's an interplanetary spy. I blasted him into dust.

Cut it out. You're going to Maine, not to Mars. Goodbye, Helen.

Goodbye, Richard. Why can't Daddy come up with us?

Daddy has to stay and make money Don't worry. I'll be fine.

How will I get my allowance? I'll mail it to you.

You promised to eat properly and not smoke.

And you promised not to drink.

I'll call you tonight at 10. Goodbye, Helen.

Goodbye, Ricky. Let me kiss you.

Take that thing off. He's shutting off my oxygen!

Come on, we'll miss the train.

Helen, Ricky, the paddle! You forgot the paddle!

Ticket, mister? My son forgot the paddle.

Sorry, only those holding tickets admitted through the gates.

Oh, no, not me.

And I'm not gonna smoke either.

Look at them. Awful. The train isn't even out of the station.

Gotta get back to the office. Man, is this hot!

A few more facts about Mr. Sherman:

He works for a publishing firm, Brady & Company.

They publish those pocket editions, two bits in any drugstore.

Old Mr. Brady is the boss, but Mr. Sherman is the key man.

He keeps the whole operation together.

In the 25-cent book business, you can sell anything.

Even the old, dreary classics.

The trick is to soup up the title...

...and get an interesting cover.

It's all a question of imagination...

...and Mr. Sherman has a lot of imagination.

That'll be all, Miss Morris.

Oh, no, not me. Not me.

And I'm not gonna smoke either.

Some husbands run wild because their wives are away.

Do anything they want.

Like Charlie Lederer. Annie was gone two days...

...when Charlie got himself tattooed.

Green dragon on his chest, butterfly on the shoulders.

Not me. Oh, no, work, work--

I'll work till 6, then have dinner at the saloon--

No! No saloon, no drinking like Dr. Summers said.

I know, I'll try that vegetarian restaurant.

Health food, that's the stuff.

The human body is a very delicate machine.

You can't run it on martinis and goulash.

Especially in this hot weather.

Miss, may I have the check, please? Yes, sir.

Let's see. We had the special, the soybean hamburger...

...with French-fried soybeans.

Soybean sherbet and peppermint tea.

I had a cocktail to start.

Yes, we had the sauerkraut juice on the rocks.

You'll be proud to know that the meal was only 260 calories.

I am proud.

That'll be $1.27.

Keep the change. We don't permit tipping.

I can put it in our nudist camp fund.

You do that. Oh, thank you, sir.

It's a worthy cause. We must bring the message to the people.

To unmask our suffocating bodies and let them breathe again.

Without clothes there'd be no sickness and no war.

Can you imagine two armies on the battlefield...

...no uniforms, completely nude?

No way of telling friend from foe, all brothers together.

Just a moment, sir. You forgot your paddle.

Thank you.

I like this house.

Why does Helen want to move into one of those...

...buildings out of Riot in Cellblock 11?

So much nicer here. Just three apartments.

Ours, Kaufmans upstairs...

...and two guys on the top, interior decorators or something.

It's peaceful with everybody gone. Sure is peaceful.

No Howdy Doody. No Captain Video.

No smell of cooking. No "What happened at the office?"

I shot Mr. Brady in the head, made violent love to Miss Morris...

...and set fire to 300,000 copies of Little Women. That's what happened.

What can happen at the office? It sure is peaceful.

"Use the opener, Richard."

"Carbonated water, citric acid, corn syrup...

...artificial raspberry flavoring...

...vegetable colors and preservative."

Why is this stuff better for you...

...than a little scotch and a twist of lemon?

I'd really like to know.

Helen's gonna call at 10.

I guess I better do a little reading.

I brought Dr. Brubaker's manuscript home with me--

Ricky!

Okay, where is it? Where is the other one?

I know it's lurking here somewhere to get me.

Where is Captain Video's other roller skate?

Now, who's that?

Yes, what is it? I'm sorry to bother you.

I forgot my key, so I had to ring your bell.

It's perfectly all right.

Anytime. Anything else I can do for you?

Would you mind pressing it again?

My fan's caught in the door.

Oh, of course.

Thanks. Do you live in our building?

In the Kaufmans' apartment. They're in Europe.

I know you'll be happy here. It's a very quiet building.

No dogs, no children, just two interior decorators.

And you, and of course, me.

You all right? Oh, sure, fine.

Well, good night.

Good night.

Well, now.

Maybe I should have asked her in for a drink.

Make her feel at home. After all, we're one big family here.

Oh, no, no.


I've got to get to work on the Brubaker book.

I'm gonna talk to him about it tomorrow, so I better.

Of Man and the Unconscious, by Dr. Ludwig Brubaker.

Some title.

We'll have to soup this one up, that's for sure.

Ten o'clock.

Helen's not gonna call till 10:00.

I hope this thing keeps me awake till 10:00.

Chapter three:

"The Repressed Urge in the Middle-Aged Male.

Its Roots and Its Consequences."

Helen has a lot of nerve calling me at 10:00.

It shows a definite lack of trust.

What does she think I'm gonna do? Start smoking? Get drunk?

Or tattooed? Charlie... Big, green dragon.

I bet she thinks I'll have girls up here.

That's terrible.

Seven years we've been married. I've never done anything like that.

Don't think I couldn't have either. Because I could have, plenty.

Plenty.

Don't laugh, Helen.

I happen to be very attractive to women.

You're attractive to me, but I'm used to you.

This isn't a thing one likes to tell his wife...

...but women have been throwing themselves at me for years.

That's right, beautiful ones, plenty of them.

Acres and acres of them. Name one.

It's hard just offhand, but there have been plenty of them.

You asked for it. Take my secretary, for instance.

To you, she's just Miss Morris, a piece of office furniture.

Ten fingers to type my letters.

Well, let me tell you.

Did you type this letter? Yes, Mr. Sherman.

There are six errors in the first paragraph.

What is the matter with you?

What's the matter with you? I'll tell you what's the matter.

I'm in love with you. I have been since the day I came here.

Deeply, madly, desperately, all-consumingly.

And to you I'm nothing, just a piece of furniture.

Ten fingers to type your letters with.

Mr. Sherman, take a look at me. I'm a woman, do you hear?

With flesh and blood and nerves and feelings!

I'm in love with you. I need you, I want you. I want you

That will be all, Miss Morris.

You remember that torn shirt, Helen? Now you know how it happened.

It got torn at the laundry, that's how it happened. What an imagination!

You don't realize this about women and me:

I walk into a room and they sense it.

I arouse something in them, I bother them.

It's a kind of animal thing I've got. It's quite extraordinary.

The only extraordinary thing is your imagination.

Last winter when I had my appendix out...

...do you remember the nurse?

That sweet, little old lady with the gray hair?

That was the day nurse.

You never saw the night nurse, a certain Miss Finch.

Poor Miss Finch. She fought it as long as she could.

But then one night... Richard!

Miss Finch, please, not again tonight.

We have so little time.

Soon they'll take out your stitches and I'll have lost you forever.

Please, Miss Finch. There is such a thing as ethics.

Remember, you are a registered nurse.

Ethics? Once I had ethics. Once I was young.

Once I had ideals. I was registered! And then you happened.

Miss Finch, for five nights now you've been taking my pulse.

Have you never noticed this simple band of gold?

You've bothered me since they wheeled you into the operating room.

I can't understand it. There's this animal thing about you.

Please, Miss Finch, my adhesions.

Let's crash out of here. Let's steal an ambulance.

You're not fit to wear that uniform.

You're rotten to the core.

Beat me till your arms ache.

I'll only come crawling back for more.

You're forcing me to take measures...

...to protect you from yourself.

No, no!

Put me down! Put me down!

The moth and the flame, that's what it was.

Poor Miss Finch. I hope I didn't singe her wings too badly.

You read too many books and see too many movies.

For instance, take Elaine. Your best friend, your bridesmaid.

Let me tell you about that weekend in Westport last summer.

You were playing canasta, suspecting nothing.

Elaine and I went for a walk. Walk!

We went swimming, moonlight swimming.

What is this strange animal thing you have? It bothers me.

It's bothered me since the first time I saw you.

And it'll bother me always, from here to eternity.

You must fight it, Elaine. Remember, I belong to another.

Richard!

This can never be. I have a devoted, trusting wife at home.

And a freckle-faced little space cadet.

Richard!

So, Helen, in light of the circumstances...

...I resent your calling to check up on me.

Don't worry about me.

Although I have tremendous personal magnetism...

...I also have strength of character.

And tremendous imagination.

You've begun to imagine it Cinemascope, with stereophonic sound.

Well...

...back to work.

Chapter three:

"The Repressed Urge in the Middle-Aged Male. Its Roots and Its Consequences."

Helen is worried. I just know she is.

She plays it cool, but she can't fool me.

Why else would she call in the middle of the night?

She probably figures she isn't as young as she was. She's 31.

One day she'll wake up and find her looks are gone.

No wonder she's worried.

I don't look different than I did when I was 28.

It's not my fault, it's just a simple biological fact.

Women age quicker than men.

I won't look different when I'm 60. I have that kind of a face.

Everybody'll think she's my mother.

Hello, Mother?

Oh, Helen!

I wasn't expecting you to call till 10. Everything all right?

Everything's fine here. Seems pretty empty without you, though.

Just sitting out on the terrace...

...drinking, getting fractured on raspberry soda.

Little Ricky okay? Oh, he did?

He hasn't done that for a long time. It's the excitement.

That's nice.

Who did you meet on the train? Tom MacKenzie?

What's he doing up there?

My advice is to avoid Tom like the plague.

I don't want him carrying Ricky's kayak.

If anybody carries Ricky's kayak, it's gonna be you.

How's the weather? Cool?

It's steaming here, like an oven.

Yeah, I'm pretty tired myself.

Night. Good night, darling.

Chapter three:

"The Repressed Urge in the Middle-Aged Male.

Its Roots and Its Consequences."

Maybe a twist of lemon would help this, or a shot of Worcestershire.

Hey, what's the big idea?! You wanna kill somebody?

What's the matter? This great cast-iron pot...

...practically killed me.

Oh, it's you. Well, hello again.

What happened? Oh, the tomato plant fell over!

It sure did.

I'm terribly sorry. It's nothing.

Look at that poor chair!

I'll pay for it. I hope it's not some priceless antique.

It's just early Sears, Roebuck. If there's anything I can do...

Do what? There's nothing to worry about.

I'm certainly glad you're not mad. Now don't touch it.

I'll have the janitor come down...

...and take care of it. Good night.

Hey there! Wait a minute. Yes?

I'll tell you one thing you could do.

If you're not doing anything else more important.

Would you have a drink with me?

Thanks, I'd love it. You would?

Sure, it'd be fun.

Let me just go and put something on. I get dressed in the kitchen.

When it's hot like this, I keep my undies in the icebox.

In the icebox? See you in a minute.

In the icebox!


I really need it, Dr. Murphy. Honest I do.

Don't worry, Dr. Murphy Just one, that's all.

All those lovely injurious tars and resins.

And now a small concession from Dr. Summers?

Doctor, let's be reasonable. Can't fly on one wing.

Okay, I'll put some soda in it.

"Do you want to come in for a drink?" "I'd love it."

Just like that.

A beautiful girl too. Must be a model or actress.

Atmosphere. I need a little atmosphere.

Tomato plant.

Fan caught in the door.

What am I doing? This is absolutely ridiculous.

The first night Helen leaves, I'm bringing dames in here.

Take it easy.

There's nothing wrong with asking a neighbor down for a drink.

I hope she doesn't get the wrong idea.

If this dame thinks she's in for a big time, she's in for a surprise.

One drink and out! I'm a happily married man.

Maybe a little soft music.

She's probably getting all fixed up.

She'll probably wear some ice-cold evening dress.

Let's see. Debussy, Ravel.

Stravinsky. Stravinsky'd only scare her.

Here's the baby, Rachmaninoff. Give her the full treatment.

Come in like gangbusters.

Good old Rachmaninoff.

The Second Piano Concerto. Never misses.


You came. I'm so glad.

Rachmaninoff. The Second Piano Concerto.

It isn't fair. Not fair? Why?

Every time I hear it, I go to pieces. Oh?

May I sit next to you?

Please do.


It shakes me, it quakes me.

It makes me goose-pimply all over.

I don't know where I am, or who I am, or what I'm doing.

Don't stop, don't stop. Don't ever stop.

Why did you stop? You know why I stopped.

Why? Because.

Because now I'm going to kiss you...

...very quickly and very hard.


One moment, my dear.

You came.

Yeah, I came for the rugs.

The rugs? What is it you want?

The bedroom rugs. I promised Mrs. Sherman.

Mr. Kruhulik--

It's on account of the moths. Forget the rugs.

Your wife is gonna find them full of big, gaping holes.

Who'll get blamed? The janitor.

Pick them up tomorrow while I'm at the office.

I can't. I'm taking the missus and the kids to the train.

They're going to the country. All right, in the afternoon then.

I can't do it then. I'm going to the barber in the afternoon.

I'm gonna take a shave, haircut, manicure, the whole works.

I couldn't care less. Come tomorrow evening, just not now.

Tomorrow evening? Do you know the maid from 531 Park?

You must've seen her walking down the street with her fat poodle.

What?

Come now, we're both summer bachelors. Don't let's be naive.

Good night, Mr. Kruhulik!

Big, fat poodle! He's got four kids.

Something happens to people in the summer. It's disgraceful.

It's late. Where is she? This is ridiculous.

She could've been here, had her drink and gone home already.

Ice, we'll need ice.

Coming!

Coming, coming!

Hi!

It's me. Don't you remember?

The tomato from upstairs.

Of course, the tomato. Come in, please.

Honestly, I don't know how it happened.

I was watering the plants. I promised the Kaufmans I would.

I was using the cocktail shaker. It's the only thing I found.

A little silver one. Then there was this terrible crash.

You could've been killed. It's probably criminal negligence.

You could've sued somebody. Me, probably.

Well, not you. You'd have been dead. Your lawyers could have.

Case dismissed. What would you like to drink?

I don't know. Anything. You have a nice place here.

You live here alone? Yes, I live here alone. All alone.

It's a roller skate. Mine, you know. Yours?

It's adjustable. I skate a lot. What would you like to drink?

You do drink? Sure, I drink like a fish.

Do you have gin? Of course. You mean straight gin?

No, gin and soda, I guess.

Gin and soda? That's wrong. How do you drink gin?

There's gin and tonic, and gin and vermouth, that's a martini.

That sounds cool. I'll have a glass of that. A big, tall one.

Big, tall martini.

This is a nicer apartment than the Kaufmans'.

For instance, the Kaufmans have no stairs.

Hey, where do they lead to? No place.

No place? A stairway to nowhere. That's elegant.

I wouldn't say elegant. You see, this used to be a duplex.

The landlord made two apartments out of it by boarding up your floor.

Oh, yes, I remember that patch in the floor.

I dropped my cuticle pusher down the crack.

Cuticle pusher. Yeah.

Well, here you are. Big, tall martini.

Thanks. You're welcome.

Very good. Maybe it needs a bit more sugar.

I'd strongly advise against putting sugar in a martini.

You would? Why? Well...

Take my word for it. No sugar in a martini.

Back home they put sugar in martinis.

Back home? Where? Denver, Colorado.

Hey, you've got air conditioning!

How does it work? Put it on. Sure!

I got air conditioning in every room. Don't the Kaufmans?

No, it's just terrible up there. That's why I bought the electric fan.

This feels just elegant. I'm just not made for the heat.

It's my first summer in New York, and it's killing me.

Yesterday, I tried to sleep in the bathtub.

Just lying up to my neck in cold water.

Good idea.

But the faucet kept dripping. It was keeping me awake.

You know what I did? I pushed my big toe up the faucet.

They call that American know-how.

Then my toe got stuck and I couldn't get it out again.

You couldn't?

But there's a phone in the bathroom. I was able to call the plumber.

You called him?

He was very nice, even though it was Sunday.

He rushed right over.

Everything come out okay?

Sure. But it was embarrassing. I can see how it might've been.

Honestly, I almost died.

There I was with a strange plumber...

...and no polish on my toenails.

You got a cigarette around? A cigarette? Sure.

Coming UP-

Here you are. Are you afraid of burglars?

I'm just trying not to smoke. The theory is:

If you don't see them, you don't think about them.

It's not 100% foolproof. It's only a theory.

All you do is spend half your life dragging ladders back and forth.

You could break a leg. It's just ridiculous.

At the club we had this girl who only smoked cigars.

She only did it to make herself look older.

What club was that? This club I lived at.

I hated it. You had to be in by 1 a.m.

Now I can stay out all night.

I was glad when they practically asked me to leave.

Why did they ask you to leave? It was so silly.

I posed for a picture in U. S. Camera and they got all upset.

What was wrong with the picture?

I was-- It was one of these artistic pictures.

On the beach, with driftwood.

It got honorable mention. In U. S. Camera?

It was called "Textures." You'd see three different kinds.

The driftwood, the sand and me. I got $25 an hour.

It took hours and hours. Very interesting line of work.

I don't do modeling any more. Now I'm on TV every other week.

- The Dazzledent Toothpaste Hour. You're an actress?

Sort of. I do the commercial part.

It's a good part. They put gray makeup on my teeth...

...to show ordinary toothpaste.

Then they wipe it off to show how Dazzledent works.

I sit like this for about 14 seconds...

...and I get to speak lines too.

"I had onions at lunch, I had garlic dressing at dinner.

But he'll never know. I stay kissing-sweet...

...the new Dazzledent way."

You do that beautifully. Thank you.

People don't realize, but when I show my teeth on

...I appear before more people...

...than Sarah Bernhardt ever did. Something to think about.

It certainly is.

Wish I were old enough to have seen her. Was she magnificent?

I wouldn't know. I'm not that old myself.

I guess you're not really.

I'm 39. I will be in August. At the moment I'm 38.

Thirty-eight? I was 22, day before yesterday.

I didn't do anything about it. I didn't tell anyone.

I did buy a bottle of champagne.

I thought I'd sit there, drink it by myself.

That sounds absolutely sad. Oh, no!

It would've been just elegant, lying in a bath, drinking champagne.

But I couldn't get the bottle open. You couldn't? There's nothing to it.

You think you could get it open?

I'm pretty sure I could.

I've got an idea. I'll go up and get it.

It's in the icebox with the potato chips and my underwear.

Do you have champagne glasses? Yes.

Good! We'll have a wonderful time.

The man says it's very good champagne.

Shall I bring the potato chips too? Sure, let's shoot the works.

Honorable mention in U.S. Camera.

U. S. Camera.

"News Events. Children and Animals. The Human Body."

Champagne glasses. Champagne glasses.


Phone, phone. Where's the phone?

Hello? Who is it?

Oh, Helen. Well, this is a surprise!

And a pleasant one. How are you?

Sure, I'm all right. Why shouldn't I be all right?

In what way do I sound funny? Everything is just fine.

What's your problem? Did I know Ricky forgot his paddle?

I've been dragging that thing all over New York. Sure, I will.

I'll send it off first thing. Good night.

Who? Who dropped in after dinner? Tom MacKenzie?

Good old Tom. How is he?

Drinking? Who, me? Whatever gave you that idea?

I was sitting here reading a book about driftwood.

We may publish it. It's interesting. Some of the formations are--

I'd better hang up. The bathtub is running over.

Good night. Night!

Sorry, I was on the phone. A friend of mine in the country--

Oh, say!

It isn't right to drink champagne in pants.

Would you mind fastening my straps?

Oh, sure. Sure.

Potato chips, champagne. You really think you can get it open?

Oh, yeah. I've opened one or two before in my life.

It's simply a matter of pressure and counter-pressure.

There she goes. You've sure got powerful thumbs.

I used to play a lot of badminton. Get the glasses.

Quick, quick! The glasses!

Pour it. Seems to be stuck.

That's silly. Give it a good yank.

This never happened before.

It must be the vacuum. The bubbles create a vacuum.

Let me see if I can do it.

I'll try to twist it.

You're married! I am? Yes, lam.

I knew it. I could tell. You look married.

Actually, my wife and I are separated.

Separated in the sense that she went away for the summer.

Any children? No. Well, just one very little one.

It's cold in there. Finger's getting numb.

I could call the plumber. He's very good at this.

No, let's keep the plumber out of it.

Grab hold of the piano.

Careful, I had my appendix out last year.

Are you all right? Fine.

Do you wanna waste it now that you know I'm married?

I think it's wonderful that you're married. Just elegant.

You do? Of course.

I wouldn't be lying on the floor with some man if he wasn't married.

That's an interesting line of reasoning.

With a married man it's so simple.

I mean, it can't possibly ever get drastic.

Have a potato chip. In what sense can't it get drastic?

People keep falling in love with me. I can believe it.

They get this strange idea. I believe that too.

They ask me to marry them.

All the time. I don't know why they do it.

Maybe it's a kind of nervousness. Maybe.

I don't wanna get married. Not yet, anyway.

That'd be worse than living at the club.

I'd have to get in by 1 again.

Very true, you would. At least occasionally.

That's what's wonderful about a married man.

No matter what, he can't ask you to marry him.

He's married already. Right? Right.

You certainly don't have to worry about me. Am I ever a married man!

I'm the most married man you'll ever know. And I promise...

...I will never ask you to marry me, come what may.

Well, how about some music? Fine.

Let's see what we've got here.

Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky.

Hey, how about this one?

Rachmaninoff, the Second Piano Concerto.

You look to me like a big Rachmaninoff girl.

I do? Funny, I don't know anything about music.

You don't have to. Just listen to it, that's all.

This is classical music, isn't it? I can tell. There's no vocal.

Don't talk.

Don't fight it.

Relax. Go limp.

Like this? Yes.

Let it sweep over you.

I got the biggest thing for Eddie Fisher.

Frequently, people go to pieces listening to this.

No kidding? Yes.

It quakes them. It shakes them.

Makes them goose-pimply all over.

Did you ever dunk a potato chip in champagne?

It's real crazy. Here.

Isn't that crazy? Yeah, pretty crazy.

We'd better send Rachmaninoff off. This wasn't such a good idea.

Don't worry, everything's fine.

A married man, air conditioning...

...champagne and potato chips. It's a wonderful party.

Hey! Look, you've got U.S. Camera!

I do? How about that!

I've got U. S. Camera.

I bought a dozen copies of this but people kept stealing them.

Why would they do that?

That's me, right there on the beach.

My hair was a little longer then. Did you notice?

No, I didn't. Let me ask you something.

When they took this, there must've been some passersby.

Other people around. How did they keep the crowd back?

It was taken early in the morning. Nobody was up.

Except-- You see that shadow? Is it a sea gull?

No, a coast guard helicopter. He kept buzzing the beach.

Maybe you'd like me to autograph this before I leave.

You're not leaving yet, are you?

How about more champagne? Love some.

Just freshen it.

Oh, I'm awfully sorry.

Here.

We should have some music. Do you play the piano?

Not really. Not any more. I used to. Just a little as a child.

Go ahead, play something. Well, all right.

Let's see if I remember this. It's a little tricky.


"Chopsticks"! I can play that too. Shove over.


I don't know about that Rachmaninoff, but this really gets me.

It does? And how.

I can feel the goose pimples. Goose pimples?

Don't stop.

Don't stop.

Why do you stop? You know why.

Because now I'm going to take you in my arms and kiss you...

...very quickly and very hard.

Hey, wait a minute!

What happened? I lost track. I don't know.

This is terrible. There's nothing I can say.

Except that I'm terribly sorry.

Nothing like this ever happened to me before.

This happens to me all the time.

This is unforgivable.

The only possible excuse is that I'm not quite myself tonight.

Maybe it'd be better if you would just go.

Why? You're being silly. Please go. I must insist.

Take your potato chips and go.

All right, if you really want me to.

Good night. Good night.

I think you're very nice.

Nice! You're not nice. You're crazy, that's what you are.

Helen's gone for one day and you're running amuck.

Smoking, drinking, picking up girls, playing "Chopsticks."

You're not gonna live through this summer. Not like this.

Look at those bloodshot eyes.

Look at that face, ravaged, dissipated, evil.

One morning you'll look in the mirror and that's all.

The Portrait of Dorian Gray.


Good morning, Mr. Sherman. Good morning, Miss Morris.

Mr. Brady get in yet? Yes, he came in early.

I wanna see him. Put this on my desk. Of course.

Would you like me to get coffee and a doughnut?

No, thank you.

Have you had breakfast, with the family away?

I'm capable of fixing my own breakfast.

I had a peanut butter sandwich and two whiskey sours.

Mr. Brady. Oh, Sherman, come in.

Well, what is it?

I've been with this company for years, and I've never asked for a favor.

You had a raise in February. I'm not talking about that.

This is more important than money.

I want two weeks off to join my wife and son in the country.

This is our busy season. We're preparing our fall list.

I'm very tense and upset.

I'm on the verge of a breakdown. If I could get back with my wife--

How long have you been married? Seven years.

In a few years, you'll be delighted to get rid of them for the summer.

Shipped them to Nantucket yesterday afternoon...

...and I haven't been to bed since.

Drank bourbon, smoked cigars, played poker till this morning.

Came to the office. Never felt better in my life.

I may not go to bed at all till the family gets back in September.

If I stay in New York alone...

...there's a chance I may not live to see September.

That's ridiculous, Sherman. You're just a little lonely.

What about us teaming up tonight, seeing if we can get lucky?

It doesn't have to be just poker.

We'll cut loose and have us a real hootenanny.

It's very kind of you, but I don't think-- No hootenannies.

Suit yourself, but I've been thinking about that fall list.

What would you think of a 25-cent reprint...

-. . .of The Portrait of Dorian Gray? Dorian Gray?

Look what we'll be giving them for a quarter!

Vice, lust and corruption. The story of a young man:

On the surface, clear-eyed and healthy, just like you.

But underneath, dry rot.

The termites of sin and depravity, gnawing at his soul.

How does that strike you?

No, no. No.

Chapter six:

"The Infidelity Pattern in the Married Male...

...or the 'seven-year itch.'

A study of 18,000 marriages conducted by myself...

...leads us to believe that the 'urge curve' in the husband...

...rises sharply during the seventh year.

This phenomenon is humorously...

...referred to as the seven-year itch.

Far from humorous, this unfortunate urge...

...strikes 84.6% of the married male population...

...rising to an alarming 91.8% during the summer months."

Changed my mind.

"Case history A: Gustaf Meyerheim, the mad lover of Leipzig.

An extreme, but not unusual case of the seven-year itch...

...occurred in Leipzig, Germany in 1912.

Gustaf Meyerheim, happily married for seven years...

...suddenly--" Seven years!

Dr. Brubaker to see Mr. Sherman. Doctor, you're early.

Yes, my 3:00 patient jumped out of the window.

So I'm ahead of schedule. Which door?

This one.

Good afternoon, Mr. Sherman. Dr. Brubaker.

I see you've been working on my book.

It's a wonderful book. Very important.

It has something for everyone. Yes.

You'll be happy to know that we're giving it a big promotion.

You'll be seeing this in every drugstore in America.

-"Of Sex and Violence"? We had to soup up the title.

What does this represent?

Gustaf Meyerheim, the mad lover of Leipzig...

...terrorizing one of his victims. Isn't that sensational?

May I remind you that Meyerheim was small, with a red beard?

Nobody knows that.

They know it in Leipzig.

And all his victims were middle-aged women.

Don't you think it'd be more effective...

...to show a man terrorizing a young girl, sales-wise?

I'm not a salesman. I'm a doctor. I heal sick minds.

I find ways to root out insecurities, neuroses, inner tensions...

What is it? What are you looking at? Nothing.

Does that mean something, doctor? No, nothing serious.

Dark clouds on the psychic horizon. That's preposterous.

A twitch in a thumb, a nerve or a muscle.

You psychiatrists make a case out of it. Of all the ridiculous...

Are you very expensive? Very.

I'm sure you make exceptions. Never.

If a case really interests you?

At $50 an hour, all my cases interest me.

If you run into something spectacular, another Gustaf Meyerheim--

You wouldn't believe this, but last night...

...I found myself terrorizing a young lady.

That could account for the thumb.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. I just made a little boo-boo.

Psychoanalysis doesn't recognize the boo-boo as such.

Everything is unconscious.

I was completely conscious.

I told her to take her potato chips and go.

Potato chips. If you please... All right, doctor.

I'm in serious trouble. I'm married.

"Serious trouble. Married." So far, normal.

I've been married for seven years.

I'm coming down with what you call the seven-year itch.

What am I going to do? If something itches, scratch.

I scratched. There was this lady. Everything went black.

I terrorized her, I attempted to terrorize her.

The attempt was unsuccessful?

Definitely. All I did was knock us both off the piano bench.

Let me understand. You attempted to terrorize...

...a young lady on a piano bench?

Yes.

And on whose person was this attempt committed?

Here, doctor. I brought this with me.

I didn't wanna leave it lying around the house.

That's her.

Her hair was a little longer then.

It's called "Textures" because you can see three different textures.

It got honorable mention.

Splendid. I congratulate you on your good taste.

Interesting driftwood formation too.

I'll give you my advice. Do not attempt it again.

But if you should, give yourself room to work in.

Do not attempt it balanced on a piano bench.

Such an attempt is doomed.

I love my wife. Don't we all? Your time is up.

If you find yourself in need of further analysis, phone my office.

As for my book, we'll resume discussion as your...has subsided.

If she tells anybody about this, I'll kill her with my bare hands.

A possible solution.

But murder is the most difficult crime to commit.

Until you can commit a simple act of terror...

...I strongly advise you to avoid anything so complex.

One must learn to walk before one can run. Goodbye.

I'm in big trouble.

Girls like this can't keep their mouths shut.

This'll be all over New York.

I bet right this minute she's telling someone about it.

He lured me in his apartment. He made me sit on his piano bench.

He made me play "Chopsticks." Then he turned on me.

He was frothing at the mouth...

...just like the creature from the Black Lagoon!

I knew it. I knew it!

That's how these stories get started. Big blabbermouth.

Then he lured her into his apartment...

...pretended he wasn't married. He forced her onto the piano bench.

I know him very well. He was in here for dinner, 260 calories.

He forced her to sit on the piano bench...

...and then he made her play "Chopsticks."

The word is spreading. It's spreading. It's like jungle drums.

Everybody knows about it. Everybody's talking about it.

Television! I forgot she's on television.

50 million TV sets in America.

And now with the coaxial cable...!

I had onions at lunch. I had garlic dressing at dinner.

But he'll never know...

...because I stay kissing-sweet the new Dazzledent way.

Now that I have your attention, I want to warn all you girls...

...about an evil, dangerous, married man...

...living downstairs in my building.

His name is Richard Sherman.

S-H-E-R-M-A-N.

While his wife and son are in Maine...

...this monster is terrorizing the girls of New York.

Mommy, come quick! They're talking about Daddy.

He makes them sit on the piano bench...

...and makes them play "Chopsticks."

Then suddenly he turns on them... just like the creature from the Black Lagoon!

Well, I might as well face it.

She knows everything. She knows, she knows, she knows.

But maybe she doesn't. Maybe there isn't any TV up in Maine.

I can't go on like this. Why don't I just call Helen?

The minute I heard her voice, I could tell if she knew anything.

All right, call her.

Hello, long distance? I want Ogunquit, Maine.

Ogunquit-42831 J. Yeah, thanks.

What's taking so long? Maybe she's talking to the lawyers already.

Hello, hello? Helen? Bad connection.

Who? Who is this?

I wanna talk to Mrs. Sherman.

Who is this? Oh, the babysitter.

Look, this is Mr. Sherman. Where is Mrs. Sherman?

What do you mean she's on a hayride?

With whom is she on a hayride?

Mr. MacKenzie and some people?

What people?

She did leave a message? What was the message?

Ricky's paddle. No, I forgot Something came up.

I'll send it first thing in the morning. Goodbye!

Mr. Sherman? What is it, Miss Morris?

It's after 6. Do you need me any more tonight?

No. We've come to the end of a perfect day.

Let's go home and enjoy the simple things.

The good things, the real things. The laughter of a child.

A flight of swallows winging their way back home.

Life can be beautiful, Miss Morris.

Hey!

Good evening.

I just washed my hair.

That's nice. Goodbye.

Oh, no, not tonight. This girl's a pistol.

Got away with it once. Why press my luck?

It's gonna be quiet around here tonight. I promise you that.

Take a shower, poach an egg, rinse a shirt, hit the sack...

...and that's all.


If she was washing her hair for me, is she kidding?

Helen, what a wife! How lucky can you get?

I'm glad she's having a good time.

People to go outwith, take her on hayrides.

One thing, though. What's she doing on a hayride with MacKenzie?

I wish she wouldn't hang around people like that.

He's capable of making a pass at her.

She'll probably like it. She's getting older.

I'm probably very dull. And MacKenzie is a writer.

A lousy writer. That last book of his!

All that downwardly pulsating...

...and hair spilled across the pillow.

No woman is safe around a guy who writes stuff like that.

No, Tom, please. The other people!

I have a confession to make. Look around.

There are no other people. Don't be angry.

I should be.

No, Tom. What about the driver?

There is no driver. No driver?

I thought of everything. Even the horses are wearing blinkers.

Tom, I'm afraid. Afraid? Of me?

No, of me.

Oh, darling! Downwardly, pulsating, striving.

Now together, ending and unending.

Now, now, now!

What a cornball. Okay, good luck.

If that's the way you wanna play it, I can play it that way too!

Kaufman. Kaufman. Kaufman.

Hi! Did you know you left your tomato plant down here last night?

I'd be glad to bring it up.

Maybe you'd like to have dinner.

Then maybe we could go to an air-conditioned movie.

Didn't you love the picture? I did.

But I just felt so sorry for the creature at the end.

Sorry? What, did you want him to marry the girl?

He was scary-looking, but he wasn't really all bad.

He just craved a little affection.

A sense of being loved and needed and wanted.

That's an interesting point of view.

Do you feel the breeze from the subway?

Isn't it delicious?

Sort of cools the ankles. What would be fun to do now?

It's getting pretty late. Not that late.

I have this big day tomorrow. I have to get to sleep.

What's the big day?

Tomorrow I'm on TV. I told you, The Dazzledent Hour.

Oh, here comes another one.

Tell me, Dazzledent toothpaste, I don't think I ever tried it.

You should. It's excellent. Oh, yes, I use it myself.

Then you do recommend it? Definitely.

It costs a little more, but 8 out of 10 oral hygienists--

You sound like a commercial. If I believed commercials...

You can believe this one. What's that you say?

"He'll never know. I stay kissing- sweet the new Dazzledent way"?

Now really. It's true! I'll prove it to you.

Well?

My faith in the integrity of advertising is restored.

However, before I switch brands, I wanna make absolutely certain.

A successful businessman like Kaufman...

...probably makes 15,000 a year.

Spends a fortune on sculptures but will not put in air conditioning.

I bet it was 95 in the bedroom last night.

Poor kid, it's awful.

Good night.

If you wanted to drop by my place to cool off...

...before you face that Turkish bath up there...

I left the air conditioning on full blast. It's cold in there.

Maybe for a few minutes. To bring the body temperature down.

I feel no matter how much it costs...

...if you've got to sell the kids' bonds...

...I say in the summertime in New York...

...you've got to have air conditioning.

Just feel that.

I didn't tell you, but I have air conditioning in every room.

The kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom.

Heaven! You just relax.

I'll fix two drinks, and we'll have a nice, quiet talk.

This is really the most!

Well, what shall we talk about?

How about psychoanalysis?

I don't know how much you know about it, but it's a hobby of mine.

I like to wander through the labyrinth of the human mind.

What gets me is spending $3.95 for that miserable fan.

It's absolutely useless.

I'll take it back to the store to get my money back.

Just hope I didn't lose the sales slip.

Two days ago we were strangers...

...and now you're here alone with me.

How did it happen? Why did we meet?

The answer lies in the unconscious.

If they won't take back the fan, the larger size is only $3 more.

But what about tonight? I've just got to get some sleep.

You think that plant fell by itself? There are no accidents.

Nothing happens by itself. We make it happen.

You didn't accidentally brush the plant, you pushed it.

Maybe if I took the fan, put it in the icebox...

...and left the door open...

...then left the bedroom door open and soaked the sheets in ice water...

No, that's too icky.

Your behavior is obvious.

You pushed the plant down to kill me.

And why do you suppose you wanted to?

Could it be, could it possibly be because you love me?

Of course I could simply ask him if-- I'm sure he wouldn't mind.

He's such a nice man.

Nothing to be ashamed of. Under this veneer we're all savages.

Man, woman, hopelessly enmeshed.

We're on a toboggan, we can't stop. It's too late to run.

The beguine has begun.

What are we going to do?

I've been thinking about it and I...

Yes?

I'd like to stay here with you tonight.

I'd like to sleep here.

Are you sure? That is, if you don't mind.

It's not a question of minding. We don't wanna rush into this.

There are savages, and savages. This may be too savage.

If you want to stay--

Don't make me go to that hot apartment.

I haven't slept in three nights. I'd like to look good tomorrow.

I could sleep right here in this chair.

I'll be as quiet as a mouse. You won't know I'm around. Please?

Well, that's different. Of course you can sleep here.

We're not savages. We're civilized people.

Thank you. What time do you get up? About 8, I guess.

I'll fix you breakfast. Fix my breakfast-- Wait a minute.

Suppose someone sees you leaving the apartment at 8.

Just one person sees you, and we're dead.

All right then, I could get up at 6 and sneak upstairs.

Get up at 6 and sneak-- Sneak!

Even worse. Suppose someone sees you sneaking out?

We're not doing anything wrong.

Certainly, but there's such a thing as society, laws, rules.

But after all, no man is an island.

Who is it? It's me, Mr. Kruhulik.

What is it? I was just coming home.

Went out with a lady, the one with the big, fat poodle.

I saw your light. I thought it might be a good time to pick up the rugs.

At 1:30 in the morning? Are you out of your mind?

I promised your wife.

Those moths are probably right now chewing away big, gaping holes.

Stop worrying. I give you my word...

...the moths are not eating anything.

Come tomorrow, early, before they have their breakfast.

You can't trust a moth, Mr. Sherman.

They get hungry at night...

...so they start looking around for a snack and--

Oh, I wish I was dead What's the matter?

I'm sorry. I didn't quite understand the situation.

In a situation like this, who cares about moths?

Situation, Mr. Kruhulik? What situation?

Moths? Let them eat the rugs.

Let them eat the curtains. Who cares?

Go, man, go.

I'd like to explain this. This may seem unusual.

But it's the most natural thing. I'll say.

Summertime, and the living is easy Fish are jumping, cotton is high."

That's enough! The young lady lives in this building.

There's been a terrible accident. Hi.

Well, hello!

Isn't she a living doll?

This lady's tomato plant fell down.

Sorry to disappoint, but that's all there is to it.

In fact, I'm glad you dropped in.

You can help her take the plant upstairs. It's here.

I watered the garden with a cocktail shaker.

A little silver shaker.

You can see your insinuations are preposterous.

A natural mistake, Mr. Sherman.

And my apologies to you, dear lady. What a doll!

Right out here, Mr. Kruhulik. What a shambles.

It's all right. We're covered. I have a policy.

Thank you, Mr. Kruhulik, and good night.

Good night, Miss-- Whatever your name is.

Be careful, it's heavy. Don't strain anything.

I'm strained already...

...from carrying that big, fat poodle around. I wish I was dead!

Well, good night. Good night.

I'm sorry. But you can see how it is.

I understand. No man is an island.

Normal.

Everything is absolutely normal.

Sleep. Go to sleep.

How can I possibly sleep?

What'll I do?

Helen. Write to Helen. Write a long letter to Helen.

Paddle, that's it. I've got to send the paddle.

Little Ricky out there on the lake without a paddle.

Wrap the paddle and send it off in the morning. Ricky needs it.

Going to get his paddle. How do you wrap a paddle, anyway?

Paper and string, what else?

I need a piece of paper the shape of a paddle.

All right, nothing.

Hey, there's some gauze in the bathroom.

I can bandage the whole thing, put some tape on it and--

And what, send it up in an ambulance?

This is ridiculous.

People send paddles every day. The mails are full of them.

How do they do it?

That's it, old newspapers!

Big deal, old newspapers.

Get a lot of string, slap it together...

Hi.

Forgot about the stairs. It was so easy. I pulled out the nails.

You know what? We can do this all summer.


Miss. Young lady.

I've got to take a shower. Got to get to the office.

Please, lady, get up, go home so I can get to the office.

Please, lady? No?


Poor kid, working in New York in this heat.

And on television! Standing there under those hot lights.

She must need money real bad.

Lives in an expensive apartment. I know what clothes cost.

Buys imported champagne.

How can she possibly afford--?

She must have other sources of income.

Plenty of ways a girl can get money if she's unscrupulous enough.

She could get herself some foolish, well-to-do married man.

Trap him into some situation.

Bleed him till he's white, squeeze him till he's dry--

They have a word for this. They call it "blackmail."

Where is she? She's with Kruhulik.

They're down at the bank going through my safe-deposit box.

Hello, are you in there?

Hi, good morning! Just taking a shower. Be out in a minute.

Taking a shower, she'll be out in a minute, that's all.

I should get one of the new towels and take it to her.

That would very definitely be another boo-boo.

If anyone were to walk in, would they ever get the wrong idea.

Cinnamon toast for two, strange blond in the shower. Explain that.

Tell them you spent the night wrapping a paddle.

Anybody walk in here!

Who's gonna walk in here? J. Edgar Hoover? Arthur Godfrey?

Helen, maybe?

She's in Maine. How could she get here?

On the train, that's how. On the early morning train.

Why would she be coming to New York? Because she knows something.

Because someone tipped her off. Who could've tipped--?

Kruhulik! He saw the girl here last night

...called Helen long distance and told her everything.

She's on the train, I know it. Early morning train's in already.

She's in a cab. She's on her way here. She'll be here any second!

There's a woman in this apartment. I know there is.

No, Helen, it's not true. Don't lie to me, Richard.

Who told you? Was it Kruhulik?

That's right. I've had him watching you for months.

His name's not Kruhulik. He's a private eye named Johnny Dollar.

What are you going to do? I'm going to shoot you.

I can explain everything. The cinnamon toast, the shower.

This girl's from Denver.

The Kaufmans have no air conditioning. Spend a fortune on sculpture.

The drugstore wouldn't take back her fan, she lost the slip.

So I let her sleep in our bed. I was just wrapping the paddle.

At least have the decency to keep the paddle of a child...

...out of this sordid mess.

You're mad. You'll never get away with this.

Yes, I will. There's such a thing as the unwritten law.

Goodbye, Richard.

Give me another chance! They'll give me a medal.

The wives of America will give me a medal!

Helen, I'm going fast. Give me a cigarette.

A cigarette! You know what Dr. Murphy told you about smoking.

A cigarette.

Just one more cigarette, Dr. Murphy.

One more for the road.

For the long, long road.

Hi.

What are you doing? I need a cigarette.

They're right there on the table.

What's the matter with you? I'm all shot.

It's because I took your bed and you slept on the couch.

I knew I should've taken the couch.

It's not the couch, it's my wife.

She found out about us and shot me. She what?

Five times in the back and twice in the belly.

You're just having a bad dream.

Yeah, I guess so.

Come on now. Everything's fine.

It's just my imagination. Some people have flat feet.

I have this appalling imagination. I think it's just elegant.

I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other things.

I was standing in the kitchen. Then it occurred to me.

If my wife walked in with you in the shower, she'd probably shoot me.

Of course. If I was married...

...and came in on my husband making toast for a blond, I'd shoot him.

You would? Bang,bang,bang!

Right in the head.

Come on now, relax.

You're just making this all up. That's right.

I don't suppose if she had come in she'd shoot me.

She'd be mad, maybe throw an ashtray.

Just that? She probably wouldn't even do that.

If she found you in the shower...

...she'd probably think you were the plumber.

A blond plumber? Absolutely. She trusts me implicitly.

Doesn't she love you? Oh, she loves me.

She worries about me.

I had a cough, and she made me stop smoking.

She loves me, all right. Isn't she jealous?

Not really. How can anybody be jealous of somebody with a briefcase...

...who's getting a little pot and can't keep his eyes open past 9?

She trusts me. It'd never occur to her that I--

Last Christmas, I came home with lipstick on my collar.

Helen said, "What's that on your collar, cranberry sauce?"

That's bad. You know who kissed me? Mrs. Brady.

Face it, no pretty girl wants me, she wants Gregory Peck.

Is that so? How do you know what a pretty girl wants?

I don't know, but I imagine--

Your imagination! You think every girl's a dope.

You think a girl goes to a party and there's some guy...

...in a fancy striped vest strutting around...

...giving you that I'm-so-handsome- you-can't-resist-me look.

From this she's supposed to fall flat on her face.

Well, she doesn't fall on her face.

But there's another guy in the room, over in the corner.

Maybe he's nervous and shy and perspiring a little.

First, you look past him.

But then you sense that he's gentle and kind and worried.

That he'll be tender with you, nice and sweet.

That's what's really exciting.

If I were your wife, I'd be very jealous of you I'd be very, very jealous

I think you're just elegant.

Thank you.

Aren't you going to answer it?

Answer what? The doorbell.

Go ahead, I'll put the cinnamon on the toast.

Tom MacKenzie!

Morning, Dickie-boy. What are you doing here?

Don't call me "Dickie-boy." Got a date with my agent.

Is that coffee I smell? No.

I'm glad I caught you. We've got important family business to discuss.

Are you sure that's not coffee? Positive. My family?

I was driving down and Helen asked me to stop by and ask you--

She did? I'm glad she did...

...because I wanna talk to you.

What's the matter, Dickie-boy?

You think you're pretty fancy with the blinkers on the horses.

What blinkers? What horses?

And no driver and no other people.

You drunk or something? No, I'm not drunk.

You took Helen on a hayride. No, in fact, I didn't.

She went with the other people. And it was like a bus.

That's your story. I have terrible hay fever.

I've had it ever since the Army.

This doctor took a wad of cotton. He went in and down--

In and down. "inwardly, downwardly pulsating!

Now together, ending and unending! Now, now!" I know all about it.

You're drunk. Get out!

If Helen sent you to get a divorce-- Divorce?

I absolutely refuse!

She sent me for the paddle. I'll fight it in every court!

I can explain the stairs, the blond in the kitchen.

Wait, what blond in the kitchen? Wouldn't you like to know?

Maybe it's Marilyn Monroe!

Blind, stinking drunk at 8:30 in the morning!

I'll get six lawyers, I'll bribe judges, but no divorce!

Listen to me. Helen does not want a divorce!

All she wants is Ricky's paddle!

Ricky's paddle? The other kids are out on the lake.

But Ricky has to stay on the dock. You wouldn't send his paddle!

If anybody is gonna take Ricky's paddle back...

...I'm gonna take it back.

And I've got a good mind to punch you.

Why? Because you're a love you.

Strutting around in your vest with that I'm-so-handsome look.

Let me tell you, Helen loves me. Sure, she loves you!

She loves me because I'm sweet and gentle and worried...

...and nervous and shy and tender!

Breakfast is ready.

Anybody you know? Meet Tom MacKenzie.

How do you do? He came for Ricky's paddle.

I'm taking it to him. Is this a good time to pick up the--?

I wish I was dead. Wait a minute, Kruhulik.

If you wanna pick up something, pick up this.

What do you want me to do with him?

I don't care. Put him in mothballs. Just get him out of here.

Boy, I'm telling you, lug the fat poodle...

...lug the tomato plant, now lug this.

I'll be glad when the wives get home and things settle down.

The 8:47, I can still make the 8:47.

I can't stay for breakfast, I'm sorry.

Don't ever be sorry.

Do me a favor. Call Brady & Company.

Tell Mr. Brady I'm taking two weeks off, whether he likes it or not.

Why don't you stay here? You've got your own duplex.

Big, tall martinis, air conditioning.

Thank you. Well, I guess that's all.

Just one more thing. What?

I have a message for your wife.

Don't wipe it off.

If she thinks it's cranberries...

...tell her she's got cherry pits in her head.

Wait!

Hey!