My earliest screen connection of sex and classical music came in …

My earliest screen connection of sex and classical music came in …


norman lebrecht

April 09, 2016

Our Chicago psychoanalyst Dr Gerald Stein has been thinking deeply about what psychoanalysts think about.

Rachmaninov, of course.

My earliest recollection of any connection between sex and music was the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch, with Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe. The former imagined seducing the latter when a combination of circumstances fueled his fantasy: a stale, seven-year-old marriage; his wife’s temporary absence; and the availability of Ms. Monroe, his smoldering new neighbor. Ewell’s plan was to use Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 to win her ardor. The scene above depicts his strategy.

Read on here.

marilyn monroe 7 year itch


  • John Borstlap says:

    Peculiar psychoanalysis: stating the obvious, opening doors which have been open for quite a while, and accepting Hollywood as a serious point of reference. (Listening to Rach II: “How does that make you feel?”)

  • Ray Richardson says:

    Pardon my ignorance, but why ‘our’ psychologist? Is Mr Lebrecht using the royal plural here? Perhaps it’s a new treatment for a slipped disc!

  • Sue says:

    One of my favourite films of all times, directed by the unforgettable Billy Wilder and adapted by George Axelrod!! How I love this film and its multiple cultural references – not just Rachmaninov (and I love the way Tommy Ewell says “Pian-a Concerto”!!) but also the “Picture of Dorian Gray” and, of course, Ewell’s character writes cheap paperback thrillers based on historical best sellers. So, the film is much more than music!! And Monroe in that Rach 2 scene is the pointy end (cough!) of classical music!!!

    I love to look at the film again in its glorious restoration just to remind myself that once upon a time political correctness didn’t exist and Americans had a sense of humour – if you can call Wilder a real American!!! The European sensibility did so much for Hollywood.

  • christopher says:

    “Desir’ for piano solo .. “Poeme de l’Extase” , Scriabine
    that is musical eroticism!