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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Behind the scenes of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic moment

Marilyn Monroe’s billowing skirt repeatedly blew upwards as she stood over a subway grate on Lexington Avenue in the early morning hours on Sept. 15, 1954 — the most iconic location shoot in NYC history.

Though the shoot didn’t begin until 1 a.m., a huge crowd (mostly men) watched because it was announced in the newspapers to promote the sex comedy that was being filmed, “The Seven Year Itch.”

In the famous scene, Monroe and actor Tom Ewell exit a showing of “The Creature From the Black Lagoon’’ at the long-gone Trans Lux East at the corner on East 52nd Street — and she stops to enjoy the breeze on her legs from a passing subway train (which actually came from a wind machine operating beneath the grate).

“There were a good 5,000 people there waiting to see Marilyn’ s legs,’’ director Billy Wilder recalled years later — with the crowd chanting “Higher! Higher!” as the scene was shot 15 or more times.


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