Here’s a production photo from “The Seven Year Itch” that catches the filming of one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time — the shot in which a blast of air from the subway grate lifts Marilyn Monroe’s skirt and makes it billow. The scene was filmed on location, at 586 Lexington Avenue in New York, in late September 1954, and even though it was after midnight by the time cameras rolled, about 5,000 locals were on-hand, watching from the sidelines when director Billy Wilder shouted “action” and an industrial fan installed in the grate raised Marilyn’s skirts, exposing what appeared to be her panties but was in fact a costume piece no more revealing than any 1950s’ bathing suit.
Nonetheless, among the onlookers was Marilyn’s husband of nine months, baseball great Joe DiMaggio — and what DiMaggio saw that night blinded him with a jealous rage. Later, in their hotel room, DiMaggio gave vent to his jealousy. He slapped and hit Marilyn, yelling and screaming at her so loud that guests in neighboring rooms called the front desk. On the set the next day, bruises on Marilyn’s shoulders had to be covered with heavy makeup.