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    How Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Flying Skirt Scene Led To Her Divorce In Real Life

    The best-recognized image of Marilyn Monroe is the one in which she is seen flushing to force her white dress down as it flies up in the air. In a scene from Billy Wilder’s film ‘The Seven Year Itch’, this scenario takes place. On 52nd and 53rd Street in New York City, Monroe’s character and her date leave a movie theatre and her dress nearly flies over her head due to the breeze from the subway grate below.

    While the scene was being shot, thousands of people gawked at the actor, but one was not amused. That bystander was Joe Dimaggio, a well-known Italian baseball star who was at the time married to Marilyn Monroe. Many people think that their divorce was precipitated by this famous dress-blowing incident. 

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    The Making Of Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Flying Skirt Scene

    Marilyn Monroe’s Iconic Flying Skirt Scene

    At the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in New York City, an hour after midnight, Marilyn Monroe stood atop a subway grate and made movie magic. The scenario, which took three hours to film, required 14 tries to get it just perfect, while the 100 male photographers and between 2,000 and 5,000 onlookers continued to cheer and gawk at the actress. The crew attempted 14 takes but they were unsuccessful in getting it right, in part because of the excessive noise made by the throngs of people there. Even though the original location images were utilized for advertisements and promos, the sequence was reshot on the Fox lot in California later that year.

    Even though she managed to catch the dress before it flew over her head, she still took safety measures to ensure that nobody else saw too much. To this end, she donned two pairs of white underwear so that as the fan blew upward, nobody actually caught a look. The white dress from ‘The Seven Year Itch’ was designed by William Travilla and the pink and gold gowns from ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ are both well-known Monroe outfits. Although the creator gave his design little thought, allegedly labeling it “that silly little dress,” it paid off and was sold at an auction in 2011 for $4.6 million.

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    Marilyn Monroe And Joe Dimaggio’s Marriage Ended Over ‘That Silly Little Dress’

    Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio

    Dimaggio reportedly came across a photo of Monroe while reading the newspaper, according to ‘Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love’. She was holding a baseball bat in the picture while wearing little white shorts. Dimaggio vowed he would do anything to find the girl in the image because he only loved baseball and beautiful ladies. As soon as he couldn’t reach Monroe, he called as many people as he could think of. He eventually made contact with David March, an agent who had Monroe’s phone number. She consented to meet DiMaggio for a date. According to her autobiography, he remained silent the entire time. Normally, males would strive to brag and show off for Monroe all night long. But to her surprise, her date was essentially speechless. This piqued the blonde starlet’s interest. He was very enigmatic, which she liked. The two soon got married after meeting for the first time.

    Despite the two’s intense love, DiMaggio was embarrassed by Monroe’s reputation as a Hollywood sex icon. When she flaunted her sexuality in front of the cameras, he would frequently become agitated, and the fluttering white dress was no exception. As her dress rose, thousands of onlookers cheered and chanted, “Higher! Higher!” According to ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon,’ “DiMaggio’s face, rigid with tension, had gone white,” the book revealed. And as noted in the autobiography, this event ultimately caused their divorce.

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    Kavya Khangarot
    Kavya Khangarot
    Pursuing an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Kavya has a fondness for all things fluffy and feel-good. Whenever she is not making inappropriate Freudian jokes she can be found in the kitchen baking diabetes-inducing desserts or curled up in a corner with Pride and Prejudice.

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