Monday, April 29, 2013

A Tale of Two Toms

Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (20th Century Fox, 1955)
Tom Ewell and Sheree North in The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (20th Century Fox, 1956)
Tom Ewell and Jayne Mansfield in The Girl Can't Help It (20th Century Fox, 1956)
April 29, 1909 - September 12, 1994

Tommy Noonan and Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (20th Century Fox, 1953)
Tommy Noonan and Sheree North (with Orson Bean) in How to Be Very, Very Popular (20th Century Fox, 1955)
Tommy Noonan and Jayne Mansfield in Promises! Promises! (NTD, 1963)
Tommy Noonan and Mamie Van Doren in Three Nuts in Search of a Bolt (Harlequin, 1964)

April 29, 1921 - April 24, 1968
Blondes, apparently, preferred them.


  1. I never got the push to try and turn Tom Ewell into a leading man, an amusing actor yes but movie star material never.

    However I always fond Tommy Noonan cute as all get out and it was a shame he didn't have a bigger career. He was quite good dramatically in his big scene against Judy in A Star is Born and of course adorably befuddled with Marilyn and Jane in Blondes.

    1. Noonan was great in Blondes. In Star, I found him a little too artificial, pushing too hard to play the world-weary musician.

      I can sort of understand Ewell's short-lived popularity as an unlikely leading man; he was the archetypical 1950's middle America Everyman. The fact that he was paired with eye-popping blonde bombshells allowed every other sack-suited schnook in the audience dream that they, too, could woo Marilyn Monroe, win Jayne Mansfield over, and marry Sheree North! Incidentally, if you haven't seen Ewell in the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, "The Case of Mr. Pelham," it's well worth seeking out. It's like a funhouse mirror held up to the character he plays in Seven Year Itch -- the Sack Suit Schnook Everyman unraveling...


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