The Hollywood Production Code Administration’s job was to make sure that every movie produced was appropriate for all ages and ethnic backgrounds. The PCA was harsh to many writers and producers. If they did not give a movie their seal of approval the movie would most likely not be shown in theaters; and even if it were, the movie would most likely not become very popular. The Seven Year Itch ran into trouble because the script was adapted from a play. Plays were allowed to be more risqué than movies during the time and were often not approved for movie production. The writers though, of this movie, turned the script into a screwball comedy, which was very common during the time. With the PCA seal of approval given over three years later to the script, The Seven Year Itch could be made into the iconic movie that it is today.
Unlike other movies of the 1950’s, The Seven Year Itch contained a very simple plot that did not contain many controversial topics. Sexual tension became the biggest issue addressed by the Production Code Administration of the movie. To be able to get this movie approved by the PCA it took about three years, a relatively short amount of time compared to other movies of this era. The first thing that was sent to the PCA from the studios was an overview of the script on December 18, 1952.
This script was adapted from the original play by George Axelrod in 1952. What the PCA sent back to the studios was short and not very hopeful of being able to make the screen adaptation into a play. Eugene Dougherty, from the Production Code Association, spoke on the phone with Finlay McDermid, from the studios. Dougherty did not give McDermid much hope for the play being able to become a movie from the play adaptation. One of the biggest problems with the original screenplay was an affair between the main characters, The Girl and Richard Sherman. McDermid attempted to reason with Dougherty, asking, if the affair were removed from the script would the movie be more likely to become approved. Dougherty did not have much faith that it would become approved because the entire premise of the movie revolves around the possibility of an affair. The two men attempted to find ways of not mentioning the affair but found it too difficult. McDermid decided he would go back and look at the script and that no official typed letter would be necessary
Over two years later another, a less controversial script was sent to the Production Code Administration. The Administration sent back a hopeful letter stating that this new revised script would meet the PCA’s requirements. If a couple of changes were made to the script. The three items that were addressed in the letter all took issue with the sexual parts of the script. The script itself never talks about sex but the PCA was not pleased with some of the sexual innuendos that it contained.
Once the studio made the suggested changes to the script, the lyrics to a song used in the movie were sent over for...