Marilyn gets herself in a flap

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 November, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 November, 1993, 12:00am

MARILYN Monroe having problems controlling her billowing white dress while standing on a New York subway grating is possibly the best-known movie still in the world.

Now see the rest of the film in The Seven-Year Itch (Pearl, 9.30pm, Original Running Time 105 mins), the first of a very welcome series of classic old movies. Next week: Rebel Without a Cause.

Directed by Billy Wilder, Itch is not in the same class as the other Monroe/Wilder joint venture Some Like It Hot, but it makes a wonderful change from the modern movie junk to which we're usually subjected.

Marilyn Monroe plays the dumb blonde (surprise!) who moves in upstairs from writer Tom Ewell whose wife and kids have gone away for the summer. Timid hubby turns instantly into a sexual stud - but, as is usual with writer George Axelrod's scripts (witness Lord Love a Duck and How to Murder Your Wife ), it is all only in his imagination.

THERE'S also a dumb blonde - 90s-style - on the other side, where Kim Basinger stars in Nadine (World, 9.30pm, ORT 83 mins) as a pregnant hairdresser on the brink of divorce.

She accidentally witnesses a murder, while trying to retrieve some nude ''art studies'' she posed for and now regrets. Instead she escapes with photos of a proposed road development project belonging to ruthless businessman (Rip Torn).

Our flaky heroine decides that only her husband Vernon, played with vulnerable charm by Jeff Bridges, can get her out of this mess - and inevitably they're soon up to their necks in trouble.

So lightweight you'll have to nail the TV to the floor to watch it, Nadine is nevertheless, full of charm.

DIVE to the depths of the ocean with new wildlife series Secrets of the Deep (World, 8.30pm). The first episode concentrates on those underwater crowd-pleasers - sharks - filmed in their natural habitation around Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Ramon Braco - who, according to the blurb, is known as the Jacques Cousteau of Mexico - goes out there to get some close-ups on the creatures. WHAT a great asset to television How'd They Do That? (Pearl, 8.30pm) has turned out to be. Claiming to explain mysteries from around the world, ''covering the full scope of human emotions'', it's actually yet another mish-mash of reports so manipulated as to make the audience laugh, cry, get angry etc to order.

These reports are linked by the usual inanely grinning personalities (there must be a special recruitment centre somewhere stocked full of cap-toothed, hair-lacquered, happy people). In this case they are Dorothy Lacey and Pat O'Brien, whose main aim inlife is to vie with each other to see who can say ''how'd they do that?'' the most times. The real question is: Why'd they make this? THE new cartoon series Baby Follies (STAR Plus, 8.30am and 10.30am) sounds almost as promising. It's described as a cartoon for children of all ages, about little babies dressed in puffy diapers who imitate grown-ups. Can't wait. THIS week's MTV Rocumentary (2.30am) is a veritable Rock Wrinklies Reunion as the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and B.B. King pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Interspersed with legendary footage - Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Berkeley, etc - these rock dinosaurs talk about Hendrix's profound influence on their music.

There's also a rare film of his 1968 appearance on The Lulu Show in England, which has got to be worth seeing.