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Friday, 29 June 2012

The Misfits (1961)

Star of the month... Marilyn Monroe

The Misfits is a 1961 drama directed by John Huston and starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Eli Wallach and Thelma Ritter. The supporting cast features Kevin McCarthy and Estelle Winwood.

Marilyn Monroe as Roslyn Taber
This film is very significant for two reasons...

  • it was Marilyn's last completed film (her final film 'Something's Got To Give' was never finished)
  • it was Clark Gable's final film - he died of a heart attack a few days before filming was completed
It was also Montgomery Clift's third to last film.

Although the film was not a success on its initial release, it is now praised by many film critics, and considered to be one of both Monroe and Gable's greatest dramatic performances

The screenplay was written by Marilyn's then husband Arthur Miller, based on his short story. Miller  got the premise idea from some divorced women and cowboys he befriended whilst living in Nevada.

Roslyn Taber (played by Monroe) is boarding with Isabelle Steers (played by Ritter) while she's getting a divorce. Together they meet cowboys Gay Langland (played by Gable) and Guido (played by Wallach), and alcoholic rodeo performer Perce Howard (played by Clift). 

'The Misfits' is beautifully filmed in the Nevada desert.

Did you know...

  • As of June 2012, star Eli Wallach is still alive at the age of 96
  • Director John Huston has an uncredited cameo as an extra in the black jack scene

Closing remarks

With so many Hollywood greats making very bad movies in their late careers, 'The Misfits' is a great swan song for both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, and a fantastic way to celebrate their acting legacies.

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