The Misfits – written by Arthur Miller, directed by John Huston (1961)

The Misfits is a 1961 American drama western film written by Arthur Miller, directed by John Huston, and starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift. The supporting cast features Thelma Ritter, Eli Wallach and Kevin McCarthy. The Misfits was the last completed film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. For Gable, the film was posthumously released, while Monroe died in 1962. The plot centers on a newly divorced woman (Marilyn Monroe) and her time in Reno and Northern Nevada, spent with her friendly landlady Isabelle Steers (Thelma Ritter), an old school cowboy (Clark Gable), the cowboy’s tow truck-driving and plane-flying friend (Eli Wallach) and their rodeo-riding, bronc-busting friend (Montgomery Clift) in Dayton, Nevada, and in the western Nevada desert in 1960. … The making of The Misfits was troublesome on several accounts, not the least of which was the sometimes 100 °F (38 °C) heat of the northern Nevada desert and the breakdown of Monroe’s marriage to writer Arthur Miller. Miller revised the script throughout the shoot as the concepts of the film developed. Meanwhile, while her marriage to Arthur Miller had issues, Marilyn Monroe was drinking too much after work, and was using prescription drugs; according to Huston in a 1981 retrospective interview, he was ‘absolutely certain that she was doomed’ a conclusion he reached while working on the film: ‘There was evidence right before me almost every day. She was incapable of rescuing herself or of being rescued by anyone else. And it sometimes affected her work.’ We had to stop the picture while she went to a hospital for two weeks. Huston shut down production in August 1960 when Monroe went to a hospital for relaxation and depression treatment. Monroe was nearly always late to the set, sometimes not showing up at all. She spent her nights learning newly written lines with her drama coach Paula Strasberg. Monroe’s confidant and masseur, Ralph Roberts, was cast as an ambulance attendant in the film’s rodeo scene. The other actors did not complain to Monroe about her lateness–-they knew they needed her to finish the movie. Gable reminisced with Misfits author James Goode saying, ‘Long ago, if an actor was late, they were fired.’  Clark Gable insisted on doing some of his own stunts, but not including the scene of being dragged 400 feet (120 m) across the dry lake bed at more than 30 miles per hour (48 km/h). Director John Huston said after Gable’s death he would never have allowed Gable to do the more dangerous stunts. …”
John Huston’s ‘The Misfits’ stands tall as a pearl of the sixties which isn’t going to fade into public oblivion any time soon (Video)
The City Review
‘The Misfits’ Marilyn Monroe’s final film, is bleak perfection
YouTube: The Misfits trailer, “I want you to meet my kids”, “Too Afraid To Die, Too Afraid To Live”, The Tragedy of The Misfits ||| Video Essay
YouTube: Marilyn Monroe And The Making Of “The Misfits” –  Documentary 54:13

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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