(hoopla/Pluto/VOD) A few things to know about this film:
- It was Arthur Miller’s first credited screenplay. He claims he wrote it for Marilyn Monroe, his wife at the time, to star in. She hated her character in the film, and the two of them divorced before the film was finished.
- It was Marilyn Monroe’s final completed feature before she died.
- Clark Gable cursed Marilyn for often showing up late (if at all) and, due to time constraints, opted to do many of his own stunts.
- It was Clark Gable’s final film. He died of a heart attack shortly after filming.
I could summarize it as a film where Clark Gable, Eli Wallach, and a post-car crash Montgomery Ward are all infatuated with a mercurial Marilyn Monroe, and they all head out to a wilderness spot to break a bunch of horses, or you could just watch the ‘paddle ball’ scene:
Or the ‘horse breaking’ scene:
(Or, of course, the trailer below.)
THE MISFITS an oil-and-water mixture of a film featuring actors and a filmmaker (the legendary John Huston) and a writer of wildly differing generations and dispositions grating against each other. While you can feel the tension, the frustration simmering between everyone involved, Miller’s screenplay inadvertently works with it, even fueling the over-stressed feeling of the film.
Miller is clearly working out a lot of personal issues out loud and, by doing so, it becomes a complex tale about men and adapting to change, but Monroe was right to be mad: her character is just a shape in a dress who can’t stand to see hurt in the world. He meant to pen a film for his wife, but only cared to flesh out the men that surrounded her. Good on her to dump the motherfucker.
THE MISFITS’ surprisingly avant-garde trailer:
Lastly, the title sequence is quite remarkable, and it was created by George Nelson and Co. Yes, the industrial designer. You can find more info here.