(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.
(fubo/Netflix/SyFy/VOD) In the days around SyFy’s rebranding in 2010, they were airing LOST GIRL, an irreverent, pan-sexual Canadian show about a succubus trying to get by in a world full of crazy mythical beasts. LOST GIRL went through a number of showrunners but finally found a constant in Emily Andreas until its end. Once LOST GIRL wrapped up, I knew I’d follow her to whatever she would do next.
Andreas ended up adapting the IDW comic book WYNONNA EARP, a high-concept story about Wyonna Earp (Melanie Scrofano) being a fuckup female hier to the Wyatt Earp legacy in a town of monsters. Andreas turned what could have been a rather routine TV comic book adaptation into the most gleefully slapstick action/comedy queer show ever.
Andreas has been unapologetic about how this is her BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (although there’s a specific turn in the show that I believe marks a pivot to ANGEL) but more importantly, this is a show about family and acceptance. It’s also really fucking funny while also being delightfully filthy. Part of that’s because they severely lean on Melanie Scrofano’s gift for physical and verbal comedy, to the point where the last season of the show has a higher quip count than most network sitcoms.
While the show is unabashedly female-forward, one facet I love about it is that the core men are just as interesting, complicated, and often empathetic, epitomized by the show’s 150+ year-old (but still very handsome) Doc Holiday (Tim Rozon).
If you take a passing glance at Andreas’ Twitter account, or check out any interview with any member of the cast or crew, this was clearly a fun labor of love. Everyone clearly enjoyed showing up to work every day, and you can see the show improve over time because of those bonds.
Sadly, SyFy recently canceled the show, and aired what became the series finale on April 9th. I will miss it, but I can’t wait to see what Emily Andreas does next.
(AMC+/kanopy/Shudder/VOD) Amplified western giallo: you’ll hear every twist of leather, you’ll see every wisp of hair, taste every bit of grit, smell their sweat and gunpowder. It’s entirely about sensuality, and it’s so extraordinarily satisfying.
Also, it’s a damn thrilling heist film and, when shit goes sideways — as it always does — it becomes something astounding.