The Misfits (1961)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama, Modern Western  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Seldom, if ever, has a movie been in as much synchronicity with the lives of its stars as The Misfits. In fact, director John Huston's gift for casting took a spooky turn in this case. The film, ostensibly about disappearing independence, has mortality seeping from its every pore. It's a haunting and ghostly film about the end of an era that turned out to be the end of an era itself. Most famously, The Misfits was the last movie that two of the biggest screen legends, Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, would complete. By the early 60s, Monroe was going in and out of hospitals trying to deal with her drug problem and her overwhelming depression. She died of a drug overdose a year and a half after the movie was completed. Gable, reportedly bored with waiting for Monroe on the set, refused to have a stuntman do his stunts (at the age of 59!) and died less than a week after the end of filming for The Misfits. The final tragic story is the one of Montgomery Clift. One of the most supremely talented actors of his generation (in the same style but better than James Dean), Clift goes largely underappreciated today. His withered and languorous performance in The Misfits must have struck very close to home. It's a movie filled with loss, too much of it from outside the film itself.