The Misfits (1961) from Tuna

The Misfits included the final performances of both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. That alone would make the film worth watching. It was written by Arthur Miller for his ex wife, Marilyn, and was meant to let her shine.
As the story begins, Marilyn is in Reno getting a divorce. She meets cowboys Eli Wallach and Clark Gable, all three sort of lost souls looking for meaning. She moves into a house built by Wallach for his late wife, and begins a relationship with Gable. Gable and Wallach decide to go "Mustanging," and travel to a rodeo to find a third hand. That is where they run into old friend, Monty Clift. 


 All three men want Marilyn, and the jealousy causes some tension, but not nearly as much as when Marilyn discovers that they intend selling the mustangs for dog food. I am not real sure what this film is saying. It obviously is an environmental plea to stop killing mustangs, long before it was PC to be green. It is also about people who have lost their way, and it might be saying something about redemption. One thing I came away from the film with was a new appreciation for Marilyn's ability to use her body to advantage and get things by the censors. Rare for the time,  you can see a major nip slip (more like an entire right breast slip) that only lasted for two frames, and there are several pokies, major cleavage shots, and see-throughs. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterbox, 1.66:1

  • no meaningful features

Maltin says 3 stars, calling it unsatisfying but engrossing. IMDB readers say 7.2/10. I think the rating reflects the strength of the cast more than the actual plot. I found the dialogue rather over-wrought for the screen, and more suited to the stage, but the film held my interest, largely due to the performances by four screen greats. If you are a Marilyn fan, this is a must own. For the rest, it is worth seeing once.  

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 3/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.3 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+.

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