The Misfits. 1961. USA. Directed by John Huston. Screenplay by Arthur Miller. With Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter. DCP. 125 min.
“How do you find your way back in the dark?” This line, delivered with breathy curiosity to Clark Gable, would be the last of Marilyn Monroe’s career; it was the final film for Gable as well, who passed away before its release. The Misfits begins in Reno, province of the quickie divorce, where Monroe’s character has just arrived. There she befriends a boarding house matron, a widower mechanic, and an over-the-hill cowboy, all of whom, like her, have run away from their past. “Her playwright husband gave her her most serious script, and if it was a flawed masterpiece, it is still a masterpiece,” wrote Lincoln Kirstein. “But The Misfits, unlike her other films, is not essentially about her performance, or about an artist performing. It is about the almost pornographic horror of a famous man who is actually dying and a famous woman who is having a nervous breakdown.”