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The Misfits (1961)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  1 February 1961 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 12,193 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 71 critic

A sexy divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle in early-sixties Nevada.



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Complete credited cast:
James Barton ...
Fletcher's Grandfather
Raymond Taber
Church Lady Collecting Money in Bar


Roslyn divorces Ray in Reno and then meets widower Guido. He likes her but introduces her to cowboy Gay, and those two fall in love. When she learns that Gay, Guido and Perce are going to turn wild horses ("misfits") into dog food, she protests. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


'SMASHING' thru the Excitement Barrier ! See more »


Drama | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 February 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los inadaptados  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Contrary to what the studio said, Clark Gable did not do all of his own stunts but was doubled by stuntman Jack N. Young. Young doubled when Gable was escaping from the rodeo, when Gable turned the prop, and when Gable worked with the wild mustangs. When you can't see Gable's face, it's Young. See more »


When Gay is seeing Susan off at the train station she is supposed to be traveling east to St. Louis but the train she boards is heading west. See more »


[first lines]
Isabelle Steers: Young man, do you have the time? I got six clocks in the house and none of them work.
Guido: Twenty after nine.
Isabelle Steers: After? It's twenty after, dear. Dahlin'. Five minutes.
Roslyn: What about you?
Isabelle Steers: I'm all set, I just tyin' my sling. The lawyer said nine thirty sharp, dahlin'.
Roslyn: Okay.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no closing credits of any kind. Not even the words "THE END" appear on the screen. See more »


Featured in Censura: Alguns Cortes (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gable and Monroe Are Terrific
14 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE MISFITS is a delicate gem of a film, poetic and harsh and as cold as those western stars on the horizon that Gable and Monroe drive toward at film's end. The title refers to the wild mustangs they hunt, but it also describes the 4 main characters, each lost in a world they hardly recognize. At one point Monroe points to a mountain vista and says "it's like a dream." Each of the characters is wounded and lost in some way. Marilyn Monroe plays a divorcée trying to figure out what to do next. Clark Gable plays a cowboy in a vanishing west. Montgomery Clift plays a rancher cheated out of his legacy when his mother remarries. Eli Wallach plays a guy whose life has come to a standstill after the death of his wife. The characters circle each other, trying to make connections, but their timing is always off. Gable and Monroe seem to find something until they go on the mustang hunt.

Gable is magnificent as the aging cowboy who fears "working for wages" as the final sign of giving in to the commonplace and losing the old west. But the old west is, of course, already lost. Most of the action takes place in and around Reno, the perfect symbol for what the west has become. His drunk scene (after he has seen his kids) is astonishing in its pain and ugliness. It's a great performance.

Monroe is stunning and gives a quiet and simple performance that shows what she could have done (had she lived). Leaving her "dumb blonde" persona in the dust, what we get here is Monroe the actress, and she's just plain terrific. Aside from the scene (done in a long shot) where she rages at the men after they have captured the horses, Monroe plays this character very quietly and with lots of small reactions (watch her eyes). It's a great performance.

Clift and Wallach do wonders with their characters and provide a lot of the tension since all three men pursue Monroe. Thelma Ritter is solid as Isabelle. Estelle Winwood has an odd role as the old lady collecting money. James Barton and Kevin McCarthy have small roles.

I think THE MISFITS is a must see for any serious film buff. The film collapsed under the weight of its publicity in 1961 and there was a huge backlash when Gable died within 2 weeks of finishing the film. Yet the film is gorgeous, a shimmering Arthur Miller poem to the worlds and people we've lost.

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