7.4/10
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130 user 73 critic

The Misfits (1961)

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

Director:

John Huston

Writer:

Arthur Miller (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Gay Langland
Marilyn Monroe ... Roslyn Taber
Montgomery Clift ... Perce Howland
Thelma Ritter ... Isabelle Steers
Eli Wallach ... Guido
James Barton ... Fletcher's Grandfather
Kevin McCarthy ... Raymond Taber
Estelle Winwood ... Church Lady Collecting Money in Bar
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Storyline

Roslyn Taber, the type of woman who turns heads easily, recently came to Reno to get a quickie divorce, she having no idea what to do with her life after that. She cannot tolerate seeing animal suffering, let alone human suffering. Coinciding with getting the divorce, Roslyn meets friends Gay Langland and Guido, a divorced aging grizzled cowboy and a widowed mechanic respectively. Although Guido makes no bones about wanting to get to know Roslyn in the biblical sense and although he "saw her first", Roslyn begins a relationship with Gay, despite Roslyn's friend Izzy Steers, who originally came to Reno years ago to get her own divorce and never left, warning her about cowboys as being unreliable, and despite Roslyn initially not being interested in Gay "in that way". Gay has grown children who he rarely sees and wishes he was there for more than was the case. Gay and Roslyn move into the under construction farmhouse owned by Guido, which he was building for his wife before she died. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

'SMASHING' thru the Excitement Barrier ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 February 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los inadaptados See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Seven Arts Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One scene cut from the film had Guido coming to propose to Roslyn, but finding her with Gay. Heartbroken, Guido drops a bouquet of flowers. Clark Gable wanted the scene cut because he felt his character would never steal a woman from another man. Eli Wallach refrained from criticizing Gable, noting that he was professional and considerate in his behavior. See more »

Goofs

When Guido is chasing the horses with the bi-plane. He pulls up a shotgun, and points and supposedly fires it. But, while there is a sound effect. The gun itself does nothing. No smoke, no movement, nothing. See more »

Quotes

[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

Opening credits are shown on and around puzzle pieces. See more »

Connections

Featured in Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence: Richard Gere (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gable and Monroe Are Terrific
14 January 2008 | by drednmSee 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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