The Misfits

The Misfits ★★★★★

“The Misfits” is a film so utterly despondent; it could only have been made by the truly lost at heart. 

John Huston’s “Misfits” was long ago eclipsed in artistic merit by its widespread infamy. The final completed film of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable; Huston himself was also consistently drunk and/or gambling while on location, and costar Montgomery Clift would suffer an untimely early death within five years of the movie’s release. 

It’s hard, then, to view “Misfits” for its original intent; a Valentine to Monroe from Arthur Miller. It’s unfortunate, because Miller’s script is among his best writings, and Monroe gave her greatest acting performance in the film... even while she was in and out of rehab, and her marriage to Miller fell apart. 

The emotional pain of “Misfits’” lead actors and director sears through every scene. Speaking Millers’ poetic dialogue; there is so much wanting that emanates from the lead five players. But the true pain is not from their failure to obtain, but a lack of knowing what they’re seeking in the first place. 

It makes Huston’s “Misfits” a sulking portrait of a world rent into pieces. After war, what peace? “Misfits” posits that there is none; except the unknowable desire that lies forever just outside the souls of man. All a person can do is stand in the desert and scream, while the horses keep running by.

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