The Misfits (John Huston, 1961)


(John Welles) #1

The Misfits (Huston/61)

The film, which starred Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach, is a modern-day, revisionist Western about four “Misfits” rounding up wild horses. Apart from stunning photography, most of the leads are at the top of the game, including Eli Wallach. A recommendable piece of filmmaking.


(Spaghetti Monkey) #2

I really enjoy this one a lot too, JW. It’s really more of a melodrama than anything, with a bit of the ‘last of a dying breed’ theme thrown in. But it’s so well done, and as you mentioned, everyone seems to be at the top of their game with good performances. One of the few American films from the late 50’s to early 60’s i like this much.


(Starblack) #3

A fine film, if a little too self-conscious. And terribly sad - partly due to the storyline but mainly because it was the last hurrah for Gable and Monroe.

I have read that Robert Mitchum was first offered Gable’s part; I think he would have been excellent, too, as he usually was.


(John Welles) #4

You’re right that it starts out as a melodrama, but towards the end, when they round up the Mustang’s, it does become a slightly poetical “last of the dying breed” Western.


(kit saginaw) #5

I liked it… gave it a 4. -Fits into John Huston’s repertoire nicely. I ignored who the cast was and just considered their chemistry. That seemed to be Huston’s only weakness; occasional casting miscalculations.


(Wild The Hunchback) #6

I’m not really into this movie so i gave it 3 stars .

I’ve never been a fan of Miss Monroe or Cable and Clift as i found them boring , especially in this movie.
Sadly all three died soon after this picture was made.

Eli Wallach , Kevin McCarthy and Thelma Ritter give the best performances in my opinion.

I have seen it described as a modern western which it isn’t as another poster stated correctly here. It is a drama and nothing more than that.


(SourNote2014) #7

It’s an interesting one, I can’t quite explain why. It gets such high praise, yet for all the wrong reasons.

Marilyn Monroe was actually a good actress, and her character Roslyn is the only sympathetic character in the movie. Everyone in that film treated her like an object and only tried to treat her nicely because they wanted her for her body. I don’t know if that was social commentary or personal opinion on Arthur Miller’s part.
Clark Gable was old and disgusting. And his character was the biggest jerk of the bunch. Montgomery Clift was okay, I guess.
Eli Wallach, though, he really shone as conflicted a-hole Guido. I don’t know what else to say about him, he was amazing! His eyes, they brightened, flared and danced with every bitter emotion that came over Guido. It was like poetry. And what an incredible dancer he was! If this movie has something for the ladies, this is it!

Overall, it’s a weird and disturbing film, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. I dunno. I think you should give it a watch.