The Misfits (1961) - Drama, Romance, Western

Hohum Score



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

IMDB: 7.4
Director: John Huston
Stars: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe
Length: 125 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 18 out of 130 found boring (13.84%)

One-line Reviews (76)

She knew how to act and her character borders between virginal, ditzy and very intense.

It is a performance ground out in part from her own person and experience and in part by the director John Huston and the editor George Tomasini who helped a nearly destroyed Monroe create her stunning Roslyn.

Still stunning with an unbelievable magnetism, she was growing into a highly instinctive actress capable of conveying deeply felt emotions.

There are those who say of "The Misfits" that "nothing happens in it," as if that omission is a fault.

This ain't gonna be no cowboy movie and it sure ain't gonna be no comedy (despite the categorization by IMDb, even the "comic relief" scenes are immersed in pathos).

Over-hyped and Boring .

It's also dragged down by the fact that it was Clark Gable's, Montgomery Clift's, and Marilyn Monroe's final movie.

The most memorable scenes occur in this final Act, on the bleak, empty salt flats, where the characters confront a herd of wild horses, which in turn forces the characters to confront their own inner wildness.

It's obvious that Arthur Miller was trying to say something important here, but THE MISFITS is a strange vessel to convey anything other than bitterness, distrust, emptiness, anger and pity as expressed by showcasing the empty lives of a group of disparate people trying to eke out a living in the barren wastelands of Nevada.

Arid, depressing, slow and yet, riveting, funny, mesmerizing.

In his valedictory role as well, Gable still has the old Hollywood star wattage and natural machismo to bring credibility to his aged cowboy, Gay, showing unexpected sensitivity in some difficult scenes.

This collaboration between acclaimed playwright Arthur Miller and director John Huston, while not without flaw, is a consistently engaging study of the inevitable death by degrees of the faux values of the American Dream.

If you've never seen it, get it on DVD, I'm sure the print will be stunning.

Monroe is stunning and gives a quiet and simple performance that shows what she could have done (had she lived).

Scenes between these two movie giants are interesting to watch, especially Monroe, who seems like she has completely immersed herself in this role and does some things you wouldn't expect of Marilyn Monroe.

This time watch for recurring themes like dark/light (clothing/backdrops)running reference to death - and the sources of life/lightfor example, opens w/ "dead battery scene" - then the same character ( and the guiding angel Ms. "Steers" ) AGAIN lead her to life ; but she still is so willing to fill her empty desperation that she almost immediately needs to hear music - from the car radio - draining life from the battery....

Weak but Entertaining .

A miserable, unhappy, self-pitying wallow of a film, pretentious in theextreme.

Once again, if you're looking for an entertaining film, you may be disappointed.

Giving up a medical career and watching the unexpected death of his pregnant wife, he still showed greed in wanting to pursue the horses.

Backstory as intriguing as finished film .

Monroe, Gable, Wallach, Clift and Ritter form an interesting group of social outsiders in this compelling drama.

Well worth watching.

The quality of the remastered DVD is excellent but the story is SO slow and SO unbelievable that I just found it odd and rather contrived.

The film's also a fascinating period piece.

Worth watching The Misfits, and I mean even the day will come that he will be hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made

I fell asleep twice as I tried with all of my energy to get through it.

Ms. Monroe is fragile and stunning.

After an interesting setup it fizzles out very quickly and just keeps getting worse, and more boring, as it goes along.

The young Eli Wallach is intense and cocky as the recently widowed ex-army pilot on the rebound.

Likewise the always-wonderful Ritter delivers the same character she has in so many films and is an enjoyable addition, even if the film just seems to forget her after a while.

Dancing to Peter North's riveting theme, the opening graphics show parts of a picture puzzle merging, not fitting and then separating, spinning off aimlessly.

Gable and Clift fall asleep in the back seat, leaving the besotted Wallach to drive them home at 90 miles an hour, rambling on about how many people, horses, and dishes he destroyed while bombing nine European cities during the war, while a frantic Monroe sympathizes with him and begs him to slow down.

Cut to a shot of the vast empty landscape on a clear night, with eyes looking upward, an intuition of eternity.

you think you'll see something great, maybe because of the biggg names included; however, the whole thing proves to be worthless just because of one thing: Monroe's sexual attraction: it seems at different points in the movie as if the lady does not know what to do, where to look, etc. because of her still-stunning beauty.

It is especially haunting to see Monroe, whose confusion seems like more than acting, on the verge of a middle age she would never enter.

 The film is one of Marilyn Monroe's lesser known ones, and the banality and dismalness can make the pacing tedious at times.

The problem is that this picture is too long and doesn't really come together.

Monroe's acting is mediocre, though she is fascinating to watch.

At times the story itself does seem slow, as another review mentioned, but the characters and their psycho-dramas are well worth watching.

Pretentious from start to finish is the only verdict I can come up with and a difficult film to watch without losing patience.

The first half of the movie, in particular, is very slow and meandering and never seems to be going anywhere.

Poor Eli Wallach is saddled with probably the most contrived lines of Miller's script and the least sympathetic character, a mouthy braggart who is the first to meet Rosalyn and then suffers the humiliation of witnessing her growing attraction to Gay.

Marilyn is the woman obsessed with sensitivity, who will try to change their ideas and bring joy to their empty lives.

It was so fantastically fascinating from beginning to end that I watched it twice in a row.

Yes, it is overlong, it is very slow sometimes and while easy to admire it isn't a movie I can enjoy fully.

(Monroe's real-life confusion certainly led to Gable's real-life death, since he decided on doing his own stunts during the time she failed to show up.

Most people's lives are marked by long stretches where "nothing happens," yet how many of us describe our lives as gray, empty and consistently devoid of meaning?

Her manic breakdown at the very end, filmed in a long shot against the backdrop of barren desert, is grimly fascinating viewing.

It sounds contrived,it seems that Miller uses the screen as a way of washing his dirty linen in public.

The action during the hunt for the mustangs is intense, grueling and exhausting.

While over-written and plodding, the dialog has an earthy reality that seeps out from time to time, aided in no small way by John Huston's excellent direction and stunning cinematography.

With the combination of her beauty and vulnerability acting as the elusive flame around which the three men hover, Monroe uses her childlike innocence and unexpected wisdom to make her forlorn divorcée, Rosalyn, a more fully dimensional woman than she probably was on paper.

So, while this intense drama is about a group of people who seem oddball, it's really all about people – just like you and me – trying to figure what to believe in...

Nevertheless, I found the film entertaining.

Those roping stunts and Clark Gable being dragged by a horse probably put a strain on his cardiovascular system.

The confusion she lived through during her ten-year career forged her reputation as an actress difficult to work with, the relationship with Miller would also be affected by her antics and they would divorce shortly after the film.

As it is the film is pretty boring without too much energy.

"The Misfits" is worth watching because it is the last movie performance for both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.

And if Arthur Miller's existential ruminations sometimes come across as forced and trite, other parts of the script become electrifying in the hands of people who were closer to their last bows than they might have known.

Her sensitivity to the plight of the wild horses the ranchers are capturing and killing for illegal profit, is brilliantly well-paced, her anguished dialog in defense of their freedom evocative of larger social issues coming to the fore in the 1960s.

The picture becomes tiresome because the theme of rugged individuality is just that.

"The overlay of the theme of the death of the Old West--it's 1961 and the men are still chasing mustangs in the desert, which leads to the gripping climax scene--gives the whole thing a Cormac McCarthyesque feel.

Look for Thelma Ritter as comic relief, and an overall documentary on the disjointed lives of many Americans.

This is one of those films, like "All About Eve" or "Rebel Without a Cause", which has been made more gripping by the fates of the cast.

The trailer and advertising definitely oversell the very real excellence of Arthur Miller's writing and John Houston's direction, actually making the viewer anticipate a pseudo intellectual dull time.

Impeccable acting by Marilyn and Clark, very strong dialogues and a surprising deep make this movie worth watching.

I could forgive Crowther more easily if he'd simply said: "These are tragic characters, their mundane lives rendered masterfully, by an ensemble of stars who'd long ago abandoned the every-day for 'stardom.

Not often do things fill me up with the tremendous feeling of absolute perfection and happiness, but the way Manroe acted in this picture, was simply breathtaking.

The first hour and a half of this two-hour film is mighty slow going.

The script is low key but interesting even if it is way too slow at points.

It is a fascinating piece of cinema.

Guido is unnecessarily antagonized towards the end but more than that, I found the intense focus on capturing Mustangs slightly digressive.

The film comes to life more in the second half; the mustang-hunting scene is genuinely exciting and the romance between Roslyn and Gay becomes more interesting as it seems that she will have to choose between her love of animals and her love for a man whose whole way of life is cast around the assumption that animals are just another commodity.

She's riveting and not because of her fantastic looks.

Everyone seems disillusioned, and the movie plods along in dreary fashion, despite a game cast.