Whether it is mere happenstance or genuine conceptual coup: THE MISFITS is almost earnestly about misfits and is certainly populated by three big-personality movie stars of a highly dysfunctional nature (w/ poor Eli Wallach). Watching the movie will always be informed by the clusterfuck that was its production. This is approximately the point at which Huston had mastered his very individual stylized naturalism.
Some of us are Clark Gable, but most of us are Eli Wallach. We have no chance with Marilyn, and quite frankly she's not worth it. These are the doomed, dying, drunk and drug addled. Gable managed to out-act all these actors enamoured of Method acting.
An under sung gem from director John Huston and the pen of Arthur Miller that serves as a swansong for stars Gable and Monroe (perhaps never better here). Dialogue is aces throughout in an elegy for a vanishing world and the battered lonely souls who live within. Great supporting turns by Wallach, Clift and Thelma Ritter guided by a pro through a troubled production. Monroe and Clift's scene in the alley..magic.
Wintry despite the heat of its setting, the leaden symbolism of its ending summing up this disappointingly dull, clunky and wordy film. The doomed pair of Clift and Monroe are compelling; if anything, the film's food for thought lies in the fact that Monroe was unable to outlive the naivety of her persona, and the film's real tragedy lies in emphasising the fact she would never have the chance to.
It's about the only romantic American theme: loss of seminal values and nostalgia for a time that is not so distant. Ten years before Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show, John Huston describes here out of place people looking for a European movie. Masterpiece.
A sense of unity despite the suffering and hopelessness among the characters touches the heart, even more when you know the actors' lives were mirroring what happens in the screen. They were also heading towards the end, and seemed to be accepting that idea, with heartrending melancholy and not without reluctancy.
Solid character drama from director John Huston and screenwriter Arthur Miller. The cast is pitch-perfect - Clark Gable, Eli Wallach, Montgomery Clift, and Thelma Ritter are superb, though Marilyn Monroe doesn't quite keep up. Fascinating characters and some rousing action scenes, but the leisurely pacing and meandering plot keep it from being as consistently compelling as it could be.