Which ‘Eastern Western’ was the swan song of two Hollywood myths?

The questions could have been many others, because it was a filming that was no longer mythical, but everyone knew that it would be mythical before the protagonists joined, some of whom arrived at very low hours. In fact, the question could have been which mythical film broke a marriage between two icons of American culture.

Or what cinematic recording in the middle of the Nevada desert concentrated the great photographers of the Magnum Agency, from Henri-Cartier Bresson to Cornell Capa, from Bruce Davidson to Eve Arnold or Inge Morath. An Inge Morath who would end up marrying and living 40 years with the writer of this western of the East , none other than the great New York playwright Arthur Miller, married then, effectively, with one of the stars of the shoot, Marilyn Monroe.

Unpublished photos of Marylin Monroe

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And yes, both for Monroe and for another of the three great actors in the film, Clark Gable, that was his swan song, his last film released. Was Rebel lives ( The misfits ), in 1960, the director was John Huston, the third member of the stellar triumvirate was Montgomery Clift and it was a commercial failure and a huge critical success, which gave Marilyn what she longed for, to prove that she could be a dramatic actress, though it wouldn’t do him any good.

The filming conditions at 38 degrees were unbearable, Clark Gable came to the film sick – and still insisted on shooting risky scenes – Marilyn, with the couple making waters, drank and took tranquillizers – Huston even said that he saw her condemned, unable to rescue herself or to be rescued, and had to close the shoot for two weeks to go to a depression clinic – and Clift was also dependent on drink and pain medication.

Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, in images that collects

Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, in images that collects “The Misfits. Story of a shoot” (“Rebel lives. Story of a shoot”) and that Phaidon has just published in its English version in Spain

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In this twilight western, Marilyn plays a recently divorced former stripper who meets a mature cowboy (Gable) with whom to start a new life. Gable teams up with another worn-out rodeo rider (Clift) in capturing some wild horses to make dog food, which Marilyn tries to avoid. Gable suffered a heart attack two days after filming and passed away 10 days later. Marilyn would die of an overdose a year after the premiere in 1961 having tried to star Something’s got to give . His illnesses caused Fox to cancel it and it was left unfinished.


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Teresa Amiguet

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