One of the Century's most undeservedly overlooked films, built on superlative scriptwork, solid directing from John Huston - and superior deliveries by top-notch actors while each battled their personal demons.
The film was not a box office success, and remains overlooked, because its Western settings/scenery backdrops a highly-eruditic script more naturally suited for mid-Century Manhattan literary circles. Still, any reasonably attentive viewer can appreciate this story of a quintet of human beings struggling to discover who they will be, now that the worlds in which they once lived have moved on - and left them each standing alone amid the desert dust.
"The Misfits" is thoroughly drenched in fascinating backstory.
Miller, one of America's greatest mid-Century wordsmiths, took two years to forge this script (from his observations in Reno while awaiting the 1956 divorce that would free him to wed Monroe) both to honor feisty, individualistic Nevadans and to craft a dramatic showcase for Monroe. By 1960, when Miller returned to Reno for shooting, Marilyn was openly battling with him, romping with Yves Montand and abusing drugs/booze. Production stopped for Marilyn to go into detox. Barely able to stagger on-set, Marilyn, riding Miller's strong vehicle, proved herself the dramatic actress none would have thought. Marilyn died before completing another film.
In Act III, Gable insisted on dragging a 30mph stallion to the ground and hog-tying it himself, causing his own fatal heart attack two days after end-of-shooting, though he had griped that it was Marilyn's on-set behavior that would drive him to the grave.
Montgomery Clift's once-stellar career was also on the wane, amidst drugs and depression; Marilyn quipped that Monty was in worse shape than she. Clift died four years later.
RECOMMENDATION: For truest of film buffs, it's essential viewing.