Elliott Erwitt in London

Marilyn during filming of ‘The Seven Year Itch’, NYC, 1954

“Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, I was able to take pictures of in an intimate situation rather than a public one. This was in her hotel room in 1956*, when I was covering the film she was making at the time, Some Like It Hot.* She may have been reading a script when I took it. It was just me and her, and she was going about her business. I like the atmosphere, and the fact that it’s a famous person being photographed in an ordinary way. And I found her very sympathetic, I must say. She was nice, smart, kind of amusing, and very approachable. Not a bimbo at all.”

Elliott Erwitt 

*Actually, Erwitt first photographed Marilyn in 1954, while she was filming The Seven Year Itch in Manhattan. They worked together again on The Misfits (1960.)

“Four of Elliott Erwitt’s most iconic images will be presented in the UK for the first time as editioned, large format platinum prints, in an exhibition of fine photographs spanning Erwitt’s distinguished career.”

September 15 – November 30, Magnum Print Room, London

Playing Cowboys and Indians with Marilyn

Marilyn with an unnamed little girl during filming of ‘The Misfits’, 1960

“Toni Westbrook-Van Cleave was only 6 at the time, but she still remembers Marilyn Monroe strapping on a toy gun belt and playing cowboys and Indians with her young brother during a break in filming of The Misfits.

Like other residents of the small northern Nevada town of Dayton, she had no clue of the demons that drove Monroe to be consistently late on the set, causing frustrating delays for director John Huston and co-stars Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

‘She was gorgeous, very sweet, naive,’ recalled Van Cleave, who was a $10-a-day extra during a rodeo scene. ‘She wasn’t snobby. She seemed real down to earth and friendly.'”

Canadian Press

Kay Winters Remembers ‘The Misfits’


With Dayton’s 50th anniversary tribute coming up this weekend, Kay Winters, now 90, remembers filming of The Misfits:

“Celebrating her 90th birthday soon, Kay recalls watching Hollywood’s favorite movie stars acting on Pike Street: ‘We watched it being filmed,’ she said of Marilyn’s famous paddle board scene taken in the Odeon’s Saloon. ‘That silk dress she wore was really tight,’ she laughed at the memory.”

Reno Gazette-Journal

‘Honoring the Horse’ in Nevada

Ernst Haas, 1960

“Fall 2010 is the 50th anniversary of the filming of The Misfits in Reno, Dayton and the Pyramid Lake area. The star-studded film, written by Arthur Miller and directed by John Huston, was the last movie appearance for both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, and also featured Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter and Eli Wallach.

However, other ‘stars’ in the movie were four-legged creatures – wild horses, rodeo horses and trained movie horses played prominent roles in the film. To pay homage to these horses, along with horses in general, which have played such an important role in Nevada’s history, the ‘Honoring the Horse’ exhibit will be featured in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center beginning Sept. 15.

The ‘Honoring the Horse’ exhibit will run through March 2011, and in February, the Knowledge Center will host a discussion and showing of ‘The Misfits’, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film’s release.

For more information, go to www.knowledgecenter.unr.edu/specoll, or call 775-682-5665.”

Nevada News

Alex North Centennial Salute

Alex North composed the haunting soundtrack to The Misfits, and other classic films including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

A tribute to North, featuring a screening of The Misfits, will take place in the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre (the same venue where the Oscar nominations are announced each year), on Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, on Friday, September 24th at 7.30 pm.

As with all Misfits-related events, I wish I could be there. The soundtrack is available on CD.

Tales From Misfit Flats

Photo by Eve Arnold

“The Misfit Flats are among the most beautiful spots in the world to me!! I was utterly mesmerized. I remember vividly the exact first moment I stood there and the exquisite calm that came over me. I felt it was my natural spot. I couldn’t love that stretch of desert more, but then I loved Dayton and that fabulous bar with the dollars on the ceiling. I’ve loved the memories of that film again and again…”

Gail Levin, director of Making The Misfits, speaking to Laura Tennant in advance of the Dayton Historical Society‘s celebration of the movie’s 50th anniversary,  September 18-19.

Reno Gazette-Journal


Marilyn as Roslyn in ‘The Misfits’

“And Roslyn. What’s to say about Roslyn? She has all of the Monroe tics—her wobbly mouth, her baby-voice, her squeal, her wiggle. But all of these characteristics are made sad somehow in this performance, child-like actions that both draw and repel, weapons in her arsenal and her weaknesses. Roslyn reminds me of one aspect of Monroe’s persona that is often ignored—her manipulation of men. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but as a simple fact: men are attracted to her, almost irresistibly, and she uses this to her advantage as a way to survive—she makes her sexuality and vulnerability a performance, a captivating one that is both completely calculated and seemingly innocent. As always with Monroe, you sometimes want to slap her to snap her out of her breathy innocence and other times want to protect her from everything harsh and prickly.”

From ‘The Saddest Girl in the World’, an essay on The Misfits by Letitia Trent, posted at A Bright Wall in a Dark Room at Tumblr.

‘Blonde Bombshells’ in San Francisco

As Pola in ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ (1953)

“Marilyn Monroe (1926-62) is the most famous Hollywood blonde, and she stars in several of the Blonde Bombshells movies playing the Castro Theatre from  Aug. 27-Sept. 5.”

Bay Area Reporter

Friday August 27 – MM Double Bill

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3pm and 7pm

The Seven Year Itch 4:50 pm and 8:50pm

Saturday August 28 – MM Double Bill

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3:20pm and 7pm

How to Marry a Millionaire 1:30pm, 5:10pm and 9pm

Sunday August 29

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3pm and 6:45pm

Monday August 30

Bus Stop 3:20pm and 7pm

Friday September 3

Some Like it Hot 2:45pm and 7pm

Sunday September 5

The Misfits 2:30pm and 6:45pm

The ‘Blonde Bombshells’ season also includes films starring one of Marilyn’s favourite actresses, Jean Harlow, as well as Carole Lombard, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner and Jayne Mansfield.

Full listings here

Eli Wallach to be Honoured by Academy

Photo signed by Eli Wallach to Betsy Brett, staffer at Immortal Marilyn

Actor Eli Wallach, who played Guido in The Misfits (1961) will be honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on November 13 during the Governors’ Award dinner at the Grand Ballroom, Hollywood and Highland Center.

Over a career spanning half a century, Wallach has appeared in Baby Doll (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960), How the West was Won (1962), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Now approaching his 95th birthday, Wallach featured in two recent releases, Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer (2009) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).

Marilyn Monroe befriended Eli in the mid-1950s, when they both attended the Actor’s Studio in New York. While filming The Misfits, Marilyn wisely predicted that Wallach would continue working to a very old age. (Ironically, The Misfits would be the last film either Monroe or her co-star, Clark Gable, would ever make, and Montgomery Clift and Thelma Ritter both passed away within a few years.)

‘She saw herself drowning in Hollywood in 1955 and told her studio, “I’m not just wiggling my behind,”‘ Wallach said of Monroe at the time. ‘Marilyn is not any one thing; she’s multi-dimensional. As an actress, she has lots of imitators- but only Marilyn survives.’

Eli Wallach’s autobiography, The Good, the Bad and Me, was published in 2006 and includes some of his personal memories of Marilyn and The Misfits.

Hollywood News

Celebrating ‘The Misfits’ in Dayton, Nevada

“The Historical Society of Dayton Valley and Dayton Valley Days committee are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the filming of The Misfits in Dayton and Stagecoach on Sept. 18 and 19 on Dayton’s 160-year-old streets. Here’s a chance to connect with this community’s roots.

To make this event special, we are asking locals who remember the shooting of The Misfits to share their favorite local story, photographs or unique memorabilia on Saturday, Sept. 18, at a ‘Reminiscing The Misfits’ rap session at the Dayton Valley Community Center at 170 Pike St., Old Town Dayton beginning at 2 p.m.

To add to the fun, the historical society is sponsoring a Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable ‘look alike’ contest with a $50 cash prize going to each winner. Contestants are being asked to participate in the parade that begins at 10 a.m. Judges will finalize their decisions after the parade about 11:30 at the community center.

On Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m., the Misfits Theater Group is presenting a melodramatic skit telling a tale about your favorite stars in The Misfits movie. The live act is being held at the famous Odeon Hall’s ballroom where many of the movie’s action scenes occurred.

For more information, call Ada Hill at 775-246-7550, Vicki Kinney at 775-246-9396 or Laura Tennant, 775-246-3256 or visit www.daytonnvhistory.org or www.daytonvalleydays.org.”

Reno Gazette Journal