“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.”
*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.”
“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.'”
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.”
“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.
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.
“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…”
“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.”
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.
“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.