The Power of Marilyn’s ‘Misfit’ Goodbye

Marilyn with co-stars Thelma Ritter and Clark Gable in The Misfits (1961)

An in-depth look at The Misfits is posted on Jay’s Classic Movie Blog today.

“Marilyn Monroe stars as Roslyn Tabor, the woman who came to Reno for a divorce. Roslyn aches to be loved and respected for who she is and not for what people want from her. In a hypnotizing portrayal, Monroe delivers what I consider her best career performance. Already a top star for about a decade, Monroe became famous for playing deer-in-headlights type dumb blondes, and although Roslyn is sexy and beautiful, she is no dumb blonde. She has her own mind, makes her own decisions, is fully aware of men’s desires and intentions, and has no trouble saying ‘no’. It is clear from the moment she appears, that this is a strikingly different Marilyn Monroe than ever seen before. When Roslyn struggles to memorize lines to tell the judge about her husband’s cruelty, Monroe is subdued, serious and fully involved to the point where her hand is slightly shaking. Her entire performance is filled with details, nuances, and raw emotional vulnerability. Watch her in the short scene when Gay (Clark Gable) wants to shoot a rabbit. She goes through so many different emotions – all of which ring true. Roslyn is a highly complex character, embodying life, longing for humanity and kinship, and trying desperately to find kindness and light in a lonely, unmerciful world. Monroe’s haunting performance is one for the ages.” – Jay Jacobson