‘Almost Understood’: Marilyn Covers Film International

Marilyn graces the cover of Film International‘s latest issue (Vol. 20 No.1&2/2022.) Inside there’s a 26-page essay by George Toles, ‘Almost Understood: Rehearsals for Life and Death in John Huston’s The Misfits (1961.)’ For cinephiles and fans of Marilyn’s last completed movie, it’s essential reading.

“Marilyn Monroe’s Roslyn is introduced to us as a somewhat recognisable character type from conventional westerns. She is a woman from the East, who carries within her many of the ideals and sensitivities of the civilised, if often disreputable, places she has been: places that have been a rough testing ground, but which have not overcome her intense, feeling relationship to life. Whatever the damage that has been incurred, she has not been formed or jaded by her intimate relationship with darkness. She is, against all odds, a perpetual innocent, somehow dwelling radiantly to one side of the massive hurt to which she has been subjected. She is a dancer well-acquainted with the tawdriness of low level clubs and with masculine arrogance and brutality, but this background is blended with the disposition of a teacher. Her teaching is most of the time in the form of questions and free-flowing intuitions, and she is always in the process of discovering more herself. She might well express a willingness to be confused about nearly everything – in a manner that alternates continually between joy and sadness. She would choose to be a child of nature, always at the beginning of understanding, with as many things as possible left open to the imagination and the enchantment of surprise.”