A long-lost scene from the 1961 John Huston film The Misfits has been found, and it features a stunning moment between stars Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. In a love scene with Gable, Monroe dropped a bed sheet that covered her and exposed her naked body on camera. Monroe’s spontaneous nudity in the stunning 45-second scene did not make it into the final cut of the film.
Had the scene made it into the film, it would have been one of the first nude scenes in history by a high-profile American actress in a major motion picture, according to Deadline.
The nude scene was long thought to be destroyed by Huston but was found by author Charles Casillo during research for his book, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon. During his research process, Casillo discovered that the son of Misfits producer Frank Taylor has safeguarded the rare footage in a locked cabinet in his home since his father’s death in 1999.
Huston and Taylor seemingly butted heads over the scene. Huston reportedly felt the nudity was unnecessary to the story, but Taylor believed that it was groundbreaking, his son, Curtice, revealed. While Monroe appeared nude on camera, The Misfits script reportedly did not mention nudity, according to the Daily Mail.
— The Daily (@CriterionDaily) August 12, 2018
Taylor’s son explained that Marilyn Monroe exposed herself in the shot because her character, Roslyn Tabor, was putting her shirt back on after a love scene with Gable’s character, Gay Langland. While Monroe was originally supposed to get dressed under the sheet, she felt it made no sense to do it that way.
“Why would a woman sitting up in bed, with nobody in the room, pull the sheet up and then try to put a blouse on at the same time? It makes no sense. So she just drops the sheet. I think it’s one of the reasons she did this. There are quite a few takes of this scene.”
Marilyn Monroe didn’t have a problem with nudity, but her stunning nude scene in a movie is shocking to some due to the era that it occurred in.
In 1953, Monroe appeared nude in the debut issue of Playboy magazine (albeit without her permission), and Vanity Fair notes that shortly before her death, Marilyn Monroe made another bold nude move on the set of her next film, Something’s Got to Give. The star posed nude for behind-the-scenes images for the film during a photo session with photographer Lawrence Schiller. Sadly, Monroe was fired shortly after the shoot so she never completed the film. She died just two months later.
The Misfits was written by Marilyn Monroe’s then-husband, Arthur Miller and it was her final film before her death, as well as Clark Gable’s.
In addition to Monroe and Gable, The Misfits dream cast included Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach, but it could have been one of the raciest films of its time had Marilyn’s nude scene not been cut. As of now, Curtice Taylor has no plans to release the nude footage of Marilyn Monroe.