Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Love Will Tear Us Apart

I can't resist a mash-up between the Joy Division's "Love will tear us apart" and the movie, "The Misfits". Saw the Misfits a few days ago and LOVED IT. Marilyn's character Rosalyn despairs at the emptiness of most relationships. Being with someone yet really being alone. The callous disregard that develops between partners. So too, she decries the repeated self-abuse that Perce, the rodeo cowboy, (Montgomery Clift), subjects himself to. But it is the brutality her male friends inflict on a herd of wild mustangs that brings her to a breaking point of repulsion and outrage, and leads to the film's climax.

Marilyn is great in this movie. Her character Rosalyn has just gotten a divorce in Reno, but along with her liberation is a persistent sadness, over the realization that in time, all love is bound to disappoint. She says, "Maybe all there really is is just the next thing. The next thing that happens. Maybe you're not supposed to remember anybody's promises." Marilyn's friend Isabelle, an older woman resigned to getting the short end of the stick calls Nevada the "Leave It" state. "Ya got money you want to gamble? Leave it here. You got a wife you want to get rid of? Get rid of her here. Extra atom bomb you don't need? Blow it up here. Nobody's gonna mind in the slightest."

Marilyn really is incandescent on the screen. It's hard to take your eyes off her. She hooks up with a cowboy (Clark Gable) and his pilot friend (Eli Wallach) in Reno, and charms them silly, but gives them more than they bargained for when she starts asking deep questions about life and love. She says, "We're all dying aren't we? We're not teaching each other what we really know, are we?" When the pilot recalls how saintly his wife was before she died unexpectedly, he says, "She wasn't like any other woman. Stood by me 100%, uncomplaining as a tree." To which Marilyn's character says, "Maybe that's what killed her."

Arthur Miller wrote this as a short story and then wrote the screenplay for the movie. He was married to Marilyn Monroe during the making of the film, but their marriage had fallen apart by the shoot's end. The movie was shot on location in the hot Nevada desert, with heat in the triple digits at times. According to IMDB, both Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift had problems with drugs and alcohol that sometimes delayed filming. Clark Gable was 59 but insisted on doing many of his own stunts, including one where he was dragged by a horse 400 feet across a dry lake bed, at 30 miles per hour. Some think that may be why he had a heart attack three days after filming ended, and died eleven days later. This was the last movie for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn taking break on the set. Her acting coach Paula Strasberg is in the car.

Final note about the movie: the real scene-stealer is this terrific dog.


  1. Wow, just reading about this movie I can feel the emptiness and pathos radiating from the screen. The desolate west is a perfect setting for stories like this. Reminds me of a Thomas McGuane novel. Ever read one? I think you'd like it.

  2. No, I haven't read him, but I am going to find some place to write that name down so I can read one of his novels when I am done with school. Five weeks and COUNTING!

  3. Hey, Marc. I've read lots of Tom McGuane. He seems to look for the reality of the West. He's interesting and very funny.

  4. i saw this movie a while back and i couldnt get over marilyn monroe's big booty. why cant we be allowed to have big booties like that?

  5. I'm sayin'! Her booty was larger than life! She could pull it off, somehow. I watched one of the special features on the DVD. The director said that Marilyn was the only woman he knew who photographed ten pounds lighter. So imagine how big that booty was in real life!

  6. Whoa. I love Joy Division. For some reason I thought they were kind of like Queensryche. They are way cooler! I like this post. This movie has always intrigued me, since it basically killed my man Mr. Gable. Love that guy. Also, big fan of poor Marilyn.

  7. Yeah, I'm a big fan of Marilyn, and Clark Gable is such a character...and I like Monty Clift. I thought his acting in this movie was top-notch. I knew it was him but he looked so different! Then I read that he had crashed his car into a tree during the filming of Raintree Country with Liz Taylor and his facial muscles were never the same after that. Changed his looks forever.

    Here is another good Joy Division tune:


  8. I'll check out the tune. But yes! I LOVE Monty Clift! Yeah, I knew that about his poor beautiful face.