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Marilyn Monroe was a blonde bombshell, a movie star known for her sultry voice and her even sultrier looks. She's still remembered more than fifty years later for her looks and the timbre of her voice, but if John Huston's The Misfits had gotten its way, she would have made movie history for appearing in one of the first nude scenes onscreen.
A scene from the 1961 movie was recently discovered, which showed Marilyn Monroe in a romantic entanglement with Clark Gable in the movie The Misfits. During a love scene, John Huston filmed a shot where Marilyn Monroe had a sheet around her body but dropped the sheet, exposing herself to her lover. It would have made sound era movie history as being one of the first nude scenes onscreen, and as Deadline notes, if the footage had made it into theaters, it could have actually been the first nude scene in the sound era.
Instead, the shot was locked away, not seeing the light of day for many years. Although it seems people knew of the nude scene's existence, it was thought that someone connected to the movie had destroyed the footage long ago. A book author, Charles Casillo, is the person who actually came across the long-lost footage. He was researching Norma Jean Baker's life and career for his novel Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon. He spoke with Curtice Taylor, the son of a producer on The Misfits, learning that Taylor had come across the nude scene when his father Frank Taylor had died. He'd opted to put the nude scene away in a locked drawer since 1999, where it lay until Charles Casillo found out about it.
Marilyn Monroe had enjoyed a long career by the time The Misfits came out in 1961, but she was struggling with substance abuse, as well as anxiety and depression by the early sixties. The John Huston movie would end up being her last film, as Monroe died from an overdose of barbiturates on August 5, 1962. The Misfits had come out more than a year prior. Marilyn Monroe was only 36 years of age at the time of her death.
Although John Huston didn't end up using the nude scene in the final draft of the film, Frank Taylor reportedly realized at the time that even filming the scene was significant and hung onto it. Currently, Curtice Taylor has not decided what to do with The Misfits footage moving forward, but we'll keep you updated should it go to auction or see the light of day in other ways.