The story of a dying American tradition and the lost souls struggling to keep it alive, The Misfits
is a haunted piece of Hollywood heritage, troubled on and off screen by the ghosts of eras gone by. Marilyn Monroe
and Clark Gable
gave their final performances in this troubled production, furthering the melancholy mystique of John Huston
's off-beat drama of broken-hearted cowboys and broken-down marriages. Arthur Miller
's script proved poignant and prophetic when it had one character, shotgun in hand, explain to the crew of horse wranglers gathered on the barren Nevada desert: "you'll probably never see this again in history, you know."
Nevada, the "leave it" state: a gathering ground for misfits, burnouts, empty bottles and spare atom bombs. It's home to a host of interesting strangers: Roslyn; a beautiful but naive woman, reeling from a shotgun divorce, who has never stepped foot out of Reno, and Guido and Gay; a pair of erstwhile cowboys with a half-finished house in the sticks and bittersweet memories of a west that's no longer wild.
Roslyn moves out to the country and tentatively begins to build a home with Gay, but is soon on the move again when Guido returns and takes them on a road trip to round up wild mustangs, picking up a rodeo-rocked bull rider along the way to serve as an extra pair of hands. Arriving in the desert, tensions increase when Roslyn learns of the horses' grisly fate and the men around her are forced to confront their anachronistic lifestyles and their individual failures.