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Trivia / The Misfits

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The band

  • Name's the Same: With the rivals of Jem and the Holograms. Not helped by the comic reboot in which that version of them is specifically a metal band.
  • The Pete Best: Jimmy Battle and Diane DiPiazza, who were in the band only one month. They are the only members who didn't perform on any release at all, that is, if you exclude final drummer from Danzig's era, Brian Damage, who got drunk on his only gig with the band and after a few songs had to be escorted (Todd Swalla filled in for him for the rest of the show).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In 2004, Danzig tried to arrange for a Misfits reunion with Jerry Only and Doyle. Doyle was on board but Jerry Only was against it as he preferred covering '50s pop songs instead. Instead, Doyle occasionally joins Danzig onstage for Misfits mini-sets, which finally came to a show with the 90s Misfits line-up (minus Jerry Only) opening for Danzig, who performed classic songs in the middle of his set. Only's response to this proposal has not made him popular with the fans. The Danzig/Only/Doyle reunion finally happened on September 4, 2016 at Riot Fest Denver, with a second show set for September 16.
    • Davey Havok of AFI was proposed by Jerry Only as the new vocalist of the band after Michael Graves left; however, Havok was busy working on Sing The Sorrow and had found his own band in AFI, and turned down the proposal.

The film

  • Billing Displacement: Eli Wallach's role in the movie is bigger than that of Montgomery Clift, yet he's one of the last to be billed in the opening credits and is hardly billed at all on the poster.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $4 million. Box office, $4.1 million (rentals).
  • The Cast Showoff: Eli Wallach and Marilyn Monroe show off their terrific dancing skills in one scene (though Monroe did grip Wallach's shoulder tighter than she should have while filming).
  • Creator Backlash: Marilyn Monroe later said she hated the film, her performance and her character.
  • Creator Breakdown: Marilyn Monroe's marriage to Arthur Miller disintegrated during production. She would always arrive late, her marriage to Arthur Miller was falling apart and she got into frequent arguments with him, and she distanced herself from her friends. She was also shaken up by Clark Gable's death after the film was completed, and blamed herself for it. More superficially she was also getting handed late rewrites of the script, sending her into a panic about memorising all the new lines. Both she and Montgomery Clift were battling substance abuse issues.
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  • Dawson Casting: Although Clark Gable was 59, his character was supposed to be in his forties.
  • Deleted Scene: Marilyn Monroe's love scene with Clark Gable originally contained a nude scene. The footage was believed lost until 2018.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • Eli Wallach, unlike the rest of the cast, had no health problems, but he, like the rest of them, had a difficult time shooting the film.
      • He was the victim of a practical joke from the crew, who sprayed black oil in his face instead of motor oil as was scripted and suggested he sing "Mammy"; one Death Glare from Eli and no one dared to cross him again.
      • Though he tried to stay friends with Marilyn Monroe, they competed with each other on set. In the scene where Guido was dancing with Roslyn, he maneuvered her so that he was the one facing the camera. Monroe remarked that the audience would be concentrating more on her rear than his face anyway. He had expected a closeup of himself when Roslyn gave her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Guido, but was only told by John Huston never to tell the director where to set up a shot.
      • When he took his children, whom she used to babysit, to see her, she took one look at him and his family and shut the door on him. After Monroe had an argument with Arthur Miller, she ran into Wallach at the hotel, and the last words she ever said to him were, "Oh, you Jewish men!"
      • Monroe's attitude with Wallach wavered wildly between cuddling up to him and giving him the cold shoulder.
    • At first, Wallach and Clark Gable didn't get on. They were so uncomfortable with each other that at first they had trouble remembering lines in their scenes together. Eventually, they developed a grudging respect, though each kidded the other relentlessly. Wallach would jokingly ask, "Hey, King, can you lower my taxes?", while Gable once quipped that they were having boiled ham for lunch in Wallach's honor.
    • The only problem Gable had with Montgomery Clift occurred while filming a scene driving to the rodeo. In his excitement, Clift hammered on Gable's back, and Gable asked him not to do it again, as he had back problems. Even when Gable showed Clift the black and blue marks his blows were causing, it didn't seem to matter. The next time Clift hit him on the back, Gable yelled, "I'm going to hang one on you, you little bastard, if you do that again!" Clift burst into tears.
  • Playing Against Type: Marilyn Monroe playing an Only Sane Woman instead of a Brainless Beauty.
  • Playing with Character Type: Clark Gable pours on the charm as Gay, taking advantage of his tendency to play romantic leads, before showing him as trigger-happy, slightly perverted and desperate for something to control.
  • Throw It In!: John Huston insisted on using real wild horses for the rodeo scene. The horse Montgomery Clift had to ride was too wild for the actor, but Huston insisted that he sit on it in the bullpen chute for a close-up. When the horse lost control it threw Clift against the side of the chute, ripping his shirt. That was the take Huston used in the film.
  • Troubled Production: This was by all accounts an unhappy film to make:
    • Filming took place in Nevada in peak summer temperatures of over 100 degrees thanks to production of Monroe's previous film, Let's Make Love, lagging behind schedule due to a Screen Actor's Guild strike. Director John Huston took advantage of the location to spend long nights drinking and gambling instead of sleeping, causing him to occasionally doze off on set, and forcing the production company to cover his gambling losses, contributing to the film going over budget. Gable was particularly annoyed by Huston's carousing, especially his penchant for bragging about his massive losses at the gambling tables. The film's ballooning budget caused United Artists to shut down production, and it took two weeks of meetings in New York and Los Angeles to get it re-opened.
    • Almost the entire cast were having severe personal problems, but none more so than Marilyn Monroe, whose marriage to the film's scriptwriter, Arthur Miller, was collapsing; she objected to how he had written her character and felt he had turned John Huston against her, and within weeks they were only speaking to each other through Monroe's acting coach, Paula Strasberg (wife of Method acting guru Lee Strasberg). In the early weeks of filming, she sought solace in the arms of her Let's Make Love co-star Yves Montand during weekend visits to her doctors in Los Angeles, trysts that stopped after gossip columnist Hedda Hopper printed a quote from Montand claiming that they were just his way of ensuring her romantic scenes in the film went smoothly (Monroe knew that he only said this to avoid hurting his wife, Simone Signoret, but she was still deeply stung by his words). Meanwhile, Miller began an affair with photographer Inge Morath, whom he later married after his divorce from Monroe became final.note  Miller was also constantly re-writing the script, regularly throwing Monroe into a panic over having new lines to remember at short notice.
    • As her marriage to Miller disintegrated, Monroe sank into a pit of depression and drug addiction so severe that there were many days when she showed up late and/or in no condition to work, if she showed up at all - this despite her daily calls being for 10am rather than the usual 9am, a concession to the fact that she would never be on time for a 9am call. Huston, who later said he was "absolutely certain that she was doomed" during shooting, put the film on hold for two weeks in August 1960 while she went to detox (also partly to cover his tracks as United Artists became concerned over the effect his gambling losses were having on the film's budget; fortunately, the film's insurance provider paid for her treatment). As she was noticeably hollowed out by the experience, most of her close-ups following her release were shot in soft focus.note 
    • Clark Gable was likewise in poor health when filming began, having been a heavy smoker since his mid-teens (leading to clearly audible damage to his voice) and a heavy drinker until not long before filming began, and he had twice had severe chest pains in the previous decade which may have been heart attacks that were never diagnosed. It took two attempts for him to pass a medical insurance physical before filming began, and only because he had spent the entire week before the second physical in bed without smoking or drinking. Bored with constantly waiting for Monroe to arrive on set, he asked Huston to help him pass the time by allowing him to do some of his own stunts, including being dragged across a dry lake bed by a truck at 30 mph. He was also flummoxed by the Method acting embraced by Monroe, Montgomery Clift, and Eli Wallach (all of whom had studied acting under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio), which he described as like an alien religion to him.note  When shooting wrapped, he quipped, "Christ, I'm glad this picture's finished. She damn near gave me a heart attack." The next day, he suffered a severe coronary thrombosis. He died in hospital from a heart attack just ten days later. A devastated Monroe blamed herself for his death.note 
    • Among the other cast members, Clift had been struggling with drug problems ever since he had been seriously injured in a car accident in 1956, and he and Monroe required onset doctors. Monroe allegedly said of working with Clift, "It's good to meet someone who's in worse shape than I am."note 
    • Thelma Ritter's health problems were, in comparison to the rest of the cast, much more minor, as she was rushed to hospital after suffering from exhaustion as the shoot shuddered to a close.
    • After Gable's funeral in November 1960, Huston, Miller, and producer Frank Taylor wanted to get the film into cinemas before the end of December to make Gable eligible for a posthumous Best Actor nomination at the following year's Oscars, but post-production had only just begun, and the film did not have a musical score - composer Alex North had not even seen a rough cut of the film, so he had no idea what he was writing for. By early December, it became apparent that the film would not be ready by the end of the year, and although North finished writing and recording the score in just three weeks, the film was released in February 1961, and Huston's hopes of securing Gable a posthumous Oscar nomination were dashed.note 
  • Wag the Director:
    • Marilyn Monroe reputedly nagged Arthur Miller to cut scenes featuring Eli Wallach's character, Guido, for fear that he would upstage her own performance. He arguably ended up doing so anyway.
    • Wallach stated in his autobiography that his most dramatic scene was cut from the movie after it had been filmed over several takes. This scene depicts Guido being emotionally crushed when he visits Roslyn, hoping to propose to her, and instead sees her with Gay. Both Gable and Monroe are offscreen, and Wallach's heartbreak is indicated by his dropping the rose bouquet he had brought for her. Gable ordered the scene removed because he felt that his character would never steal a woman from another man. Wallach, however, refrains from criticizing Gable, noting that he was professional and considerate in his behavior.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • John Huston originally wanted Robert Mitchum to play Gay Langland but Mitchum didn't like the script and turned it down. Huston and Arthur Miller rewrote the script, but by the time Mitchum got to see the rewrite he had committed to another film. The role was instead offered to Clark Gable, who took it.
    • Eli Wallach, Arthur Miller and John Huston attended numerous conferences rewriting the script into a Darker and Edgier version, where Guido was a sort of hero, Roslyn was a prostitute and Gay was an alcoholic bum. Clark Gable protested and the ideas were scrapped.
  • Written-In Infirmity: While working a rodeo in Pocatello, Idaho, Montgomery Clift was bruised on the bridge of his nose. It was exactly the type of injury his character was supposed to have in the film.

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