A long-lost nude scene of Marilyn Monroe appears to have been re-discovered, and it’s one of the first nude scenes shot for a major studio movie.
The scene is from John Huston’s 1961 The Misfits, and Marilyn Monroe played the lead female character. In the scene that was thought to have been destroyed by Huston, Monroe drops a bedsheet during a scene with Clark Gable, exposing herself on camera. The lost footage was discovered by Charles Casillo, author of the upcoming book Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon.
If it would have been used in the film, the scene would have been arguably the first nude scene by an American actress in a major production. Huston didn’t include the scene because he felt it wasn’t necessary to the story. Misfits producer Frank Taylor believed that the footage would be important and decided to save it. When Casillo interviewed Taylor’s son Curtice Taylor, he learned that the footage had been kept in a locked cabinet since the producer’s death in 1999.
The Misfits was written by Arthur Miller, Monroe’s then-husband. It’s a Western that tells the story of a divorcée and her difficult relationship with a mysterious older cowboy, played by Gable. In the scene that was cut, Monroe was supposed to get dressed under a sheet, but as Taylor told the Daily Mail, “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.”
Taylor went on to say that what will be done with the footage hasn’t been decided. The book about Monroe’s private life is out via St. Martin’s Press today.