The Misfits (1961) was the final film for two of Hollywood’s greatest icons: Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe. The Gone with the Wind leading man died 12 days after shooting was completed on the John Huston-directed picture, while The Seven Year Itch star passed away a year later. The Misfits is notable for another reason, too: it also features Monroe’s first on-screen nude scene.
While doing research for the book Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, author Charles Casillo interviewed Curtice Taylor, the son of Misfits producer Frank Taylor, who told him of the existence of the notorious footage (which had been kept in a locked cabinet since his father’s death in 1999). The scene was cut from the final film and previously thought to be lost for good.
In a love scene with Clark Gable, Monroe dropped the covering bed-sheet and exposed her body. It would have been one of the first – if not the first – nude scenes by an American actress in a major production in the sound era of film if it had made it into the final version. (Via)
Huston reportedly cut the scene because he thought it was unnecessary to the plot. “If you read [The Misfits] script, it doesn’t say anything about nudity,” Castillo told The Daily Mail. “When she did the scene, everyone was shocked on the set. Huston sighed and said, ‘Honey, I’ve seen them before.’ Gable and others wanted [it] to be left in.” Taylor added, “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.”
It’s unknown what Taylor will do with the unreleased footage.