A writer has rediscovered Marilyn Monroe’s long-lost first nude scene—locked in a cabinet.
The footage in question is an outtake from the last film she finished, The Misfits, co-starring Clark Gable. (It was his final project, as well.) Deadline reported on the discovery, made by Charles Casillo while researching his new book, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon:
Casillo interviewed Curtice Taylor, son of Misfits producer Frank Taylor, and learned that he has kept the footage in a locked cabinet since his father’s death in 1999.
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.
Director John Huston ultimately cut the scene, deeming it unnecessary, and it was previously thought to be lost. She would do another nude scene, this one poolside, in her next film—Something’s Got to Give—but she never finished the movie.
Taylor hasn’t decided what to do with the footage. And as Vanity Fair pointed out, the discovery presents some tricky issues:
But should anything be done with the footage, aside from keeping it in the cabinet where it’s resided for all these years? As excerpts from and reviews of Casillo’s book have noted, the author details Monroe’s history with sexual abuse, recounting her toxic relationships with numerous men who tried to take advantage of her. The book includes several heartbreaking details, including an illustrative anecdote allegedly told by Orson Welles about a man tearing Monroe’s top at a soiree and revealing her breasts to partygoers.
But according to HuffPo, the scene was Marilyn’s idea. After shit like Hugh Hefner launching his magazine with her old nude photos—without her permission—maybe she just wanted a chance to call the shots.