This would have been the first nude scene by an American actress in a feature film, but Director John Huston refused to include it, insisting on a retake, and the risqué footage was thought to have been destroyed.
Author of a forthcoming Marilyn Monroe’s biography Charles Casillo, who interviewed Curtice Taylor, son of the film’s producer Frank Taylor, was taken aback to learn that he has kept the footage in a locked cabinet since his father’s death in 1999.
Mr Taylor said: ‘A lot of times, unused takes were destroyed. But Frank Taylor believed that it was so important and so ground-breaking that he saved it.’
While conspiracy theories have persisted, it should be noted that Marilyn Monroe who died at the age of 36 from a sleeping-pills overdose, remains one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars. The Misfits, filmed in 1961 and written by Ms Monroe’s then husband Arthur Miller, tells the story of three cowboys vying for the attention of a beautiful woman. It was her last completed movie, and she died the following year.
Mr Casillo said that, until now, her only nude scene on film was thought to be in her last, uncompleted movie, Something’s Got to Give.
He said: ‘If you read [The Misfits] script… it doesn’t say anything about nudity… 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. Huston didn’t… because he felt it… was totally unnecessary to the scene.’
The footage, with sound, lasts about 45 seconds. Curtice Taylor, a photographer and teacher, understands why his father was so keen to include it: ‘It’s much more passionate.’