Xerjoff Magazine

Ernst Haas: Hollywood Stars in the Desert


Ernst Haas was the stage photographer for “The Misfits”, a film directed by John Houston starring three Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. An exhibition taking place in Bologna makes us relive the atmosphere of the set

Released in 1961, “The Misfits”, is a cult movie directed by the great director John Huston, written by Arthur Miller and starring three famous Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift. An exhibition, taking place at the ONO Arte Contemporanea Gallery in Bologna (via Santa Margherita, 10), celebrates this film work with an exhibition that shows 15 photos of the making and the backstage of the film, made by Ernst Haas, the official stage photographer. In 1960 the screenplay was written by Miller and given to Marilyn to celebrate Valentine’s Day, when they were still married. It is centred on a naive and insecure woman who, had recently separated from her husband, and meets two men, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, with whom she becomes friends. Due to Marilyn’s abuse of alcohol and tranquilizers she always arrived on the set with huge delays forcing the other actors to nerve wrecking long waits.

The film was not a commercial success, but what made it memorable was the fact that “The Misfits” was the last film starring Clark Gable and the last complete film by Marilyn. Also for Montgomery Clift, the period that followed the making of the film was not particularly lucky: the film ended up on the list of the damned in Hollywood. So, beyond its cinematographic quality, it seems that “The Misfits” ended up representing the swansong of three great Hollywood stars. The exhibition entitled “Marilyn Monroe & The Misfits” will be on show until April 28th.

Above: Marilyn Monroe portrayed by Ernst Haas on the set of The Misfits.