Eve Arnold didn’t know it at the time, but what she photographed on the set of the 1961 movie The Misfits was to be the last project completed by Marilyn Monroe and her co-star Clark Gable. The film, an elegiac tale of divorce and aging cowboys, is tainted with sadness as Monroe’s swansong. She died of an overdose just a year after the film’s release.

Though it was both Monroe and Gable’s final film, it tanked at the box office. Only in recent decades has it garnered acclaim as a moody, monochrome story of loneliness in the West, with the Guardian dubbing it a “melancholy drama that pulses with sadness and symbolism”. Like the mournful tone of the film, Arnold’s pictures carry an unintended emotional weight, the story behind the production – Monroe’s tortured soul – as intriguing and stirring as the film itself.

This contact sheet contains Clark Gable on location in Nevada for the filming of ‘The Misfits’,1960

Eve Arnold joined Magnum Photos in 1951.

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