Something’s Got to Give…Marilyn Monroe’s Unfinished Film…The Outakes and Raw Footage!

Marilyn Monroe’s last film was never completed. She was fired, then rehired on her terms at a higher salary and a change in director. Filming of Something’s Got to Give was scheduled to restart in September/October 1962. On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her bed…at a cost of $2 million, there wasn’t enough footage to piece it together into anything releasable. It was, quite literally, a dead loss.

Whenever I see this footage I wonder what Something’s Got to Give would have been like had it been completed. Incidentally, the 1963 “remake,” Move Over, Darling, starring Doris Day and James Garner cost around $3.5 million to make and did very well at the box office, grossing $6 million.

In researching the film, it’s very apparent that Fox’s issues with Something’s Got to Give had little to do with Marilyn Monroe, and everything to do with the out of control budget on Cleopatra (costing over $45 million to complete). The bigwigs were scrambling to save the studio from bankruptcy, and scrambling to save face and regain some control. Since Cleopatra was being filmed overseas, they wielded the axe closer to home. Something’s Got to Give – gave, and Fox blamed Marilyn Monroe for the film being shut down. She was the scapegoat, an easy target. For years, she’d made millions for the studio as a contract player, and for the bulk of that time she was paid a ridiculously low salary. It meant nothing.

The below clips show various out takes and candid scenes that were filmed before Monroe’s firing, and subsequent death. At a little under an hour in length, it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of Marilyn Monroe. For a woman with so many problems, she had the most magnificent laugh, and she laughs a lot in the raw footage that I’ve posted below. Enjoy!

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4 Comments

Filed under Marilyn Monroe

4 responses to “Something’s Got to Give…Marilyn Monroe’s Unfinished Film…The Outakes and Raw Footage!

  1. PGreen

    Thanks for posting this Michelle. It’s fascinating to watch. A few things stand out for me.
    Marilyn appears to be in a good mood in this footage. She laughs, is co-operative and endures re-take after re-take with dignified patience. The most angry word we hear is “Shoot!”
    The popular story is she kept forgetting her lines and documentaries often show the fluffed lines footage. But it’s obvious from this she has many scenes word for word. She appears professional and accomplished. Which she was of course.
    In certain close-ups she has that beautiful, radiant quality that only Marilyn possessed. Her voice has a lovely quality to it.
    Regarding the script it appears silly in places. Why would she pick Wally Cox of all people? But I know I’d have to see the scenes in context before judging too much. But based on this footage I don’t see this being a vintage Mariltyn film – except for the pool sequence which would have ensured large audiences.
    If Marilyn had lived the film would have been completed. But I don’t see a depressed woman in this footage. All comments have been made after the event.
    This footage makes me sad because Marilyn had a rare talent and beauty that was taken from us far too soon.

  2. Moderator

    I feel the same way, Paul. We see visual proof that Marilyn was functioning and cooperative. The whole idea of Wally Cox was that he was supposed to have been the guy she was stuck on the island with for five years. Of course, he wasn’t, but his nerdish quality was to tame the jealous streak in Dean Martin. I’ll post the pieced together footage so you can watch the forty or so minutes that does exist.

  3. erika

    Wasn’t this suppose to be the remake of Grant & Dunnes film “My Favorite Wife? ” After Monroe’s death, it was than remade with Garner & Day? Both of which are favorites of mine..

  4. Moderator

    Yep, you’re right on all counts, Erika.

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