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!