Clark Gable is telling Marilyn Monroe a story as he drives her through the desert in a big, white station wagon, 1961.
This is in The Misfits, the last movie either ever made.
They both died not long after, Marilyn face down on her bed, after swallowing a bottle of pills.
Gable is a cowboy in the movie, an aging, crinkly cowboy, with a cocked hat and a look in his eye. One hand on the wheel.
Everything is black and white.
“A city boy sees a country boy rocking on his porch.”
A sideways glance, at Marilyn.
“Can you tell me how to get back to town?
Can you tell me how to get to a train?
Can you tell me how to get to a road?
You sure don’t know much, do you?
Nope. But I ain’t lost.”
And Marilyn laughs a little. Nervously. Uncertain. She is glowing like a pearl. She is luminous. She is wearing a scooped black dress with skinny straps that keep falling from her wondrous, blurry shoulders, but you don’t want to make love to her. It’s not like that.
There’s something about her mouth, a softness, an indistinctness. She is gradually coming apart, she is slowly disappearing, and somehow you know this.
Outside the windows the desert keeps going by. The rocks and hills. The bare, dry earth.
Beyond the ridge the testing grounds, smooth and bright as glass.