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Niagara (1952)

Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, more...
Director: Henry Hathaway, Henry Hathaway
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Film Noir
Running Time: 89 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Belated honeymooners Polly (Jean Peters) and Ray Cutler (Casey Adams) arrive at their Niagara Falls cottage only to find that Rose (Marilyn Monroe) and George Loomis (Joseph Cotten) have not yet checked out. Though the Cutlers temporarily take another cabin, the lives of the two couples are bound together for the next two days. Polly discovers that Rose is having an affair and that George, though emotionally unstable, has good reason for his jealous rage. George accurately suspects that Rose openly flaunts her sexuality to make him act crazy in front of witnesses. This is part of Rose's plan: her lover Patrick (Richard Allan) will kill George and make it look like suicide or a disappearance. Instead, George kills Patrick, and he returns to kill Rose, but finds Polly instead. As she had been sympathetic to him, he asks her not to tell anyone that he is alive so he can simply disappear. But, realizing that he wants to kill Rose, Polly informs the police. What follows is escalating terror, with George stalking Rose, Rose desperately trying to leave town, the police searching for both of them, and finally George and Polly adrift in a boat heading for the precipice. In Henry Hathaway's Technicolor film noir, Niagara Falls serves as an apt metaphor for the destructive power of out-of-control carnal and murderous obsessions. ~ Steve Press, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Restoration Comparison
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

GreenCine Member Reviews

Great thriller and Marilyn too by mcputnam May 21, 2004 - 6:47 AM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
This film is better known for being Marilyn's breakout role than for it's status as a thriller, but a thriller it is. Its plot throws several good curve balls and even includes some mildly morbid creepiness. Hitchcock's influence looms large. The film uses national monument Niagara Falls as a backdrop, but here the Falls play a metaphoric role for the characters personally, rather than tying into cold war spectacle like Hitchcock's wonderful Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore scenes. In a less obvious way a tense on-foot chase scene and the creative use of silence in a bell tower all have a Hitchcockian feel.

Visually, Niagara is shot in gorgeous Technicolor, even so, director Hathaway repeatedly contrasts shadow and light as dramatically as the best film noir.

And then there's Marilyn. The beauty of Niagara is that we get to see Monroe before she's Marilyn, before she got pigeon-holed into her classic persona. Her acting skills aren't as honed as they are in, say, Some Like it Hot, but it's so rare to see her in a dramatic role like this one it's really worth the rental.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.86)
44 Votes
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Noir Themes & Sinister Schemes
Dark themed films of murder, scams, cons, gangsters, femme fatales and nefarious deeds.
romantic favorites

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