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Niagara (1953)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Thriller | February 1953 (USA)
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As two couples are visiting Niagara Falls, tensions between one wife and her husband reach the level of murder.

Director:

Henry Hathaway
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marilyn Monroe ... Rose Loomis
Joseph Cotten ... George Loomis
Jean Peters ... Polly Cutler
Max Showalter ... Ray Cutler (as Casey Adams)
Denis O'Dea ... Inspector Starkey
Richard Allan Richard Allan ... Patrick
Don Wilson ... Mr. J.C. Kettering
Lurene Tuttle ... Mrs. Kettering
Russell Collins ... Mr. Qua
Will Wright ... Boatman
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Storyline

George and Rose Loomis are honeymooning at a Niagara Falls motel. She plots with Ted Patrick to do him in, but all does not go smoothly. For one thing, after Loomis is reported missing Polly Cutler spies him at the motel but her husband Bud thinks she's imagining it. Marilyn sings "Kiss." Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A raging torrent of emotion that even nature can't control! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Torrente pasional See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Rainbow Cabins were not real cabins, they were movie sets built exclusively for the film at a cost of over $25,000. They were built in Queen Victoria Park directly across from the American Falls. The stone structure located by the Rainbow Cabins was torn down, but a similar one can be found in the same park at "Rambler's Rest." See more »

Goofs

While energetically explaining the local layout to Ray and Polly Cutler, Mr. Kettering describes Chippawa, Ontario, as the scene of a major American defeat in the Revolutionary War. But U.S. forces in the Revolutionary War got no closer than 75 miles from the area. In fact, Chippawa was the scene of a major American victory in the War of 1812. See more »

Quotes

Polly Cutler: Fine thing. I tell him we're on our honeymoon and you drag out a copy of Winston Churchill! He must think I'm a pretty hard article.
Ray Cutler: You should have told him we're on a delayed honeymoon.
Polly Cutler: Delayed or not, we agreed to treat it like a regular one, didn't we?
[quick kiss]
Ray Cutler: I'm game. And it'll be just as good as a regular honeymoon.
Polly Cutler: Well, it should be better. I've got my union card now.
[Lascivious glance]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Haven Gillespie
Played on the phonograph and sung in part by Marilyn Monroe
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent, Engaging Hitchcockian Thriller
17 April 2001 | by WritnGuy-2See all my reviews

I rented "Niagara" for two reasons: one, the obvious reason to see Marilyn Monroe in such a unique role for her, and two, I always liked the idea of a side character (in this case, Jean Peters) getting inadvertently swept up in the intrigue of the main characters (Monroe and Joseph Cotten here). It's rare that the supporting characters of a film are integrated so well into the plot. Usually, they disappear or are seen less of as the plot progresses. (eg: the inexorable quirky friend of a leading lady in far too many thrillers) But I digress.

The plot is fairly simple, or so it seems. Polly and Ray Cutler (Peters and Max Showalter) are a young couple heading to Niagara Falls for a delayed honeymoon. Upon their arrival, they meet Rose and George Loomis (Monroe and Cotten), who are over-staying in their time in the Cutlers reserved cabin. Though Polly and Ray agree to stay in a nearby cabin, that is not the last they see of the Loomis's, a strange couple indeed. One day, Polly sees Rose passionately kissing another man (Richard Allan). Then, the sly Rose angers her husband by playing a seemingly reminiscent song on a record player a few other couples are dancing to, pushing George to destroying the record in his hands. It becomes apparent that something far more than infidelity is going on, and without giving away too many of the plot twists, murder ensues.

One of the things I really loved about this movie was how timeless it was. The actors, or at least Monroe and Cotten, may be familiar actors of the time, but this movie could be done at any time, and seem appropriate. And speaking of actors, the acting in this movie, for the most part anyway, is wonderful. Monroe, needless to say, was flawless, and I loved every second she was on the screen. Joseph Cotten, as he did in Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," has the ability of being very intimidating, almost brooding, and was terrific. Jean Peters gives an Oscar-worthy performance. She's very realistic, and impeccably likable. She manages to almost steal the movie from Monroe. I'm sorry to say Max Showalter was, well, really quite flat. The worst of the lot. Good thing he wasn't in a large role, though he still is one of the stars of the film. In supporting roles, Denis O'Dea gave a typical detective role as Inspector Sharkey, popping in once in a while. Richard Allan had little to do as Rose's lover Patrick. Showing up later in the film were Don Wilson and Lurene Tuttle as Ray's boss and the boss's wife, at Niagara Falls to vacation with the Cutlers. Both were excellent, though their roles were somewhat small. I liked the addition of their characters.

The chemistry between all the characters is terrific, particularly in the scene where Polly is bandaging George's hand after he breaks the record. The two of them have many scenes together, and I loved how Peters and Cotten interacted with one another. Showalter seemed consistently nervous around Monroe, while on the topic of spouse-switching, so to speak.

Overall, "Niagara" is very engaging. There is a good deal of action, especially towards the end. The chase scene through the bell tower was suspenseful, and the climax on the falls was absolutely wonderful. Polly proved herself to be very tough and a quick-thinker, and, throughout the rest of the movie, I liked how she didn't turn to Ray every time a problem arose. (Which made the final confronation between only her and the other character so much fun, because no one could save Polly but herself.) I think that's why I liked her character so much. Though, one thing to note, is the sort of silly-looking moment during the scene towards the end of the movie when George is pursuing Polly along the Falls (muted besides the sound of rushing water) and she slips and breaks through the wooden banister. It was a startling scene (I honestly thought she'd fall) but sort of funny, the way the movie sped up quickly to make it look to sudden. Oh well, blame it on technical abilities.

I definitely recommend this film, not just for Hitchcock fans and Monroe fans, but for anyone, even if you don't like older films. This one is a classic, but at the same time, feels as if it could have been made only twenty years ago, not almost fifty.


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