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Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) and her older, gloomier husband, George (Joseph Cotten), niagara posterare vacationing at a cabin in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The couple befriend Polly (Jean Peters) and Ray Cutler (Casey Adams), who are honeymooning in the area. Polly begins to suspect that something is amiss between Rose and George, and her suspicions grow when she sees Rose in the arms of another man. While Ray initially thinks Polly is overreacting, things between George and Rose soon take a shockingly dark turn.

Director:  Henry Hathaway
Run Time: 92min
Genre: Film-Noir, Thriller
Leads: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, Max Showalter

Review

By Mark Baker

During a recent run of noir movies on Turner Classic Movies, I ran across Niagara.  I’d never heard of the film before, but I was quite curious to see it starred Marilyn Monroe as the fem fatal.  Intrigued, I watched it, and I’m glad I did.

Polly Cutler (Jean Peters) and her husband Ray (Max Showalter, but credited as Casey Adams) are finally getting away for a belated honeymoon.  When they go to check in to their cabin at Niagara Falls, they find that the previous occupants haven’t cleared out yet.  Wife Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) explains that her husband is quite sick and is finally asleep, so the Cutlers take another available cabin.

niagaraThat night, they finally meet George (Joseph Cotton) and see that his sickness is more mental.  Or is Rose driving him to it?  It seems Rose has a secret of her own, and just might be plotting to kill her husband.  Will she succeed?  Will Polly and Ray be able to enjoy their honeymoon?

The story starts relatively quickly and the tension keeps increasing.  I was surprised at just how quickly the story unfolded.  There are some nice plot twists along the way as well that kept me engaged.

Likewise, the acting was wonderful. I’m not that familiar with Marilyn Monroe as an actress (this is only the second film I’ve seen her in), but her performance here was strong.  You could see her character’s mind working.  The rest of the main cast is just as good, which is one reason why I got so lost in the story so easily.

niagaraWhile the movie was filmed partially on sound stages in California, it was also partially filmed on location.  That gives the sinister story a gorgeous backdrop.  The Technicolor picture adds to the beauty.

Unfortunately, the film does show its 60 year age.  There are some obvious special effects, most noticeably in the climax.  Honestly, I was so caught up in the action that I noticed only in passing.

The bigger issue are a couple of plot holes.  Yes, you can guess how the characters got to where they are, but it is truly never explained.  Those flaws are bigger and more serious to me than dated special effects.  And when I notice them in the middle of the film, it means there is a serious plot problem that should have been addressed.  Yes, I am being vague because discussing them would spoil the film.

And I don’t want to do that because I definitely recommend you see it.  Plot holes aside, you will get caught up in Niagara and enjoy the ride.

 

Trailer