River of No Return (1954)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Director Otto Preminger's only western, River of No Return is set in Canada during the 19th century Gold Rush. Farmer Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is released from prison after serving a sentence for shooting a man in the back to protect a friend. He arrives in a small town to retrieve his young son, Mark (Tommy Rettig), who has befriended a sultry saloon singer, Kay (Marilyn Monroe). Matt is also friendly with Kay, and thanks her profusely for looking after Mark, but distrusts her paramour, … More

Rating: G
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Louis Lantz, Frank Fenton
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 14, 2002
20th Century Fox


as Matt Calder

as Kay Weston

as Harry Weston (gamble...

as Mark Calder

as Dave Colby

as Sam Benson

as A Gambler

as Croupier

as Merchant

as Dancer

as Drunken Cowboy

as The Minister

as Spectator in the Bla...

as Blonde Dancer

as Prospector

as Bartender

as Young Punk (uncredit...

as Young Punk (uncredit...

as Young Punk (uncredit...

as Dancer (uncredited)

as Surrey Driver

as Piano Player (uncred...

as (uncredited)

as Dance Hall Girl (unc...

as Dance Hall Girl (unc...

as Leering Man (uncredi...

as (uncredited)
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for River of No Return

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Critic Reviews for River of No Return

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

The striking beauties of the Canadian Rockies co-star with the blonde charms of Marilyn Monroe and the masculine muscles of Robert Mitchum in River of No Return.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Top Critic

One of the first films to discover the potential of CinemaScope and a fine example of Preminger's rational approach to the mysteries of personal morality.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

There really is no return.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Director Otto Preminger has thrown all the grandeur and menace of these features upon the eye-filling CinemaScope screen.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Though nicely shot in CinemaScope, this Western is not one of director Otto Preminger's or stars Robert Mitchum's and Marilyn Monroe's strong films.

Full Review… | July 17, 2012

It's an awfully creaky story but the superb performances and Preminger's amazing use of widescreen make it a must-see.

Full Review… | March 6, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for River of No Return

Its not the greatest adventure Western ever made, or does even much of it make sense, but there's few that have as much charisma as Mitchum and Marilyn all wet on a raft in CinemaScope. First off, Marilyn gets to vamp a coupla tunes for the boys in the backroom, and then its out into the great wide Canadian open. Its fun.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A western. A Marilyn Monroe flick. Of course I had to see this. And it was just as bad as I was expecting. Now I usually don't demerit a film for bad "special effects" but this was a little absurd. I mean, was I ever supposed to believe Marilyn was on that raft? I don't see how. Awful. And when the Native American comes on the raft only to rip Marilyn's shirt as she screams helplessly. OMFG. Let's get real here people.

Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

marilyn didn't want to make this which explains her sometime stiff performance but when she sings she's luminous and her interaction with robert mitchum and tommy rettig is good. the cinematography is beautiful, make sure to watch it in widescreen.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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