Niagara (1953)



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Movie Info

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, Rovi

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Marilyn Monroe
as Rose Loomis
Joseph Cotten
as George Loomis
Jean Peters
as Polly Cutler
Max Showalter
as Ray Cutler
Denis O'Dea
as Inspector Sharkey
Don Wilson
as Mr. Kettering
Casey Adams
as Ray Cutler
Lurene Tuttle
as Mrs. Kettering
Will Wright
as Boatman
Carleton Young
as Policeman
Tom Reynolds
as Husband
Winfield Hoeny
as Straw Boss
Neil Fitzgerald
as Customs Officer
George Ives
as Carillon Tower Guide
Patrick O'Moore
as Detective
Pat O'Moore
as Detective
Arch Johnson
as Taxi Driver
Harry Carey Jr.
as Taxi Driver
Henry Beckman
as Motorcycle Cop
Willard Sage
as Motorcycle Cop
Bill Coontz
as Young Man
Robert Ellis
as Young Man
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Critic Reviews for Niagara

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

Around the scenic splendor of Niagara Falls, Charles Brackett has produced and co-scripted a gripping murder melodrama that is loaded with sex and suspense.

Jan 23, 2019 | Full Review…

The film is drop-dead gorgeous.

Dec 28, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Wonderful location photography and color in this well-done thriller.

Sep 30, 2014 | Full Review…

The Falls themselves are an ever-present backdrop, and as memorable (and integral to the plotting) as Mount Rushmore was in "North by Northwest."

Jul 29, 2013 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

This film noir in color benefits from Hathaway's taut direction, strong performances of Monroe as the adulterous wife and Cotten as the jealous hubby, and location shooting.

Jun 10, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

It's considered a lesser Monroe, but I like it.

Mar 6, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Niagara


Some dirt and double dealings at one of Nature's most celebrated outdoor showers. Done in that hyper-pristine Hollywood Technicolor that was the style, Joe Cotton and Marilyn Monroe ruminate on the dark interpersonal of interpersonal relationships. What's notable is watching Marilyn: it is obvious that she is stretching herself, akin to watching your own child take their first steps.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The look and atmosphere in this film is so vivid that even viewed on TV it makes you feel as if you have been to Niagara Falls sometime in the early 1950s. The plot takes a deceptively leisurely pace but it builds to a gripping climax. It is worth the viewer's time & effort to stick with it to the end. Marilyn Monroe is radiantly treacherous & her performance is subtle and bears close watching beyond her obvious attractiveness. She should get a lot more credit for this picture than I've seen others give her. Joseph Cotten balances between being menacing & getting our pity & sympathy. Not all the performances are terrific but this movie is a gem that rewards the effort to stick with it to the end. 4 1/2 Stars 4 -8-13

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Marilyn Monroe is the luscious femme fatale in this film noir travelogue shot on the US/Canadian border. Mother Nature provides the breathtaking backdrop for this dark honeymoon romp of deceit, deception and murder.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


"Too bad. They can't play it for you now, Rose." Niagra failed to get me very interested from the very start, so you might as well know now that this won't be a very enthusiastic review. I sort of drifted through most of it, only paying attention enough to know what was going on. It's not a bad film, but I doubt I'll see it again. It takes place near Niagara Falls, as Marilyn Monroe plays an unfaithful and treacherous wife who plans to have her husband killed. A visiting couple on their honeymoon gets unknowingly mixed up in the plot, and the plan falls apart in a way that ends up putting nearly everyone in danger. This was my first Monroe movie, and while she was certainly beautiful, I found my eyes drawn to her co-star Jean Peters much more often. She stole the movie, as far as I'm concerned. I'd say that discovering her made the movie worth my time, I'm certainly going to check out more of her work. Other than that, I found Niagara to be a pretty forgettable thriller set in a very beautiful place, and even the gorgeous surroundings aren't really taken advantage of on the screen. Some movies just don't catch a person's interest, for whatever reason, and Niagara is the most recent example of that, for me.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

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