Niagara - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Niagara Reviews

Page 2 of 15
April 23, 2013
Noir thriller that doesn't quite fulfil its promise. However it is beautifully photographed, with great performances from Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters and an iconic Marilyn Monroe as the femme fatale.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2013
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
January 30, 2013
Mr. Loomis, the wronged man.
January 25, 2013
Two forces of nature - Marilyn and Niagara Falls--Color, gleaming surfaces, dark interiors!!
½ December 30, 2012
Beauty abounds in "Niagara," a 1953 film starring Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, and Jean Peters. There's the beauty and power of Niagara Falls, spectacularly displayed throughout the movie, and the beauty of Marilyn Monroe, who is gorgeous in Technicolor. Monroe is the unhappy wife of the unstable George Loomis, played by an appropriately seedy Joseph Cotten. It's not clear whether or not Marilyn drove him to his present state, but he's wound pretty tight. Monroe and her lover plan George's demise via the falls. Jean Peters and Max Showalter are a vacationing couple who become more involved than they want to, Peters bearing the acting burden of the film. The casting is great (although the Peters role originally was supposed to go to Anne Baxter). Peters' wholesome prettiness is in sharp contrast to Monroe's va-va-va-voom.

Having grown up near the Falls, it was both interesting and enjoyable to see them featured. And, as we all know who've been there, the Canadian side, where this movie was filmed, is far more beautiful. Given today's security problems, I loved the scene where Monroe intended to walk across to the American side to avoid being questioned while in a car.

I've seen candid photos of Marilyn Monroe taken around the time of filming, and she was surely at the peak of her beauty and sensuality. Though I've always felt her very careful enunciation detracted from her dramatic acting, she's very good as the cheating wife. It's funny to read occasionally that the physical standard of beauty is thinner today - her figure, like the rest of her, is fabulous, shown off in a variety of clothing by Dorothy Jeakins, who was a prominent costumer on Broadway and in film.

There's really not much to the story of "Niagara." It's a standard tale of love, betrayal, and murder set against a magnificent backdrop and given spark by spirited performances. Well worth seeing.
November 19, 2012
The part that made Marylin a star.
It can only raise a question: Why not cast her in other femme fatale parts? She was simply perfect in it.

This movie is the proof that studios made a big mistake in not casting Marilyn more often as a femme fatale. When you see all the sexiness she carries throughout the movie you understand the obsession of the other characters surrounding her.
It's a very good vehicle and memorable not only for Marilyn but for its other stars who did a pretty good job.
October 15, 2012
Get out the fire hose

A young couple on their honeymoon makes the trip to a hotel overlooking Niagara Falls. Shortly upon arriving they encounter a strange couple. The wife is beautiful, loose in her ways, and appears to want to leave her husband. Her husband is jealous of his wife's loose ways and stalks her every chance he gets. When murder appears to be part of the strange couple's recipe for happiness, the young couple find themselves caught in the middle.

"When we have a fight and make up I never want to leave your side."

Henry Hathaway, director of True Grit, How the West was Won, The Sons of Katie Elder, Shot out, Circus World, and From Hell to Texas, delivers Niagara. The storyline for this picture is very good and impressively intricate (it reminded me of a Hitchcock film with its thriller and murderous feel). The acting is amazing and the cast includes Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, and Max Showalter.

"She sure got herself an arm full of groceries."

Niagara was a movie I came across while flicking through Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and loved the premise. Marilyn Monroe was awesome in this role and the entire cast played perfectly off her charisma and unpredictable nature. I loved every second of this film and strongly recommend seeing this gem.

"She's a pretty girl. Why hide it?"

Grade: A
½ October 14, 2012
Super good suspense film. I'm on a Marilyn kick right now and she is super in this.
October 6, 2012
Not Exactly a Barrel

I don't know when this was relative to her marriage to Joe DiMaggio, and I don't care enough to bother looking it up. However, there is a certain amount of parallel between his fears of her and her character in this movie. She was beautiful. She was considered the very definition of sex appeal at the time. He was afraid that she would cheat on him. He didn't like everyone staring at her, and [i]everyone[/i] stared at her. I mean, she doesn't even really do anything for me, and I can't help looking at her. In this movie, however, she wasn't the devoted wife who also happened to be a sex symbol. In this movie, she really was cheating on her husband, she really was betraying him. Of course, she was also a deeply unpleasant person in the movie, not just the sad and hurt thing who had been born Norma Jean. We don't know a lot of her background, but this is a woman who turned her evil outward, not inward as the actress did.

Ray (Max Showalter) and Polly (Jean Peters) Cutler have been married for three years and never got a honeymoon. Finally, they are on their way up to Niagara Falls to a little group of honeymoon cabins, where they will be vacationing--and meeting with J. C. Kettering (Don Wilson), who runs the cereal company for which Ray works. Unfortunately, the couple who were in the cabin the Cutlers reserved are still in it. He is George Loomis (Joseph Cotten), and she is his wife, Rose (Marilyn Monroe). He is substantially older than she, and he knows that there is a reason she keeps obsessing over the same song, "Kiss." It doesn't mean anything to him, but it obviously means something to her. Ray and Polly are visiting one of the touristy places, and Polly sees Rose Loomis kissing a man (Richard Allan). And then, George Loomis turns up missing. A body is found, and Rose is taken to identify it. She collapses in a dead faint.

Focus was taken away from Polly Cutler when Marilyn Monroe was cast. In a way, she's still the main character; after all, it is she who ends up on that boat that distracted me so in that one shot of special effects. She is the one who sees Rose with Patrick. She takes Rose to identify the body; she goes to be with Rose in the hospital. Rose slinks across the screen, and we see Rose first. However, this is Polly's movie to give away. Oh, she isn't really necessary to the story. We could watch the whole story through the eyes of the Loomises, or even Inspector Starkey (Denis O'Dea). Heck, we could watch it through the eyes of Mr. Qua (Russell Collins), the owner of the cabins, for all it really matters. However, we see it through Polly, who is also just about the only likeable character in the whole piece. Ray is a twit. George is ill, to be sure, but underneath that, he's selfish. Though nowhere near as selfish as Rose and Patrick. The inspector is not well enough defined to be likeable or unlikeable. Polly is, and she is enough.

Every once in a while, I encounter movies which are clearly intended to cash in on a location or other gimmick. Sometimes, they make that location or gimmick essential; the whole of [i]North by Northwest[/i] is based on Hitchcock's mental image of a man hanging off the faces of Mount Rushmore, for example. On the other hand, there is [i]Counsellor at Law[/i], a movie made two years after the construction of the Empire State Building and pointedly set there despite the fact that it literally makes no difference whatsoever to the plot. This movie lies somewhere between the two. That bell tower becomes important to the plot, for one, and the falls are a constant weight on the story and vital to the ending. However, the ending could be rewritten to involve a different threat without damaging the story too much, and it's hardly as though there are no other bell towers in the world. I do, however, believe that the honeymoon aspect of the location is important--after all, the story of George and Rose Loomis is about the betrayal of love.

It would help, I think, if we ever knew why they'd gotten married in the first place. Given Marilyn, and especially given this Marilyn, I can think of several reasons. He might have money. More appealing is the idea that she needed him to get her out of somewhere-or-another. She loved Patrick, but either she met him after she married or else she didn't think he could help her with what she needed. In my head, he's a kid from The Neighbourhood, wherever that is, and she didn't think he'd amount to much. She's the kind of woman who relies on her sex appeal so much that she's wearing lipstick in the shower, and she didn't consider getting out based on her brains. Maybe she didn't have any. Polly Cutler loves her husband even though he's a twit. Rose Loomis doesn't love hers no matter how passionate he is about her. We never really know enough about her to be sure that she really loves anyone, probably not even herself.
October 3, 2012
Remarkable if only for the temporary tension contained in the staircase sequence leading to Monroe's death scene. Peters leaves a lot to be desired, but at least she's easy on the eyes.
September 20, 2012
Great story line, and you can't beat the location. Marilyn is wonderful as the seductive wife.
½ September 8, 2012
Jean Peters definitely can act, but the attention only goes to Marilyn. what a shame -_-
August 29, 2012
I'm not sure why this is thriller. It's more like a crime movie, since there is a murder. Although, it's not that interesting. It doesn't have thrills, because we know what is going on since the beginning. Nothing special.
August 3, 2012
technicolor marlyn just sizzles
½ July 29, 2012
The story starts out well and the sexiness heightened by Marilyn Monroe is easily the best part. The problem lies within the fact that there's no other interesting characters other than Rose and George Loomis. Polly and Ray Cutler find themselves in between a messy relationship. They go on their belated honeymoon to Niagara Falls and plan to stay in Cabin B so they can see the Falls just by looking out their window, but the Loomis's are still using the room. They don't mind, they'll take another Cabin. They just want to enjoy their time together. During the day, Polly sees Rose kissing another man at the Falls and doesn't know what to do. That's pretty much where that storyline stops. I'm still not quite sure what the point of showing that was if they weren't going to use it later. I guess it worked because it put Polly in the middle of things and at the same time we see Rose's affair without knowing too much. Hathaway does a great job introducing us to Rose and George's stale marriage by having George come in late one night after walking around the Falls and seeing his wife naked in bed. She pretends to be asleep so he won't bother her. We discover the problem with the relationship isn't so much that they are tired of each other, but George wants Rose to himself and Rose is fed up with the jealousy. She can't even walk outside with a low-cut top, and come on, she was probably wearing that since the first day he met her. The jealousy eats him away. Rose happens to be a pretty smart gal. She knows how to lure George exactly where she wants him to go with absolute subtlety. We don't even know that when he follows her out of the cabin and to the Falls that that was her intention all along. She left the ticket in her pocket for him to see so the next time she went out alone he would follow her there. Hathaway doesn't care about putting this in the audience's face. If they get it, then great. I just wish he would have used the same brilliance with the rest of the film. We find out that George was in a mental hospital for people in the military, but that never really plays a part, just like Polly seeing Rose kissing another man didn't play much of a part. I was really excited when I discovered that George hadn't actually died, but that he saved himself then used the song to throw off Rose. It was such a great twist. I was trying to figure out which was it was going to go, but with the character being Joseph Cotten and the lover was a random actor, I figured he was going to come out on top. Where else would the story go? Once Rose faints, then gets killed, everything becomes a drag. I love Joseph Cotten, but his character wasn't interesting enough to keep things going. Perhaps if they spiced him up more with what we heard about him earlier he would have been better to follow. Then there's the sloppily put together side story of Ray's boss coming to Niagara Falls and taking them out, which keeps them there longer. It leads George to stealing the boat with Polly in it, which puts them both in danger. The film does everything you'd expect without much surprises. But the style and scenery is what keeps things exciting. Monroe plays the femme fatale so well in Niagara, but without anything else written well in the film it's hard to keep the greatness flowing.
July 24, 2012
Marilyn Monroe as you've never seen her before. This suspense thriller consists of great acting on the part of Mrs. Monroe, as the adulterous wife, and Joseph Cotten as the overly jealous and violent husband. In all of the noir ambiance there is also time to admire the beauty and somehow distressing tranquility of the great Niagara Falls. In all the dangerous romance and sheer terror, the few finale minutes won't let you blink for a second.
May 20, 2012
One good example for the sellout of Marilyn Monroe.
May 18, 2012
Popped my Marilyn cherry.
April 19, 2012
Monroe plays her usual character,only now there are also some thrills.
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