Niagara (1953) Film Review A-

DIRECTOR: Henry Hathaway
BOTTOM LINE: “Niagara” is Henry Hathaway’s marvelous color noir, with Marilyn Monroe as Joseph Cotten’s unfaithful wife. After four years in the wilderness, this marked her first significant role at Fox. Her next two films, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “How to Marry a Millionaire,” were even bigger successes. The buildup to superstardom started here.
Polly Cutler (Jean Peters) and her husband Ray (Casey Adams) are on a delayed honeymoon at Niagara Falls when find their reserved cabin occupied by George and Rose Loomis (Marilyn and Joseph Cotten). Rose tells them that George is asleep and has recently been discharged from an Army mental hospital after his war service in Kores The Cutlers politely but reluctantly accept another, less desirable cabin, and so the two couples become acquainted. George and Rose have a troubled and volatile marriage. She is younger and seductively attractive. He is jealous, depressed and irritable. While touring the Falls the following day, Polly sees Rose passionately kissing another man, her lover Patrick (Richard Allan).
Monroe was originally supposed to be cast in the Peters role. Still, the head of TCF, Darryl F. Zanuck, wanted to cast Monroe as the villain, and, as was often the case, his instinct proved to be correct. And veteran Henrey Hathaway, who had directed an entire batch of very impressive B&W noirs at Fox ( “Kiss of Death” and “Call Northside 777”) was just the man for the job. Kudos also to Fox’s second-in-command cinematographer, Joe MacDonald, who was responsible for the magnificent wide-screen technicolor. It wasn’t often that he got out from under Leon Shamroy’s shadow.
Classic Film Noir At Twentieth Century Fox – TheBrownees

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