George and Rose Loomis are honeymooning at a Niagara Falls motel. She plots with Ted Patrick to do him in, but all does not go smoothly. For one thing, after Loomis is reported missing Polly Cutler spies him at the motel but her husband Bud thinks she’s imagining it. Marilyn sings “Kiss.”
Ed Stephan <[email protected]>
User Reviews: 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.