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U.S., 1953
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Starring Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters
Screenplay by Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Richard Breen
Approx. 88 min. 4K DCP restoration.

Marilyn Monroe married to Joseph Cotten? Even honeymooning couple Jean Peters and Casey Adams are taken aback — but then Joe’s back from a mental hospital. Yes, there’s a triangle there, and a murder looming — but which one is it going to be? Views of the Falls vie with views of Marilyn, in rare Technicolor Noir. “A film noir in lurid, three-strip Technicolor. As an adulterous wife unhappily married to a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress (Cotten), and first seen smoking in bed, her legs moving seductively under the sheets, Monroe exudes rough-and-ready sexuality. Her character is a force of (destructive) nature, and in ads for the film, an image of Monroe reclines over the Niagara Falls, her body melting into the cascading torrents…. NIAGARA was a box-office winner, setting Monroe up to play a trainload of wicked women. But she never again appeared as a femme fatale. Instead, she is typically cast as an innocent, winsome, life-affirming woman who gives sex a good name. Perhaps this was the way an era of sexual repression could best accommodate a woman who projected sexual abundance.” – Foster Hirsch


“This isn’t a Marilyn you want to embrace and protect. As Rose, she’s alert and defiant, a woman who has defined exactly what she wants and for what she wants and has forged a plan to help her get it. This performance, among the star's finest, gives the lie to the idea that she couldn't really act. What it suggests, instead, is that Marilyn was a natural. In NIAGARA, [she’s] self-determined, boldly sexual, almost impossibly cruel. And still, you feel for her.”
– Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice

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