Niagara (Colorized)

7.01 h 28 min1953X-Ray13+
As two couples are visiting Niagara Falls, tensions between one wife (Marilyn Monroe) and her husband reach the level of murder.
Henry Hathaway
Marilyn MonroeJoseph CottenJean Peters
English [CC]
Audio languages
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1316 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

johnfReviewed in the United States on May 7, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Noir thriller with one of Marilyn's best performances.
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Niagara is an excellent film in many ways and would always have a place in film history even if Gloria Grahame had played the role of the femme fatale. But that role was played by Marilyn Monroe, and it's for her that it is most remembered and viewed today. to her credit she played the role well. More than that, this is the film that really brought her to the attention of the American public. Until Niagara, though she had appeared in numerous films, they were relatively small films or small roles in important films like All About Eve or The Asphalt Jungle. Niagara also cemented Marilyn's image as a sex symbol even though the rather shocking nature of its blatant sexuality doesn't register now as it did in 1953. Her specific look, including the glossy lips and beauty mark first came together here. After Niagara Marilyn was a star.

Much talk goes on over whether Niagara is truly Film Noir, often hinging on the fact that it was shot by director Henry Hathaway in Technicolor. Although the term translates directly as "black film" and most of the films of the genre were indeed shot in black and white, Niagara certainly is a film noir containing almost a definitive list of its elements: murder, untrustworthy or double-dealing people, danger, striking photography, at least one ultra-dramatic location and a femme fatale. Early noirs were made in black and white because they were generally small budgeted films considered lesser works because of their seamy subject matter, much as detective novels were in comparison to literature. This is erroneous but this was the 40's and early 50's. The black and white of the standard noir film worked beautifully to accentuate the generally poor underside of the city environments in which they were set. But the use of color with the same themes in play made perfect sense in films where much of the action took place in beautiful outdoor scenery; Leave her To Heaven comes to mind as another example of a color noir. Besides, the studio wasn't going to all the trouble to film on location at Niagara Falls and shoot it in black and white. The Falls are practically a character here.

The acting is good throughout, though Max Showalter as the newlywed husband, Ray Cutler, seems a bit too over the top; but perhaps he was just supposed to be that kind of a guy, so eager to meet the president of a shredded wheat company. Jean Peters kept a perfect balance between sexiness and wholesomeness required by the script. She's actually really good looking and would have gotten more notice had her co-star been anyone other than Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn plays her role well showing her vulnerability despite her conniving nature. Two of her most famous appearances occur in this film: her long, hip-swinging walk down the sidewalk and her appearance in the famous magenta dress.

Niagara is a terrific thriller and it has Marilyn to boot. You won't be disappointed.

EXTRA NOTE: I don't know why Amazon labels this film "(Colorized)" It was shot in Technicolor and this is it. The trailer was shot in black & white for an unknown reason. Maybe someone looked at the trailer and thought this must be colorized. It's not.
29 people found this helpful
mrvisionReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Joseph Cotton's character...
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is someone to dislike. Can't accept rejection.
MICHAEL STONEHILLReviewed in the United States on August 5, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Fox Home Entertainment has done it again with this beautiful Technicolor Blu-ray of "Niagara" just in time for it's 60th Anniversary. If you already own the standard DVD and are a fan of Marilyn Monroe then you seriously need to think about upgrading to this new Blu-ray presentation. Once you put the Blu-ray on and start watching you'll feel like Marilyn is in the room with you. I'm not kidding, this Blu-ray is that good. Forget the story, just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Joseph MacDonald's beautiful cinematography is eye popping on this latest Blu-ray gem from Fox(Bitrate: 32.50). The detail is exceptional. There are lots of shots of Niagara Falls(in 1953) that make you feel like you're watching a Ken Burns documentary instead of a movie. But it all comes back to Marilyn and she is simply stunning. The detail in this new Blu-ray had my head spinning, from the bright red lipstick on Marilyn's lips to her colorful costumes(very tight). You can even see her blood facial hairs underneath her makeup that's how good this Blu-ray is. Like I said the story wants to be a film noir tale but it was hard for me to believe that Joseph Cotton, who plays Monroe's husband, could be that frustrated with something like her waiting for him in their honeymoon cabin. You get the picture. Fox has been doing a great job in getting most of Monroe's films out on Blu-ray lately and along with "Niagara" they also released "Bus Stop"(1956) last week in memory of her untimely passing(she died 61 years ago today in 1962). Although I was too young to remember the impact she must have had on the Fifties(along with Elvis, Brando and James Dean) I can certainly see what all the fuss was about when I watched this beautiful looking Blu-ray. The restorers at Fox have been on a role lately with not only this title but previous Blu-rays of "Blood and Sand" and "Cleopatra"(one of the best Blu-ray restorations of the year). "Niagara" is 89 minutes(Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1) and contains the following subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish and Turkish. Audio are as follows: English DTS-DH Master Audio 5.1(also in Mono), French, German, Japanese in DTS 5.1. Italian & Spanish in DTS 2.0 and Spanish Dolby Digital Mono. As with previous Fox Blu-ray releases, "Niagara" is housed in one of those awful Eco-cases so you might want to switch to a sturdier HD case. In summary, fans of Marilyn Monroe would be wise to add this stunning Blu-ray to their collection. Even if you're not a fan, just sit back and enjoy the scenery. And I don't just mean Niagara Falls.
9 people found this helpful
Cat TrinaReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars
Niagara Falls and Shredded Wheat...
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Never really was a big Marilyn Monroe fan (she was a bit overdone and affected for me) BUT she is PERFECT in this film. She IS her character - a bit cheap, definitely overdone (who on earth wears hot red lipstick in the shower, for example? I can't even get mine to stay on from my apartment to the office, much less the shower! Or bed... on pristine white sheets no less!) but that's why Marilyn Monroe is so, well, Marilyn Monroe. When Casey Adams asks Jean Peters why doesn't she wear a dress like Marilyn, Jean Peters says "For a dress like that, you have to start laying plans when you're about 13." Ain't that the truth. Which brings me to Jean Peters who is the real beauty and star of this film. Jean Peters is magnificent. Smart, understated and (along with Joseph Cotten) full of conflict and inner turmoil. She is a woman whose husband is more concerned with Shredded Wheat (his employer) and reading books than on their belated honeymoon or his beautiful, smart bride. What a bore. In fact, when they first arrive at Niagara Falls, he's more in awe of their view of the Shredded Wheat factory than with that of the Falls. Which is why it's so believable when she gets entwined in the twisted world of Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten. After all, there's only so much Shredded Wheat one can bear in a marriage, right? Anyway, one of the best and eerily perfect components of this particular film is the song Kiss. "There is no other song," Marilyn says as she uses it to drive her already unstable husband into a madness beyond which he could never hope to recover. The bells toll the tune sinisterly as a sign to Marilyn that all is "done." But not really, Marilyn soon learns. I'll stop there for anyone who hasn't yet seen this amazing film. SEE IT! The casting is superb on all accounts. The location shots are beyond amazing (I want to go back to Niagara Falls circa 1950 and stay at the Rainbow Cabins - if only I could!). And don't be surprised if you find yourself suddenly craving a bowl of - you guessed it - Shredded Wheat!

Oh, and the remastering is amazing - the color, the clarity - outstanding.
28 people found this helpful
GarnetReviewed in the United States on July 1, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Vintage Movie
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For some reason, I love this movie. I have seen it multiple times now and it just captures me every time. Perhaps, its the backdrop of the spectacular Niagara Falls. Perhaps, its Marilyn. Whatever it is, this thriller of jealousy and betrayal and murder is fascinating.

Marilyn plays Rose, a beautiful woman married to George, who suffers from the after-effects of his time in WW2. They are vacationing in Niagara Falls and end up bumping into another vacationing couple, Polly and Ray. Turns out Rose is scheming to hook up with her secret lover and to have him murder her husband so they can run off together. Polly gets wrapped up in their story as she helps George after a melt-down, and then becomes far more deeply involved as the plot unfolds. You end up feeling bad for both George and Rose as they clash and, clearly, their marriage was doomed almost from the beginning. One wonders why the seductive and clearly fun-loving Rose ever got hooked up with George in the first place.

The vintage (now) clothing and vacation setting of Niagara Falls are fascinating. Simpler times were never simply times. The backdrop of the Falls is incredible and you almost feel like it reflects the inevitable destruction of both Rose and George Loomis.

I bought a copy of this on Blue Ray and it was well worth it. When you take an old movie and put it on Blue Ray, it can only get so much better, but it did make the colors pop more (can you say Marilyn's fabulous ever-red and always perfect lipstick) and sharpened up the picture a little, as well.
13 people found this helpful
Morgan V. MadisonReviewed in the United States on December 5, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
So much better than her famous movies.
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Marilyn Monroe used her real voice instead of that breathy voice she later adopted and did a pretty good acting job. I like her much more here.

She has on less eye makeup than they did for some of her later films, and there are plenty of close-ups. Something about her eyes and overall more natural look shows that her father was Scandinavian-American to me.

She had the most beautiful body I've ever seen - and they showed it off plenty, especially in a hot pink dress with nothing on underneath. It was outrageous for a woman to walk around without underwear in 1953, but Marilyn usually went without.

Her skin was gorgeous - alabaster and luminous.

The plot of the film is better than I thought. Marilyn plays a philandering wife with a mentally unstable husband and a lover. She wants to get rid of the husband, but he turns the tables on her with a couple of plot twists.

Another couple vacationing at Niagara Falls get drawn into the drama and danger.

I gave this film an extra star for showing how breath-taking Marilyn's beauty was.
6 people found this helpful
michaelReviewed in the United States on December 16, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Film noir in color, and a real nail biter.
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I have the dvd which is in Technicolor and was part of the m.m. collection: a restored for dvd film. This colorized version was very different. So clear and sharp. On my lap top the characters seem to come alive. Background details were so fascinating. The famous red dress was a little on the purple red side, as were her lips at times. So easy to get used to. Marilyn's face was so lifelike I wanted to reach out and touch it. Like a completely new movie! Jean Peters also photographed very well. She was a pretty lady, with a lot of talent. The actor that played her husband even looked good, one could believe Peters character being attracted to him. I don't understand why critics didn't see more to Monroe. She is believable as a loose character trying to murder her husband to get to Chicago. Monroe couldn't have done more. None of the actors behaved as if they were making a joke of a picture. They all performed as if dealing with real situations. Even the stud was appealing. One could understand the line about, "she sure got herself a sack of groceries". Fox was so perverse at times. The logo for the movie poster has the falls flowing over Marilyn. I don't think they needed to do that to sell the film, the film would have sold itself on the performances, plot and the direction.
4 people found this helpful
Roger LongReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2008
4.0 out of 5 stars
Above average thriller
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This is a fairly good thriller, despite the flaws in the plot and despite some atrocious acting, for which the director is to blame. The final scene is as thrilling as any "chase" ever filmed.

The plot flaws are by way of coincidences. Joseph Cotton just happens to show up in the oddest places where Jean Peters can see him. And he apparently managed to move around over a large area on foot but fast. In fact, the plot revolves around the encounters between Cotton and Peters. There is also an unbelievable scene in which Peters goes into Cotton's motel room alone to bandage his hand, after she knows he's off his rocker and has seen palpable evidence of it.

Cotton and Peters were competent actors, and it shows in this movie, especially in the last 15 minutes or so. Marilyn Monroe was--well--Marilyn Monroe, with too much lipstick and a little girl whispery voice. But the real clinkers are Don Wilson and Peters' husband. I kept expecting Wilson to launch into his LS/MFT routine from the Jack Benny show. Peters' husband was the 1950s movie version of an unctuous traveling salesman.

But the best parts of the movie are the marvelous views of the falls and the haunting carillon bells. Apparently all of this was shot from the Canadian side, because the New York town of Niagara Falls was very unattractive when I was last there, just after this movie was shot. I watched this again just for the falls and the bells.
2 people found this helpful
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