At Niagara Falls, Ray and Polly Cutler meet another couple, Rose and George Loomis. Rose is an attractive, vivacious blond; her husband is an apparently depressed war veteran with a tendency to jealousy. His feelings are not entirely unfounded – Rose actually is planning to send her spouse over the falls … This thriller of marital discord and revenge does a brilliant job of combining the low-key, expressionist hard shadows of a film noir with the radiant displays of a Technicolor production. The forces of nature are characterized by the application of colour even in the establishing shots. Niagara Falls is adorned with a rainbow above black rocks; Monroe lies between white sheets wearing red lipstick and, it seems, not much else. So while colour appears to ennoble the natural beauty of the falls, it seems to cast the woman into disrepute. Here the film gives us the first clues to the moral abyss intended to fascinate audiences as much as Niagara Falls fascinated Ray Cutler, “Look, a couple of colours I’ve never heard of before!”
by Henry Hathaway
with Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters
USA 1953 92’