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Running Time: 89 minutes
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean peters, Casey Adams, Dennis O'Dea, Richard Allan, Don Wilson, Lurene Tuttle, Russell Collins, Will Wright
Written by: Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch and Richard Breen
Directed by: Henry Hathaway
Retail Price: $19.98
Features: Theatrical Trailers, Restoration Comparison, Still Gallery
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Stereo, English Mono, French Mono, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection
Released: May 14th, 2002
"Niagara" is the story of Rose and George Loomis (Joseph Cotton and Mariyln Monroe) who are on vacation at Niagara Falls. Their marriage is falling apart. One morning though, the Cuttlers arrive to claim their bungalow. But it turns out the Loomises are on a longer stay, where Rose and her lover Ted plan to kill George. However, things don't go exactly as planned...
I hate to reveal more, but there is so much to this well executed film that I don't want to spoil it. This is a departue for Marilyn Monroe somewhat, as it's not really a light comedy, but more a dramatic mysterious. Either way, she holds up quite well with the material, giving off her usual charm. The direction is tight and the film runs a mere ninety minutes, and it is quite entertaining. It's a really well made mystery in the vein of Hitchock.
The script sets the whole plot, motives and characters up incredibly well, giving off tension and the inner darkness of human beings, let alone a fine climax. The cast itself is also quite good as there is a fine ensemble with great chemistry. The late Jean Peters is very strong and wonderful to watch as Polly Cuttler, I personally think she steals the show. Either way, this may be some of Marilyn's lesser known work, but it's surely one of her best.
Presented in 1.33:1 full screen, the original aspect ratio, this transfer is really amazing. The restoration of the film can be fully seen her, as everything bounces right off the screen. Colors are very well saturated and fleshtones are incredibly accurate. The detail is very nice, especially on the Niagara Falls themselves. The strong look to the whole film is really dazzling and almost takes you there. The bold color look is very vibrant and really gives the image fine dimensions. There is some slight grain and a piece of dirt here and there, plus some noise and shimmering, but nothing major. Very stunning, indeed!
The English Stereo track is decent. Dialogue is crisp and easy to hear, while the dramatic music cues tension and doesn't interfere, not to mention some rippling sound effects such as Niagara Falls waves crashing, the rain and a murder plot gone awry. The sound dymanics are limited, but fidelity is pretty good and things fit the way they should. Also included are English mono and French mono tracks, plus English subtitles, Spanish subtitles and English closed captions.
A bevy of Theatrical Trailers, one for each film in the new Marilyn Monroe collection. The "Niagara" trailer is in full frame, "Let's Make Love" in non-anamorphic widescreen, "Don't Bother To Knock" in full frame, "Monkey Business" in full frame and "River Of No Return" in anamorphic widescreen. Plus, a trailer for the original Marilyn Monroe Diamond Collection.
Also included is a pretty extensive Still Gallery with model shots and stills from the film, and your usual Restoration Comparison, describing the process and showing two examples. Boy, what a difference restoration can make!
"Niagara" is one of Monroe's best films in my opinion, as it's a classy mystery with superb performances and smooth direction. Monroe fans, this is a must have obviously... but if you like classic movies and this genre, "Niagara" does not disappoint, especially with a fair list price, a good presentation and the usual Monroe extras that different sorts of audiences will enjoy.