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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Bu Ray!
A splendid transfer of a tight little Hitchcock-like thriller which still works well. The town of Niagara is as much a "character" as the rest of the cast in Henry Hathaway's impressively directed tale of betrayal and revenge. Joseph Cotton gives a typically first rate performance as a husband more sinned against than sinning while Monroe - all tight dresses, scarlet lips...
Published 14 months ago by Adrian Drew

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Have to be a real fan
Very dated and turgid.
Published 4 months ago by intzbi


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Bu Ray!, 2 Oct 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953] (Blu-ray)
A splendid transfer of a tight little Hitchcock-like thriller which still works well. The town of Niagara is as much a "character" as the rest of the cast in Henry Hathaway's impressively directed tale of betrayal and revenge. Joseph Cotton gives a typically first rate performance as a husband more sinned against than sinning while Monroe - all tight dresses, scarlet lips and pouting looks - is sensational, iconic (and in terms of the 21st Century faintly ludicrous) as the embodiment of female treachery and sensuality. It's a great little movie, filled with nice details and the "travelogue" element is fascinating too. The blu ray transfer is outstanding - great contrast - eye popping colours - terrific detail - and the audio is even more impressive with the 5.1 immersive dub than the previous DVD too. Because the original poster had Marilyn stretched out over the falls ( "two forces of nature") one almost expects CinemaScope - but no - the film was shot in a 4x3 Academy ratio which had thankfully been retained for this transfer. Still it all looks very spectacular and on big screen video projection rather thrilling as the FX and blu-screen work are surprisingly good for 1954. The only extra is however the black and white trailer for the film - and this omission is a little disappointing as more extras would have been gratefully received. The film itself is definitely a treat for a wet Sunday afternoon though and this edition is highly recommended!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'classic', 19 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Niagara [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
`Niagara' was the movie that brought Marilyn Monroe to the publics full attention. As always her performance radiates and she plays the shift from seductive murderess to frightened victim wonderfully. Jean Peters, though slightly overshadowed by Marilyn, also provides a believable performance and a role that's easier for the audience to relate to. We spend much of the movie looking at the situation through her characters eyes, an interesting alternative to pursuing the story solely through the eyes of George or Rose Loomis.
The story itself has aged very well and remains cliché free, even today though it could have been improved by fleshing out Cottons character. At times it can be unclear what the script is insinuating about his character and I would have preferred more time spent exploring the relationship between Rose and her husband.
However its refreshing to find a movie from this era where all the characters didn't have a happy story book ending.
`Niagara' is an engaging movie and special mention goes out to the shredded wheat jokes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Niagara [1953] [Blu-ray], 4 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953] (Blu-ray)
Niagara [1953] [Blu-ray] Marilyn Monroe sizzles in this tense, masterful thriller. While the seductive Rose Loomis [Marilyn Monroe] and her husband George [Joseph Cotton] vacation in a charming guest cabin at spectacular Niagara Falls, Rose and her lover plot to kill George. But things go terribly wrong, and soon, an innocent honeymooning couple find themselves swept up in the crime.

Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, Max Showalter, Denis O'Dea, Richard Allan, Don Wilson, Lurene Tuttle, Russell Collins, Will Wright, Henry Beckman, Harry Carey Jr., Gloria Gordon, Patricia Henderson, Arch Johnson, Tom Reynolds, Willard Sage, Bert Stevens, Minerva Urecal, Nina Varela and Gene Wesson

Director: Henry Hathaway

Producer: Charles Brackett

Screenplay: Charles Brackett, Richard L. Breen and Walter Reisch

Composer: Sol Kaplan

Cinematography: Joseph MacDonald

Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, French: 5.1 DTS-HD, Castellano: 2.0 DTS-HD, German: 5.1 DTS-HD and Italian: 2.0 DTS-HD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish and Turkish

Running Time: 84 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' made her a star, but 'Niagara,' a nifty little Technicolor film noir released earlier the same year, put Marilyn Monroe on the cinematic map. Though she previously spiced up such A-level productions as 'All About Eve,' 'The Asphalt Jungle,' and 'Monkey Business' in notable supporting parts, Marilyn Monroe made a splash as monumental as the film's eponymous falls in this Henry Hathaway thriller, which allowed her for the first and only time in her storied career the opportunity to play a duplicitous bad girl. Sexier than Lana Turner in 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' and more sympathetic than Barbara Stanwyck in 'Double Indemnity,' Marilyn Monroe accents the femme in femme fatale, crafting a fatally glamorous portrait of a conniving four-alarm siren whose incendiary allure transcends that of any other Hollywood actress. If given the chance, men would line up by the thousands to be manipulated, teased, and even spurned by such a sensual seductress. And that's all due to a single, extended close-up and a sultry song called 'Kiss.'

The iconic shot occurs about 17 minutes into the film when Marilyn Monroe emerges from a rustic cabin wearing a tight-fitting, low-cut, off-the-shoulder magenta dress with a thin white chiffon wrap casually draped around her back. She hands a party boy a phonograph record and sullenly asks, "Would you mind playing this?" He dutifully complies, and after a few bars she begins to sing along. The lyrics and arrangement are syrupy, but her vocal delivery is anything but. With a light breeze blowing her wavy blonde hair, her painted lips glistening in the moonlight, her eyes half shut in a romantic reverie, she oozes sex appeal and projects a mesmerizing magnetism. The camera – always Marilyn's closest ally – lingers on this sizzling image for a long time...not long enough for my taste, but long enough to forever embed Monroe in our collective consciousness and earn her well-deserved stardom and eventual immortality. Yes, the picture is that powerful, and it's worth far more than a thousand words.

'Niagara' is not a great film, but it's a brisk, seductive, absorbing piece of popcorn entertainment, distinguished by solid performances, a couple of interesting twists that perk up the tired premise, and the powerful backdrop of Niagara Falls which is one of the world's most breath-taking natural wonders. The location shooting adds an authentic accent, with the omnipresent rushing torrents of cascading water heightening suspense and playing a starring role in the movie's over the top (and over the edge) climax.

Though 'Niagara' starts innocently enough, focusing on cheery young marrieds Polly and Ray Cutler [Jean Peters and Casey Adams] and their arrival at the falls on a delayed honeymoon, it quickly takes a melodramatic turn as we get to know another, less happy couple, Rose and George Loomis [MarilynMonroe and Joseph Cotton], who are staying at the same inn overlooking the falls. George Loomis is a troubled, insecure man, possibly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour of duty in Korea, and the curvaceous Rose, we soon learn, is shamelessly two-timing him with a beefy hunk [Richard Allan]. The Cutlers try to ease the tension between the volatile pair, and soon become unwitting enablers in a deadly game that doesn't go as planned, and ends up spiralling out of control.

Though shot in brilliant Technicolor, this film noir possesses many of the same enticing elements that distinguish the genre's black-and-white classics. 'Niagara' may not be as hard-boiled as movies based on novels by Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, but it occasionally brandishes a well-honed edge that makes its many trite moments bearable. Part travelogue (the film seems to hit all the Niagara Falls tourist highlights) and part mystery, the picture somehow gels into a cohesive whole and has held up darn well over the past six decades.

Credit to Marilyn Monroe for the durability of 'Niagara.' While her acting is, for the most part, strong, she's still a little rough around the edges in some scenes, enunciating too precisely here and emoting too heavily there. Yet her captivating presence and charisma elevate the story, and when she unleashes her inner vamp, it's a sight to behold. Joseph Cotten portrays her tortured, insanely jealous husband well, generating a surprising amount of sympathy despite his questionable deeds, while the fresh-faced Jean Peters, who three years later would become the wife of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, conveys an attractive girl-next-door quality that nicely balances Marilyn Monroe's unvarnished sex appeal.

'Niagara' can't compete for top noir honours, but it remains a satisfying genre entry and puts a potent exclamation point on Marilyn Monroe's Hollywood apprenticeship. Hereafter, the iconic star would dominate almost every movie in which she appeared, but never again would she play such a hard-nosed, deceitful character. Yet when all is said and done, 'Niagara' isn't about an adulterous couple plotting to bump off an inconvenient husband; it's about how a sultry song and especially a monumental close-up gave birth to a cinema legend. End of story.

Blu-ray Video Quality – Lush, beautiful photography has always set 'Niagara' apart from similar thrillers, and the film's previous home video incarnations have all looked great. That said, I still wasn't prepared for the flat-out dazzling appearance of this high-definition rendering. Crystal clarity, exceptional contrast, and a gloriously saturated colour palette distinguish this vibrant, vivid 1080p encounter image transfer that's a treat to watch from start to finish. Never has Marilyn Marilyn's magnetism and allure seemed so potent or her connection with the camera so intimate. Time after time images pop up that demand freeze framing, and I don't just mean those of Monroe; Niagara Falls in all its unspoiled grandeur is captured from a variety of stunning angles, along with the rainbows it so often generates. The spotless source material keeps the spell unbroken, with not a single speck, mark, or errant scratch distracting us from the sublime images on display.

Colours are bright, bold, and sumptuous. Monroe's glossy lipstick, her red jacket, the yellow slickers the sightseers wear as they tour the falls, the blue hues of the river water, and green foliage lining the streets and riverbanks all make a statement. Not to be outdone, black levels are deliciously inky and intense (just look at Marilyn Monroe's jacket and hat as she enters the morgue), the white foam and mist of the raging falls are always crisp and distinct, and flesh tones, from Marilyn's creamy complexion to Joseph Cotten's olive skin, remain natural and stable throughout. Close-ups, especially those of Marilyn Monroe, are devastatingly glamorous (I could watch her sing 'Kiss' till the cows come home), background elements are easy to discern, shadow detail is quite good, and no crush, noise, banding, or other annoyances rear their ugly heads.

The one caveat to this magnificent effort is the sparing use of digital noise reduction, which seems to have erased the film's natural grain structure. A movie of this vintage usually doesn't exude such a smooth, dimensional look, but the razor sharp, high gloss appearance of this transfer nicely complements the story's cold nature. Though I'm usually a stickler for grain and revel in the texture it lends the image, I honestly don't miss it much here. I believe the Fox technicians have employed DNR intelligently in this instance (and in other Monroe Blu-ray titles), allowing it to subtly enhance the picture without the waxy and smeary look that's usually a by-product of the process. To these eyes, this is the best 'Niagara' has ever looked on home video, and those who own the previous Diamond Collection DVD should upgrade as soon as possible. You won't be sorry you did.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – 'Niagara' comes equipped with two lossless tracks, both newly re-mastered. There's the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio option and the more traditional 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio choice for those seeking to replicate the movie's original soundscape. Both provide clean, clear, well-modulated audio with a wide dynamic scale and no incidents of distortion, and any age-related defects, such as pops, crackles, and hiss, have been erased. The newly engineered 5.1 track does its best to widen the audio's scope, but the sound remains front-based. The music scoring and thunderous roar of the falls fill the room nicely, but there's no distinct action from any of the channels. Dialogue is always well prioritized and easy to comprehend, the church bells possess fine resonance, and solid bass undertones add punch and nuance to the falls sequences, offering that extra bit of ambience to immerse us in the setting.

The 1.0 track is equally well balanced, yet sounds slightly harsher, especially with regard to the falls. Atmospherics are weaker, too, but subtleties remain distinct and certain scenes sound almost identical to their 5.1 counterparts. Either option is solid, but the 5.1 track provides a more full-bodied, robust experience, as one might expect.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

'Niagara' was shot in glorious Technicolor, but for some reason this trailer, which compares Monroe to the breath-taking falls that frame the story, is in black-and-white. Surely there must be a colour print of this preview lying around the vaults somewhere!

More Monroe Movie Trailers [HD] [16:00] Previews for six more Monroe films from Fox are included, five of which are included here which includes: Bust Stop, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How To Marry A Millionaire, River Of No Return, The Seven year Itch and Irvin Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Showbusiness.

Finally, while not as widely acclaimed as some of her subsequent films, ‘Niagara’ put Marilyn Monroe on the pop-culture map, establishing her platinum blonde screen siren image. The film feels a little quaint today — suggestive more than explicit, with twists that come precisely as expected — but the combination of Marilyn's steamy presence and Joseph MacDonald's gorgeous three-strip Technicolor cinematography makes Niagara a trip worth taking. Further, 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release is a real stunner; what it lacks it special features — you'll only find some trailers here — it makes up in a nigh-perfect high definition transfer. Marilyn Monroe fans will definitely want to add this one to their collections, and even more general golden-age-of-Hollywood enthusiasts will probably want to check it out. In my review of ‘Bus Stop’ I felt the characters did not gel with me, but with this film, all the actors, even Marilyn Monroe pull out all the stops and produce a cracking film and keeps you on the edge of your seat right to the bitter end and I felt Marilyn Monroe put her best effort to make this a worth addition to my ever expanding Marilyn Monroe Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The girl can act, too!, 13 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Niagara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Now we all know Marilyn Monroe looks absolutely stunning on screen. This movie, one of her earlier works, proves she can act as well. In this, she plays a woman who plots with her lover to bump off her husband, only to get a shock when the murder doesn't work out as planned. You can view this movie any way you wish - either gaze longingly at Marilyn all film, enjoy the sparkling backdrop of Niagara falls, or sit on the edge of your seat at the suspense and intrigue of the thrilling script. I would recommend doing all three, and enjoy a thoroughly great film.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Symbolic Drama, 22 Aug 2009
By 
J. M. Harman - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Niagara [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
This film is a wonderful chance for the four main leads to show their considerable talents. From the title and the opening scene it is obvious that Niagara Falls will dominate this picture, but even more important are two more symbols: bars and bells. When George Loomis (Joseph Cotten) returns to the holiday cabin, it is dark and gloomy. The scene then switches to the interior of the chalet. On hearing George`s key in the lock, Rose Loomis (Marilyn Monroe) pretends to be asleep. The pair of them occupy seperate beds, and when George lies down, the slats from the venetian blinds cast shadows which resemble prison bars across his face and body, thus emphasising the trap in which these two people find themselves; this point is further reinforced when Rose, seeing George has closed his eyes, turns away from him in contempt.

The scene which introduces Mr and Mrs Cutler (played by Jean Peters and Casey Adams) shows the contrast between this happy couple and George and Rose; not only in character but physically:i.e. the blonde (Rose) and the brunette (Polly). The movie also contains interesting parallels; the shots of Niagara Falls followed by Rose in the shower, plus the sound of the bell-tower contrasted with the tinkling bracelet worn by Rose. Another significent detail is how George Loomis, in building his tiny model cars is trying to hold himself together and exercise some control over his disturbed mental state. The use of music is very well handled with the tune "Kiss" played with variations throughout the film.

When Rose returns to the holiday site having plotted the murder of her husband, the moment in which she closes the window blinds plunges the room into darkness with the slats becoming even more vivid, symbolising the moment of murder, helped once more by the crashing chord in the music. I feel that the film-makers made a slight mistake in revealing George`s identity too soon; it might have been better to hold this back until we see his face, as Polly does, and it becomes as big a shock to the viewer as to her.

The murder of Rose is perhaps the highlight of the film. Notice how George stubs his cigarette under his heel, to signify that he intends to eliminate his wife. The pursuit in the bell-tower shows Rose`s desperation and hopeless position, again, aided by the increasing harshness of the music. As she rushes upstairs, the staircase receives great visual emphasis (more bars) also, George`s face is shown in full white light giving added terror to the scene. Finally in the bell-room the two symbols: bars and bells come together at last. The murder scene is highly dramatic, with a complete absence of sound, the bells are shown from various angles in successive shots of two seconds each; and the actual strangulation is shown from above. In particular the bars, which have been increasing in size throughout the film, are shown larger than ever before, reflected across Rose`s dead body, even though her corpse changes position in consecutive shots! This particular moment signifies that these two people have reached the "point of no return" for Rose is dead and George Loomis has become a murderer.

The film is not faultless: there are times when you feel the picture is using Marilyn`s physical charms at the expense of drama, plus the picture contains some improbable situations; but no matter, it is a movie that deserves close study.

John Harman
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5.0 out of 5 stars Health and Safety Officials Might not Like It!, 28 Sep 2014
This review is from: Niagara [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
A pretty close to faultless thriller correctly dubbed Hitchcockian except to say I'm not sure he had used colour quite like this by 1953. I could be wrong, but some of the brilliant shots of reds and yellows and the blue of the water give us a primary colour technicolor garish nightmare of 50s America spiced with comic japes and sexual under and over tones. A brilliant performance of a scheming tramp from MM but also in a homelier contrasting way, an appealing subtler sexuality from the differently but more believably beautiful aspirational middle class housewife Jean Peters. They rather act the men off the screen, though Joseph Cotten (adding another Hitchcockian layer) is impressively sad-eyed and possessed. The scenes in the belfry (stairs, shadow, colour) are some of the most striking and (last mention) Hitchcock would surely have appreciated them. In fact, North By Northwest and Vertigo could have been said to have been in some way inspired by Hathaway's design. The psychology is less demanding maybe, but cinematically fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'THE' perfect figure?, 24 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Niagara [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
Fantastic scenery, but, it would take second place if MM walked by. I remember the song 'Kiss' and used to play it often, in this film, it is played by the Rainbow Tower Carillon.............A couple arrive at Niagara Falls for a belated honeymoon. The voluptuous Marilyn M., appears.......She is married to Joseph Cotton, but is having an illicit affair.......This affair is discovered by one of the honeymooners (Jean Peters). Plans have been made by MM and her lover to get rid of her husband....Best laid plans....Eventually Marilyn gets her comeuppance. JC is hounded by the police, finally making his getaway in a boat on the Niagara river. Jean Peters is also on the boat, it loses power and drifts towards the falls.........................A colourful, enjoyable film with scenery to die for..............plus the bouncy curved figure of Marilyn: a viewing feast............The objective 'me' and my imagination enjoyed this film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Niagara comes to life on Blu!, 11 Dec 2013
This review is from: Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953] (Blu-ray)
What can one say that hasn't been said already about this true classic of American cinema? For me, this tense and effective thriller with it's very fine cast, who all give engaging performances, is right up there with the best thrillers ever made. Looking past Marilyn Monroe's breakthrough show-stopping turn, Joseph Cotten is equally impressive as George Loomis whose murder is being arranged by his man-trap, devious wife, Monroe. Soon a vacationing couple at the imposing Niagara Falls, played by Casey Adams and Jean Peters, become involved in the proceedings.
I would like to give special mention to Jean Peters as the down-to-earth, quick-witted Polly Cutler, who reluctantly aids Loomis. I rate this her career-best performance and she is not overshadowed by Monroe's more prominent prescence.
Should anyone be in doubt about upgrading from DVD to Blu Ray for this title. Don't, the picture quality is excellent and far superior to all previous dvds of the film.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good transfer!!!, 29 July 2013
By 
Tinksjane "tink" (Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953] (Blu-ray)
Fantastic movie, which goes without saying!, but this review is in regard to the quality of the blu ray transfer which is just out......

I had the remastered version of this in the Diamond DVD Collection, was very unsure as to whether to upgrade to blu ray, but I am so glad I did....the transfer is excellent and very clear indeed, colours have much more depth, sharp pictures and even the sound is better....if you are a Marilyn fan, like me, and you are thinking of upgrading this brilliant movie then do not hesitate, its very good and well worth it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 9 Feb 2007
This review is from: Niagara [DVD] [1953] (DVD)
Brilliant film! One of Marilyns best films and one of my favourite. Marilyn is not just the dumb blonde in this film, she shows herself as the great actress she always was but was sadly seldom given the opportunity to play. Apart from the obvious hypnotic presence of Marilyn this film is in itself a great thriller and the images of Niagra are awsome...but not as beautiful as Marilyn!...enjoy!
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Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953]
Niagara [Blu-ray] [1953] by Henry Hathaway (Blu-ray - 2013)
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