A movie directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Niagara is a 1953 dramatic thriller, film noir directed by Henry Hathaway. Unlike other films noir of the time, Niagara was shot in Technicolor and was one of 20th Century Fox's biggest box office hits of the year. The drama features Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters and others.
Although it was not written as a star vehicle for Marilyn Monroe, she would dominate the film nonetheless. Along with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, it solidified Monroe's status as a bona fide box office draw.
Ray and Polly Cutler (Max Showalter and Jean Peters) on a delayed honeymoon at Niagara Falls, find their reserved cabin occupied by George and Rose Loomis (Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe). They politely accept another, less-desirable cabin, and the two couples become acquainted.
George and Rose have a troubled marriage. She is younger and very attractive. He is jealous, depressed and irritable. It is implied that he may have recently been discharged from an Army mental hospital. While touring the falls the following day, Polly sees Rose passionately kissing a man, Patrick. That evening the Cutlers witness George's rage. Rose joins an impromptu party and George storms out and breaks a record playing a tune that he suspects has a secret meaning for Rose.
What George does not know is that Rose is planning his murder. The next day she lures him into following her to the dark tourist tunnel underneath the Falls. There Patrick is to kill him. Patrick is to request the nearby carillon to play the special song to let Rose know that George is dead. By chance, the tune is played and Rose concludes George is murdered.
In fact, George has killed Patrick, thrown his body into the falls and collected Patrick's shoes at the exit instead of his own. This leads the police to believe that George is the victim. The body is retrieved and the police bring Rose to identify George's body. When the cover is lifted from the face and she sees Patrick, she collapses and is admitted to hospital.
The motel manager moves the Cutlers to the Loomis' cabin. George comes to kill Rose in revenge but finds Polly instead. She wakes and sees him before he runs away. She tells the police, who launch a dragnet.
During the Cutlers' second visit to the Falls, George finds Polly alone. Trying to escape, she slips and he saves her from falling into the Falls. He explains that he killed Patrick in self-defense and asks, "Let me stay dead." Polly leaves without answering.
A frightened Rose leaves the hospital intending to return to the U.S. Finding George waiting for her, she tries to hide in the carillon. George catches her and strangles her beneath the bells, which remain silent. Remorsefully he says, "I loved you, Rose. You know that."
The Cutlers go fishing with friends in a launch on a section of the Niagara River above the Falls. When the launch is moored to allow the party to go shopping, George steals the boat with Polly on board. The police are notified and set out in pursuit. The boat runs out of gas and drifts toward the Falls. Near the edge, George manages to place Polly on a rock before going over the Falls to his death. Polly is rescued by helicopter.
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A movie directed by W.S. Van Dyke