"Why should the falls drag me down here at 5 o'clock in the morning?" GEORGE LOOMIS (COTTEN) ponders as this 1953 suspense film opens against a magnificent backdrop of the falls. Maybe because his sexy wife ROSE (MONROE, essentially playing herself) has eyes for every man except him. "They've had 10,000 years to get independent. I could too, only it might take a little more time." She taunts him with her open flirting and prances around in second-skin dresses but he's so obsessed that he can't leave her. George and Rose are vacationing at the Rainbow cabin complex in Niagara Falls, Canada. The vacation hasn't improved their relationship--we see Rose hurriedly put out her cigarette, roll over and pretend to be asleep when she hears him fumbling at their cabin door with his keys. When he falls asleep she lights up again. (At least she didn't claim to have a headache!)
In sharp contrast are happy honeymooners RAY & POLLY CUTTLER (ADAMS and PETERS) who couldn't afford a honeymoon but are at the falls because Ray won the trip as his company's top salesman. Their reserved deluxe room with a view isn't ready, though, because the LOOMIS' won't move out. Rose begs the manager not to make them leave because her husband is sick. He'd been in an army hospital for a nervous breakdown following the Korean war. The Cuttlers feel sorry for her and offer to take another cabin. On the "Maid of the Mist" boatride, Polly spots Rose kissing another man, and eventually is drawn into her and her lover's plan to kill George and make it look like he committed suicide by jumping into the falls.
Though this movie contains only one plot twist (if you've been reading my reviews in order you'll know I love plot twists) it's paced fast enough to keep you watching. Henry Hathaway directed, but it could have been Hitchcock. The dialogue is clever: "Get out the fire hose," Ray laughs when ROSE appears in a slinky red dress." It's not so funny to George: "She'd like to wear that dress in the middle of Yankee stadium so everyone could see right down to her kneecaps." There's light comedy in the form of Mr. Kettering, Ray's company president, who finally shows up a little too late to wine and dine the Cutters. We even get to hear Marilyn sing in the movie (a song called "Kiss" that Rose constantly hums to drive George over the edge because he knows it's the song for Rose and her lover.) The song becomes a major part of the plot twist. And of course the cinematography is top-rate..If you've never been to the falls you can get the best view right in your own tv room by renting this film.
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