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River of No Return
     

River of No Return

4.0 2
Director: Otto Preminger,

Cast: Otto Preminger, Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun

 

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Not a western as has often been claimed, River of No Return is a "northern," set in Canada during the 19th century Gold Rush. En route to his home, farmer Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is beaten and robbed of his horse by gambler Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun). Two people witness this bushwacking: Matt's son Mark (Tommy Rettig) and Weston's wife Kay (Marilyn Monroe

Overview

Not a western as has often been claimed, River of No Return is a "northern," set in Canada during the 19th century Gold Rush. En route to his home, farmer Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is beaten and robbed of his horse by gambler Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun). Two people witness this bushwacking: Matt's son Mark (Tommy Rettig) and Weston's wife Kay (Marilyn Monroe), a dance hall girl. Disgusted by Weston, who has deserted her, Kay elects to remain with Matt as the latter tries to stay alive without provisions in hostile Indian territory. Seeking revenge, Matt builds a raft and braves the rapids, with Mark and Kay in tow, in search of the renegade Weston. When Matt catches up with his prey, it appears for a few minutes that Kay will change her mind and help Weston escape; a quick glance at the billing order of the film will cue the audience as to who will remain alive at fadeout time. Marred only by some unconvincing back-projection scenes, River of No Return is full-blooded entertainment, with both Mitchum and Monroe at their considerable primes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Not a career highpoint for either its stars or its director, River of No Return is a moderately enjoyable western (by way of genre, not geography). As is often the case, the script is the main culprit here. The story seems to be cobbled together from here and there, with little depth or realistic motivation for the characters; too often, it seems these people are behaving in this way merely to service the plot. However, there have been many better films crafted from scripts that were no better, and had director Otto Preminger been working at the top of his form, River might have been something special. Not that Preminger is asleep at the wheel -- many of the action sequences are thrilling (if sometimes too obviously faked), and a lot of viewers will bite one or two nails along the way. In addition, the director takes full advantage of his CinemaScope and stereophonic sound to create a lushly beautiful visual and aural picture. But he too often seems to have left the actors (and their characters) to fend for themselves. Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum are fine (although they've both done much better work elsewhere), but there's little chemistry between them. Many will find Monroe, cast somewhat against type, out of her element here, but she pulls it off quite respectfully -- and she gets to work some of her curious vocal magic on four songs, bringing them off very well. Equally as important, Preminger photographs her unnatural beauty as carefully as he does the scenery. Despite its flaws, River has enough entertainment value to make it worth watching.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
UPC:
0024543261100
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:35:00
Sales rank:
8,620

Special Features

Restoration comparison; Still gallery; Theatrical trailer; Anamorphic widescreen (aspect ratio 2.55:1); Audio: English 4.0 Dolby Surround, French Stereo; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Mitchum Matt Calder
Marilyn Monroe Kay Weston
Rory Calhoun Harry Weston
Tommy Rettig Mark Calder
Murvyn Vye Dave Colby
Douglas Spencer Sam Benson
Don Beddoe Ben
Will Wright Merchant
Hal Baylor Young Punk
Larry Chance Actor
John Cliff Actor
John Doucette Spectator in the Black Nugget
Mitchell Kowal Actor
Ann McCrea Actor
Fay Morley Actor
Paul Newlan Prospector
Barbara Nichols Blonde Dancer
Ralph Sanford Bartender
Harry Seymour Actor
Arthur Shields The Minister
John Patrick Veitch Actor
Geneva Gray Actor
Ed Hinton A Gambler
Claire André Surrey Driver
Edmund Cobb A Barber
Jarma Lewis Dancer
Jack Mather Dealer at Card Table
Harry Monty Actor

Technical Credits
Otto Preminger Director
Chester L. Bayhi Set Decoration/Design
Jack Cole Choreography
Ken Darby Songwriter
Frank Fenton Screenwriter
Addison Hehr Art Director
Paul Helmick Asst. Director
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Louis Lantz Original Story
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Louis Loeffler Editor
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Lionel Newman Songwriter,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Stanley Crea Rubin Producer
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
William Travilla Costumes/Costume Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. Looking for My Son
3. One Silver Dollar
4. Calder and Son [1:58]
5. Kay
6. I'm Gonna File My Claim
7. Harry's Claim
8. The Calder Home
9. Trouble on the River
10. Skin Deep
11. Down in the Meadow
12. A Gun and a Horse
13. Time to Leave
14. Rapids
15. Looking for Food
16. Going After Harry
17. Matt's Secret
18. Point of No Return
19. The Cave
20. Kay's Apology
21. Food
22. Laws
23. Not So Tough
24. Benson and Colby
25. Getting Someplace
26. Indians
27. Rough Waters
28. Council City
29. Kay's Plea
30. No Other Way
31. The River of No Return
32. Going Home

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River of No Return 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
merri_moo More than 1 year ago
If you love Marilyn Monroe this is a great one to watch. She sings, is sexy and has an emotion range.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago