One of Munroe’s Better Roles

by Ruby Yang

A tale of love, betrayal, and murder, Niagara (1953) features Marilyn Monroe as femme fatale Rose Loomis, who, while on her delayed honeymoon in Niagara with her husband George, conspires to kill him and run off with her lover. At the same time, their newlywed neighbors, Polly and Ray Cutler soon find themselves entangled in the murder plot when Polly catches Rose in the arms of her lover. Needless to say, all does not end well.

While Niagara’s plot is nothing new — your typical love triangle murder story — it’s made memorable by Marilyn Monroe. However, by no means is she is the only reason the movie is worth watching. While it is true that the main reason this movie hasn’t faded into obscurity is because of Marilyn Monroe, the film still has its merits and is still an enjoyable film-noir era crime thriller. It has all the elements of a good noir movie; there’s the femme fatale, the conspiracy, and of course, the murder. Followed with a pacing of the film that is just right, Niagara is a movie that will keep you in suspense. After all, there is a reason that this movie is one of Marilyn’s better known films in comparison to her other movies.

For one, this is among the few films in which we see a rarer and darker side of Marilyn. Mostly known for her comedic roles, it’s interesting to see her take on a more dramatic role. From the subtle body movements to the innocent-yet-seductive look that Marilyn does so well, she is the perfect femme fatale. It’s a shame that Marilyn only got to play dark characters in dramatic roles twice in her entire film career (the other time being in Don’t Bother to Knock.) In addition, the cinematography in this film is simply breathtaking. Not only do we get a beautiful view of Niagara Falls, but we also get a glimpse of the 1950s in the vibrant and gorgeous Technicolor. So whether you want to watch a film-noir crime thriller or see Marilyn Monroe as a femme fatale, Niagarais a film that held up well over time, and is definitely worth a watch.

Ruby’s Grade: A-