6.7/10
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River of No Return (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 30 April 1954 (USA)
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The title river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Harry Weston
...
Mark Calder
Murvyn Vye ...
Dave Colby
Douglas Spencer ...
Sam Benson
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Storyline

Matt Calder, who lives on a remote farm with his young son Mark, helps two unexpected visitors who lose control of their raft on the nearby river. Harry Weston is a gambler by profession and he is racing to the nearest town to register a mining claim he has won in a poker game. His attractive wife Kay, a former saloon hall girl, is with him. When Calder refuses to let Weston have his only rifle and horse, he simply takes them leaving his wife behind. Unable to defend themselves against a likely Indian attack, Calder, his son and Kay Weston begin the treacherous journey down the river on the raft Weston left behind. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

river | gambler | saloon | raft | farm | See All (51) »

Taglines:

MARILYN MONROE...Sultry, flaming, exciting as never before - on a desperate river journey...experiencing the violence and madness of desperate men! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Floden utan återvändo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film ran over schedule and budget due to mishaps caused when director Otto Preminger insisted that actors perform their own stunts for the scenes of the raft struggling down the rapids. On one occasion Marilyn Monroe had to be saved from drowning when her boots filled with water, and on another she and Robert Mitchum had to be rescued when their raft became stuck on a rock and was on the verge of overturning. However, according to Lee Server's biography "Robert Mitchum: Baby I Don't Care", they didn't do their own stunts. The people on the overturning raft were stunt performers Roy Jenson, Helen Thurston and midget Harry Monty. Mitchum would often "appropriate" anecdotes; this appears to be one of them. The stars were only allowed to perform on a raft secured to the riverbank, although Monroe actually did twist her leg. See more »

Goofs

The chords Kay plays on the guitar do not match the chords necessary for that particular song. See more »

Quotes

Kay Weston: [Harry pulls out a pistol] What's that for?
Harry Weston: In case he's hard of hearing.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Marilyn Monroe: The Mortal Goddess (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

River of No Return
(uncredited)
Performed by Robert Mitchum
Lyrics by Ken Darby
Music by Lionel Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Monroe meets Mitchum--and Otto Preminger!
26 January 2008 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Nine-year old boy is reunited with his estranged father in a northwest boom town in the midst of Gold Fever; they take off for a life of fishing and hunting but are soon railroaded by a crooked gambler and his gal, a saloon singer who gets a pang of conscience and stays with dad and the kid. Soon, all three are on the run from Injuns, on a raft down a treacherous river. Lackadaisical western puts action on the back-burner to focus on character interaction, which in this case isn't such a bad thing. Robert Mitchum never puts on a big show: tough and steely, but paternal towards the kid and easy with the lady, he's gruffly polite--and unapologetic about his behavior. Marilyn Monroe is such a drama queen, she can't deliver a simple monologue without twitching something (her eyes, her lips, her nostrils); she is lovely (and, in a singing scene outdoors with the boy, very natural), but one warms to her because she's Marilyn (her legend exceeds the worn material and her over-emphatic delivery). Otto Preminger directed, but this doesn't feel like a Preminger movie. There are no tart or prodding scenes, and the dangerous rapids excursions--and Indian rampages--are not staged for maximum impact. The Indians, armed with arrows, simply seem like bad shots, and the close-up sequences on the raft were obviously achieved in the studio. Still, the occasional on-location photography is breath-taking, and the three principles grow steadily on the audience as well as towards each other. Beautiful theme song is sung in versions by both Mitchum and Monroe. **1/2 from ****


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