6.7/10
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River of No Return (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance, Western | 1954 (UK)
The titular 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
...
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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1954 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Fluß ohne Wiederkehr  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,195,000 (estimated)
 »

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

During post-production, Otto Preminger departed for Europe, leaving editor Louis R. Loeffler and Stanley Rubin to complete the film. Jean Negulesco was called in to film a few retakes. The dailies reconfirmed Rubin's belief that Preminger had been the wrong choice for the project. He felt the director had failed to capture the Western aura, had ignored key elements in the plot, and had badly directed action sequences, leaving them looking staged and static. In several cases, studio and location shots didn't match. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Matt Calder: It depends on whose ox gets gored.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Legend of Marilyn Monroe (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Meadow
(uncredited)
Performed by Marilyn Monroe
Lyrics by Ken Darby
Music by Lionel Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
White Water Rafting With Marilyn and Mitch
29 June 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Of all of Marilyn Monroe's leading men, Robert Mitchum was the only one who knew her back when. In 1941 before he made his screen debut in a Hopalong Cassidy film, Mitchum was among other things an aircraft factory worker and one of his friends was one James Daugherty. Of course Jim had a wife Norma Jean at the time and Bob and Dorothy occasionally socialized.

He knew all about her psychological problems and when it came time to do a film with her when both became screen legends, Mitchum was not about to get himself involved. That probably helped because during the shooting Marilyn and director Otto Preminger stopped speaking and would only communicate through Mitchum.

Marilyn's a saloon gal involved with a no good gambler/drifter in Rory Calhoun. Calhoun and Monroe nearly drown on a river when Mitchum rescues them and their raft. No good deed goes unpunished so Calhoun takes Mitchum's horse and Mitchum, Monroe, and Mitchum's son Tommy Rettig use the raft to go after him. They're kind of forced to because the Indians are on the warpath.

She's certainly quite a distraction for a man on a mission and at one point Mitchum does give into lust ever so briefly. Which does make River of No Return one of the more realistic westerns ever done.

Twentieth Century Fox decided to go whole hog on this one, shooting the film up in Banff. But with Marilyn and Otto feuding it was not a happy set. Otto walked off the picture and Jean Negulesco finished it out. Joe DiMaggio flew up to the set because of rumors of Mitchum and Marilyn, that were completely unfounded, but Joe was the jealous type. As for Mitchum legend has it that he and another legendary drinker, Murvyn Vye, killed many a bottle during the long evenings.

Done in cinemascope and 3-D, River of No Return should be seen on the big screen. Not even a letterbox DVD does it justice. And 3-D was definitely the medium for Monroe. Marilyn even has some nice songs to sing in this one.

It's not a great western, still it's entertaining enough especially in those rafting sequences. But it was a film Otto Preminger shuddered about when recalling.


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