IMDb > River of No Return (1954)
River of No Return
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River of No Return (1954) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 42 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
River of No Return -- 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.
River of No Return -- Trailer for this classic directed by Otto Preminger
River of No Return -- Clip: Gold
River of No Return -- Clip: Song in the Saloon


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6.7/10   7,142 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Fenton (screenplay)
Louis Lantz (story)
View company contact information for River of No Return on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 April 1954 (USA) See more »
Reckless, Roaring, Adventure of the Great Northwest Gold Rush Days! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One of Monroe's most natural and appealing performances... See more (69 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Mitchum ... Matt Calder

Marilyn Monroe ... Kay Weston

Rory Calhoun ... Harry Weston

Tommy Rettig ... Mark Calder
Murvyn Vye ... Dave Colby
Douglas Spencer ... Sam Benson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Aldrich ... Prospector (uncredited)
Claire Andre ... Surrey Driver (uncredited)
Hal Baylor ... Young Punk (uncredited)

Don Beddoe ... Ben (uncredited)
Ralph Bucko ... Council City Barfly (uncredited)
Roy Bucko ... Prospector (uncredited)

Larry Chance ... Young Punk (uncredited)
John Cliff ... Leering Man (uncredited)
Edmund Cobb ... Barber (uncredited)
Cecil Combs ... Prospector (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Man in Saloon (uncredited)
Tex Driscoll ... Prospector (uncredited)
Geneva Gray ... Dance Hall Girl (uncredited)
Al Haskell ... Wagon Driver (uncredited)
Ed Hinton ... Gambler (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Prospector (uncredited)
Dick Johnstone ... Prospector (uncredited)
Mitchell Kowall ... (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr ... Prospector (uncredited)
Anthony Lawrence ... Young Punk (uncredited)
Jarma Lewis ... Saloon Dancer (uncredited)
Jack Low ... Prospector (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Council City Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Mather ... Card Table Dealer (uncredited)
Ann McCrea ... Dance Hall Girl (uncredited)
Harry Monty ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fay Morley ... Dancer (uncredited)
Charles Morton ... Prospector (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Prospector (uncredited)

Barbara Nichols ... Blonde Dancer (uncredited)
Anton Northpole ... Prospector (uncredited)
George Patay ... Council City Barfly (uncredited)

Jack Perrin ... Prospector (uncredited)
Joe Phillips ... Prospector (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ... Prospector (uncredited)
John Roy ... Prospector (uncredited)
Danny Sands ... Prospector (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... Bartender (uncredited)
Harry Seymour ... Pianist (uncredited)
Arthur Shields ... Minister at Tent City (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Council City Barfly (uncredited)
George Sowards ... Council City Barfly (uncredited)
Jack Tornek ... Prospector (uncredited)
John Veitch ... Young Punk (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Council City Barfly (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Prospector (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Trader (uncredited)

Directed by
Otto Preminger 
Jean Negulesco (uncredited)
Writing credits
Frank Fenton (screenplay)

Louis Lantz (story)

Produced by
Stanley Rubin .... producer
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge 
Leigh Harline (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Joseph LaShelle (director of photography) (as Joseph La Shelle)
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler  (as Louis Loeffler)
Art Direction by
Addison Hehr 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
Set Decoration by
Chester Bayhi (set decorations)
Walter M. Scott (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Travilla (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Allan Snyder .... makeup artist: Miss Monroe (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Helmick .... assistant director
Donald C. Klune .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
Harry Froboess .... stunts (uncredited)
Dan Heather .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Roy Jenson .... stunt double (uncredited)
Harry Monty .... stunt double: Tommy Rettig (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Helen Thurston .... stunt double: Marilyn Monroe (uncredited)
Tim Wallace .... stunt double: Robert Mitchum (uncredited)
Fred Zendar .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Orven Schanzer .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Ken Darby .... songs: lyrics
Ken Darby .... vocal director
Lionel Newman .... musical director
Lionel Newman .... songs: music
Edward B. Powell .... orchestration
Other crew
Jack Cole .... choreography
Leonard Doss .... Technicolor color consultant
Ralph Helfer .... animal supervisor: Nature's Haven (uncredited)
George Patey .... stand-in: Rory Calhoun (uncredited)
Tim Wallace .... stand-in: Robert Mitchum (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Bausch & Lomb  CinemaScope lenses by
  • Canadian Government  the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation thanks for its cooperation in the production of this motion picture (as the Canadian Government)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (video rating) (1987) (2002) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #16625, General Audience) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Both Otto Preminger and Marilyn Monroe were forced to do the film against their will, due to contractual obligations. They both expressed their frustration over the script which they considered below par. However, the film was a box office hit upon its release and remains a popular classic western.See more »
Revealing mistakes: After making it down the rapids, where previously we have seen Ms Monroe's clothes clinging soaking wet, the very first shot on still water she is all clean and dry and ironed. The same is true for Michum.See more »
Matt Calder:Next time you try anything like that, I'll forget you're a woman.See more »
Movie Connections:
River of No ReturnSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
One of Monroe's most natural and appealing performances..., 13 August 2001
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

Cinemascope was at the height of popularity when Fox decided to cast Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum in a story set against the scenic splendor of the Rockies. Marilyn even gets to sing a few fetching song numbers (her saloon song atop a bar is a standout and she delivers a totally professional job). Sleepy-eyed Mitchum makes a good partner for Monroe and little Tommy Rettig scores as the adoring little boy who watches wistfully as Monroe strums a song on her guitar.

Into the story, slight as it is, is an Indian attack while Mitchum and Monroe battle the rapids. It's all very routine going, for the most part, but the chance to see Monroe strut her stuff in a tight pair of jeans and Mitchum give a sturdy, likeable performance is enough to make the movie a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Nothing great here, but a very satisfying performance by Marilyn who does a more than competent job on her less than inspired songs. And the scenery helps.

Otto Preminger's direction is not as taut as it should have been for a tale of this sort--in fact, the whole film has a lumbering pace that seems to make some parts of the story seem more like filler material than anything else. And poor Rory Calhoun has little to do.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (69 total) »

Message Boards

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rape scene dancing_pears
Celestial Choir seankaye-smith
Indians call it ... bole79
I didn't know Marilyn played the guitar! CaperGuy
The subject: What is moral? What is right? jrhpax
Do you think the Indians would have been that stupid? andyofne
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