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River of No Return (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 9 August 1954 (Sweden)
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2:55 | Trailer
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:

Otto Preminger, Jean Negulesco (uncredited)

Writers:

Frank Fenton (screenplay), Louis Lantz (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Matt Calder
Marilyn Monroe ... Kay Weston
Rory Calhoun ... Harry Weston
Tommy Rettig ... 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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 August 1954 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

River of No Return See more »

Filming Locations:

Salmon River, Idaho, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,195,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,757
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the difficult shoot, Otto Preminger had to contend with frequent rain, Robert Mitchum's heavy drinking, and an injury to Marilyn Monroe's ankle that kept her off the set for several days and ultimately put her in a cast. Young Tommy Rettig seemed to be the director's sole source of solace. He respected the boy's professionalism and appreciated the rapport he developed with Monroe, which often helped keep the actress on an even keel. When Natasha Lytess, Monroe's acting's coach, began to interfere with Rettig's performance, thereby undermining his confidence, Preminger let the cast and crew know about her behavior. Preminger was delighted to find that they finally began to support him in his efforts to remove her from the set. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Matt Calder: If a man doesn't know what he's doing or where he's going, the best thing for him to do is just back up and start all over again.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating. All cuts were waived in 1987 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in Getaway: Episode #16.35 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard in the mining town
See more »

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User Reviews

 
White Water Rafting With Marilyn and Mitch
29 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee 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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