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.
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.
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
Roughly a decade after the film was made, Marilyn Monroe claimed this was her worst film, and Otto Preminger spoke bitterly about her in numerous interviews. It wasn't until January 1980, when being interviewed for the New York Daily News, that he conceded, "She tried very hard, and when people try hard, you can't be mad at them." See more »
At the cave Matt tells Kay that he can't light a fire to help her get warm and dry because the Indians can smell smoke almost as far as they can see it, yet shortly thereafter he lights a fire. See more »
If you seriously think that teaming up 2 of Hollywood's biggest, most bankable and hottest stars of the 1950s together in the same picture would totally ignite sparks of pure ecstasy flying this way, and that, then think again.
Unfortunately for us all - In "River Of No Return", any on-screen chemistry that was generated between Mitchum & Monroe amounted to being nothing more than a complete fizzle, and that was about all.
I'd say that a lot of this picture's glaring faults rested squarely on the shoulders of its demanding director, Otto Preminger, who obviously understood nothing about the advantage and benefit of filming its dynamically attractive stars in close-ups. In my opinion, close-ups are a vitally important part of producing a real quality picture.
Another serious problem that plagued this film's story was that way-way too many of its scenes set in the beautiful outdoors were actually shot in front of back-projection screens. This, to me, was a sure-fire way of thoroughly sabotaging an adventure film that featured such grand and majestic scenery as this one did.
Set in the year 1875 - River Of No Return was something of a "Father & Son" tale where Mitchum feigns toughness, Monroe lip-syncs her songs, and Tommy Rettig (as Mitchum's on-screen boy) actually steals the show in this film's climatic finale.
*Note Of Interest* - All of the exterior scenes for River Of No Return were shot in the Canadian Rockies, which included Banff National Park, as well.
Anyways - Considering all of the high-potential that clearly prevailed in River Of No Return, if you ask me, this picture certainly could have (and should have) been a helluva lot better than it was.
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