When watching 20th Century Fox’s dramatic thriller, "Niagara," one is hard-put to decide which is the greater natural wonder, the Falls or Marilyn Monroe. At the absolute pinnacle of her beauty in 1953, Marilyn exudes pure sex as a frustrated young wife who plots with a hunky lover to kill her brooding, older husband. But her true love affair is with the camera -- and she is absolutely breathtaking in all of her scenes. She also gives a wonderful, unselfconscious performance.
A rock-solid supporting cast and director maintain the tension to the thrilling finale on the Falls. Joseph Cotton excels as the imbalanced cuckold. Elegant Jean Peters is equally terrific as an altruistic neighbor who tries to help the couple, but nearly gets in over her head -- literally.
Veteran director Henry Hathaway sets the human drama against the majesty of Niagara Falls, which is magnificently photographed throughout. Sadly, the film missed the introduction of Cinemascope by only a matter of months. Though in dazzling Technicolor, "Niagara" contains several Film-Noirish touches as well.
An enormous improvement over the DVD version, Fox’s new "Niagara" Blu-ray is a true stunner. The color is so rich and saturated that the film reads like a 1950’s hand-tinted postcard. The razor-sharp picture and DTS-HD soundtrack reproduce the miraculous vistas in remarkable verisimilitude. The special features are limited to an assortment of theatrical trailers from Monroe’s films.
If you have never seen or owned it, "Niagara" is an absolute must, especially in Fox’s superior Blu-ray edition. When the heat is on, Marilyn ignites the screen. To be sure, "Niagara" goes "over the top;" and you’ll love every minute of it!