Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Falls Well That Ends Well : - )

Ah, puns... Shakespearean wit or a form of aggression? The debate continues. I recently saw "Niagara," a 1952 Hitchcockean thriller nominally starring Marilyn Monroe, whose performance here is unusually vixenish and skimpy on screen time. Monroe got star billing, but she is neither the film's center (the falls themselves, presented in vivid toursitic splendor) or its heroine (that honor went to Jean Peters as the good-girl honeymooner staying at the same lodge). Joseph Cotton is quite gripping as Monroe's emotionally unstable husband, who she pushes over the edge (of insanity, not of the falls). You may remember Cotton's chilling work in Hitchcock's "Shadow Of A Doubt," the 1949 film of menace in Hometown, USA. I do recommend "Niagara, which delivers thrills, an unusual plot, vicarious ├╝ber-scenery in Technicolor, and clocks in at an economic 89 minutes. Jean Peters, btw, was secretly married to Howard Hughes, one more reason that I still want to see "The Aviator."

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