The Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten Melee in Niagara

Silver Screenings

Marilyn Monroe sets up her suckers, er, friends. Image: So It Goes

As it turns out, Niagara Falls is a perfect place for murder.

The 1953 Technicolor thriller, Niagara, shows us what a perilous place it is: craggy shorelines, thundering water, a 100-foot plunge pool beneath the falls. Yet, for all the danger there’s a fierce beauty. It’s easy to see why this area became the Honeymoon Capital of North America.

As the poem “Niagara Falls” (Anonymous, 1841) says:

Oh the lovers come a thousand miles,
They leave their home and mother;
Yet when they reach Niagara Falls
They only see each other.

Niagara introduces us to Jean Peters and Max Showalter, a young married couple on a delayed honeymoon. Showalter is an affable, upwardly-mobile chap, and Peters is his smart and capable wife (who, later on, may wish she weren’t so smart or capable). They are pleasant…

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