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River of No Return (1954)

River of No Return (1954)
July 23, 2011 - 7:30 pm
film historian Alan K. Rode, Stanley Rubin.

New digital restoration!

Directed by Otto Preminger

Released the same year as Track of the Cat, River of No Return could not have been more different in story or style. Indeed, it’s the most typical Western actor Robert Mitchum had been in since West of the Pecos in 1945. Loaned out from the struggling RKO to Fox, Mitchum was paired with Marilyn Monroe and the initially B-grade story of a single father forced into a white water trek with a gambler’s moll in tow was blown up to A-list proportions with Otto Preminger assigned to direct in Cinemascope. Noir shadows of Mitchum’s best 1940s Western are nowhere to be found in Preminger’s bold presentation of stunning natural scenery and incisive use of the widescreen format, both of which prompted Andre Bazin to note at the time that River of No Return was only “film in Cinemascope that added anything of importance to the “mise en scene.”

20th Century Fox. Producer: Stanley Rubin. Based on a story by Louis Lantz. Screenwriter: Frank Fenton. Cinematographer: Joseph La Shelle. Editor: Louis Loeffler. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Tommy Rettig, Murvyn Vye.

35mm, color, 91 min.