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Bombshell on the Box – Marilyn Alert!

March 17, 2010

RIVER OF NO RETURN, Film4, Thur Mar 18, 4.55pm

The director, Otto Preminger, hated making it, Marilyn claimed in later years it was her worst film, and Robert Mitchum allegedly spent most of it drunk. However, the fans love it, and Marilyn looks stunning – and sings four songs, among them the beautiful title track, River of No Return. Her saloon girl costumes are fabulous, and she proves here that she really can act.

The story is pretty basic: Matt Calder (Mitchum) , who lives on a remote farm with his young son Mark (Tommy Rettig) , helps two unexpected visitors who lose control of their raft on the nearby river.

Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun)  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 (Marilyn), 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.

The film was shot on location in Banff, Canada, and in CinemaScope, so TV viewing doesn’t really do it justice – but we say watch it anyway, of course! If only for the songs – enjoy the clip!

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