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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on September 20, 2011, 03:16:45 PM



Title: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on September 20, 2011, 03:16:45 PM
Niagara (1953) Dir. Henry Hathaway with Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton, Jean Peters, Max Showalter. Monroe & Cotton couple with serious marital problems after two years who are staying in a honeymoon cottage in Niagara Falls, Canada. Cotten may think they are there to rekindle their relationship, but Marilyn is meeting secretly with her lover and they are plotting to murder him. Jean Peters and Max Showalter are another couple on a delayed honeymoon who by default are intwined in the intrigue and are entertaining.

Great juxtaposition in the cinematography between the beauty and the ominous power of Niagara Falls which looms over the film. The falls and there heavy rush of water provide a tangible impression that events are in motion, unstoppable, and the results will be inevitable. The more traditional Noir archetypes of dark shadows thrown by window blinds and shutters are equally effective here when shot in color.

Marilyn as the gorgeous femme fatale is an inferno, driving her neurotic husband insane with both the innuendo of her denial of intimate affections and indications of infidelity causing rages of jealousy.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Niagara.jpg)

The film acts also as almost a seemless travelogue for Niagara Falls as the two couples visit all the tourist highlights of note.
Its probably one the best of the color Film Noir. 9/10

Was aired by Turner Classic Movies recently


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 16, 2012, 12:40:19 PM
Was just aired by TCM again.

An amazing movie. Just incredible to look at.

9/10


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 16, 2012, 12:44:54 PM
Marilyn as the gorgeous femme fatale is an inferno, driving her neurotic husband insane with both the innuendo of her denial of intimate affections and indications of infidelity causing rages of jealousy.
To say nothing of her plan to actually have her husband murdered, what? Kind of an important part of what makes her "fatale," wouldn't you say?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 16, 2012, 01:03:34 PM
This movie has an interesting tone.

The Falls are definitely the main character here. They are filmed beautifully, in the way that a Western landscape would have been filmed. (only a few months later, and they would have had widescreen. Too bad  :'( ). You really don't get the sense of foreboding, ominousness, claustrophobia (with the one exception of the tunnels under the Falls, shown briefly); this has a much lighter feel than a typical noir. The "normal" couple -- also cast very well, Jean Peters and Max Showalter, bring a very light feel to the movie. More than anyone, Showalter sets the tone of the movie as a very light one --  he is always giving that funny smile, like a little kid who was let out of school early. Other than the opening scene, you never really get the sense that this will be anything other than a light romance movie with beautiful cinematography. I guess that's why the first scene had to be what it is -- so the filmmakers can say, we didn't pull a fast one on you and change course halfway through; we told you right away what this was about, and the fact that the next half hour has a light feel is just to underscore how this was supposed to just be a fun vacation, till something went wrong... I mean, it is kind of hard to really feel that this is a drama... But who cares, it is a terrific watch.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 17, 2012, 06:29:00 AM
I like the film, but there's one plot problem I can't get past. Why does MM have to murder Cotten to be with her lover? Why can't she just divorce the guy? Or just split? Nowhere are we told that Cotten is a rich guy and MM wants to inherit his millions. He's just a guy with mental problems. So, maybe if she splits he'll come after her, but does that mean she has to murder him? Whatever happened to restraining orders?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: stanton on May 17, 2012, 06:33:36 AM
I only remember Niagara as a lame and disappointing thriller without much thrills. 5/10
And I'm surprised about the good ratings.

But I will re-watch it if it is again on TV.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 17, 2012, 06:44:45 AM
The opening scene is narrated by the Cotten character: he talks about not knowing why he is visiting the Falls alone at 5 AM, and that gives us the indication that he is having has some real mental health problems. But then we never get narration after that; this movie is certainly not told from Cotten's point of view! That is strange, and I am thinking of 2 possibilities as to why they would do this:

One possibility is similar to what I said above, that while this movie is in color and opens with a beautiful shot of the Falls and the first half has a generally light romantic feel, the filmmakers wanna let us know right away that this will be a noir, and is a serious movie; so the narration which is a noir characteristic s a wink-wink like, "don't be fooled by the color or the imagery or the scenes you will later see; this is a noir all the way."

The second possibility is that the opening voice-over is not a narration, but just Cotten enunciating his thoughts at the time. Like on a tv show when an actor is thinking something, sometimes they will play him stating what he is thinking, cuz there is no other way for us to know (unless he talks to himself). So in order to clue us in to Cotten's problems, they open with a scene that  tells us his thoughts, but it is not "narration."

SPOILER ALERT

So I know that the bad guy Cotten has to die; and considering that the Falls is the main character here, having him die the most spectacular way possible, going over the Falls, is the perfect death. But it bothers me how he makes no attempt to save himself. He is doing all that work with the boat, frantically trying to keep it from going over, and then, when they have a chance to jump onto that rock, he just helps her out and makes no attempt to save himself as well?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 17, 2012, 06:47:55 AM
I only remember Niagara as a lame and disappointing thriller without much thrills. 5/10
And I'm surprised about the good ratings.

But I will re-watch it if it is again on TV.

Well if you are focusing on the "thriller" aspect of it then I am surprised you would even give it a 5/10. The only part of this otherwise meaningless story that I find interesting, is an early reference to the issue of the mental health problems of returning war veterans; there was not nearly enough attention paid to that issue in those days. They had far less knowledge about, and far fewer treatment options available for, those suffering from what we now call "post traumatic stress disorder." it is interesting, and sad, to see an early reference to that very serious problem. Thank God, today that is an issue that is being given the appropriate attention by the medical establishment and the military.


This movie is all about the visuals; the story is concocted around displaying two things: the Falls, and Monroe.

This movie has such a wonderful sense of location. I can't say for certain whether every single scene was filmed on location
or whether some -- the walkways, the bus station, the gift shop, etc. -- may have been filmed in studio; but I can say that the movie absolutely makes you feel like you are actually spending a week there in Niagara, Ontario. Soooooo beautiful. I am just smitten with this movie.




Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 17, 2012, 01:01:10 PM
I like the film, but there's one plot problem I can't get past. Why does MM have to murder Cotten to be with her lover? Why can't she just divorce the guy? Or just split? Nowhere are we told that Cotten is a rich guy and MM wants to inherit his millions. He's just a guy with mental problems. So, maybe if she splits he'll come after her, but does that mean she has to murder him? Whatever happened to restraining orders?

I can think of about a million and one possible reasons why the lives of Monroe and The Lover With No Name (whom I will call "Lover") would be made easier if Cotten is dead, even if we presume that Cotten -- being an ex-military guy with mental health issues -- has no money: Firstly, they may have a house, and even if they have nothing else, that alone is a lot. And they have a car. But setting aside the money stuff, most importantly,
Monroe and Lover want to pursue their romance in peace. Until now they have been sneaking around. Sure, Monroe could just tell Cotten that she is leaving him, but what then? Cotten is obsessed with her, and not just going to walk away. Restraining orders? I don't know what the law was RE: that stuff in 1953, but we have not seen Cotten be violent toward her (just to her record  ;)). And even if he does get the restraining order, people don't always obey them. Sure, she could call the cops, but that gets messy. And divorces get real messy too. And  Monroe would prefer not to be known as a married woman openly sleeping with another man;  that has always been considered the single most immoral thing one could possibly do -- and it still is viewed that way in 2012 among many cultures/religions/people that have what we now call "traditional values"; but until a few decades ago, what we now call "traditional values" were the mainstream views of society. And when that sort of thing indeed happened  -- and of course, people committing adultery is as old as the laws prohibiting adultery -- the people involved would do everything possible to keep it secret.

eg. I was recently reading about Ingrid Bergman, and I saw that her affair with Roberto Rossellini  caused a huge scandal in the early 50's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingrid_Bergman#Italian_period_with_Rossellini:_1949.E2.80.931957
 
So even though she walks around dressed like a tramp and is not exactly the most modest girl on the block, still, there is no way she would want to be living openly in adultery. It's pretty darn clear that she doesn't want Cotten to know what she is doing; that is why she keeps sneaking around! So obviously she doesn't want it to be known that she is sleeping with Lover.

So, she'd have to keep seeing Lover secretly. And if she wants to marry him, she would first have to file for divorce. She can't "just divorce the guy"! Divorce can be the most incredibly messy, nasty processes known to humans. No way that a guy as obsessed with her as Cotten was would have let her go that easy. And even if the divorce would eventually happen, she wouldn't be able to live openly with her lover until the divorce actually went through.

Additionally, Cotten was suffering from mental health problems. How bad does it look for a woman to abandon her husband in his time of need? To walk away from a husband who has suffered mental scars in Korea, and is trying to seek treatment, but overall seems to be a decent enough guy and has not been violent toward her? Abandoning her husband in that situation would be looked upon almost in as much disgust as committing adultery would; and she would have done both.


So let's see: she could try the options above, all of which would cause much difficulty for her and her lover.... or,  she could be rid of him once and for all. If Lover had been successful in killing Cotten, I think the cops would have viewed this as an open-and-shut suicide case: The victim had been mentally disturbed for a while, as documented  by the doctors he had visited; was exhibiting particularly strong symptoms the night before, acting crazy in front of many strangers; his wife has acted very caring and concerned about him; she had frantically reported him to the authorities as missing; he enters a tour of the falls, but never leaves; and his body is later discovered with blunt force trauma to the head, perfectly consistent with a suicide jump. yes, this would be an easy, clean job, and she could be rid of Cotten and live with Lover (whom she no doubt would meet for the very first time at a bar in Chicago a month later) happily ever after


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on May 17, 2012, 05:21:42 PM
Maybe the Cotten Character is old school Catholic and divorce is outa the question too.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 07, 2012, 10:02:48 PM
Just watched (most of) the movie again, this time on dvd.

Just to be clear: since this movie for me really is all about the sense of location, if you know Niagara Falls, you'll love it. It's not just watching the Falls itself, but feeling like you are actually spending a week in the area (even though the motel scenes are not really shot in a motel across from the falls). If you have never visited the Falls -- while you may enjoy its beauty -- the whole sense of location in the movie certainly won't mean as much to you. This is a 9/10 movie but only for those who know and love the area  :)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 16, 2012, 08:54:09 PM
any of you watch Nik Wallenda cross the falls on a tightrope last night? unbelievable


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on June 16, 2012, 10:32:39 PM
Shit I remember hearing he was going to and missed it  :'(


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 16, 2012, 10:59:31 PM
Shit I remember hearing he was going to and missed it  :'(

There are plenty of YouTube clips  O0


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 17, 2012, 01:10:24 PM
Just to be clear: since this movie for me really is all about the sense of location, if you know Niagara Falls, you'll love it. It's not just watching the Falls itself, but feeling like you are actually spending a week in the area (even though the motel scenes are not really shot in a motel across from the falls). If you have never visited the Falls -- while you may enjoy its beauty -- the whole sense of location in the movie certainly won't mean as much to you. This is a 9/10 movie but only for those who know and love the area  :)
I've never been there, but I get what you're saying about the film communicating a sense of location. I've wanted to go to Niagara ever since I saw this picture. I'll go sometime, although the 10 hour drive doesn't seem very inviting.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on June 17, 2012, 04:21:06 PM
I've never been there, but I get what you're saying about the film communicating a sense of location. I've wanted to go to Niagara ever since I saw this picture. I'll go sometime, although the 10 hour drive doesn't seem very inviting.

If you do go take Rt. 17 its very picturesque once you get past Liberty, NY.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 17, 2012, 05:24:34 PM
Thanks for the tip. O0


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 17, 2012, 09:44:54 PM
If you do go take Rt. 17 its very picturesque once you get past Liberty, NY.

haha is that a shot at me, cj?

you know I spend every summer up in the Liberty area (actually Ferndale, which is the next town over), and yes, Route 17 is very beautiful all along, even before Liberty!


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 17, 2012, 09:48:52 PM
I've never been there, but I get what you're saying about the film communicating a sense of location. I've wanted to go to Niagara ever since I saw this picture. I'll go sometime, although the 10 hour drive doesn't seem very inviting.

well I don't know if these little motels were really right across from the falls in 1953, but they are certainly not there now. the real estate is way too valuable. But yes, Niagara is simply beautiful, and everyone should visit it. Believe me, it is well worth the trip. But the 3 times I went, I was in Liberty, so I was already 2 hours ahead of those in New York City. so it took me 8 hours. it will take 10 hours from the city.

And when you go, make sure to bring your passport and spend a lot of time on the Canadian side. There are some great things to do on the American side (Cave of the Winds hurricane deck, Goat Island which has the some of the best views of the falls), but overall, the Canadian side is definitely more fun  O0


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on June 18, 2012, 03:57:48 AM
haha is that a shot at me, cj?

you know I spend every summer up in the Liberty area (actually Ferndale, which is the next town over), and yes, Route 17 is very beautiful all along, even before Liberty!

Once you get past Liberty it's much, much, more rural is what I meant ;-)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 18, 2012, 06:21:11 AM
Once you get past Liberty it's much, much, more rural is what I meant ;-)

it's very rural even before Liberty. I am not very familiar with the higher exits (130-113), but I know for sure that exit 113 (that's Ellenville) and lower are very rural.

it is indeed a beautiful highway  ;)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: noodles_leone on June 18, 2012, 06:40:58 AM
I've been there a few years ago. I stayed there a few hours during a weekend in Toronto (so yes I was on the Canadian side). I did a little video at the time, just for fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE4PiQ7ke5E

It's supposed to show what I thought about the place (ripping off one of a clockwork orange's trailers). Nature is great, but it's completely spoiled by one of the worst looking Las Vegas wannabee city of the World. Byt I liked a lot the part of the city that's not too close from the falls (next to the bus station), it has a real vintage feeling to it.

Anyway, nothing like what you see in the movie IMO.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 18, 2012, 10:13:15 AM
I've been there a few years ago. I stayed there a few hours during a weekend in Toronto (so yes I was on the Canadian side). I did a little video at the time, just for fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE4PiQ7ke5E

It's supposed to show what I thought about the place (ripping off one of a clockwork orange's trailers). Nature is great, but it's completely spoiled by one of the worst looking Las Vegas wannabee city of the World. Byt I liked a lot the part of the city that's not too close from the falls (next to the bus station), it has a real vintage feeling to it.

Anyway, nothing like what you see in the movie IMO.

well if you were expecting it to be like in the movie, with a cheap motel right across from the Falls, then yes, you will be disappointed.

But I visited the falls 3 times before I saw the movie. So when I saw the movie, I knew that isn't what the area looks like today. But the falls is still about the same  ;) And even in the non-Falls scenes, somehow I just closed my eyes and felt like I was back there, and I just felt like I spent a weekend there. (Sadly, my weekends there were not with Marilyn Monroe. Was with a summer camp as a teenager, so we didn't visit the Las Vegas-type attractions either). But I never have a problem with technology and advancement, so I am definitely not bemoaning the fact that you won't find a Rainbow Cabins taking the prime real estate across from the Falls.

So as I said, if you know and love the Falls, you will love this movie much more. You'll probably still enjoy the movie even if you've never been there, but not as much. As for Marilyn Monroe's ass, you'll enjoy that whether you've been there or not.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on June 18, 2012, 06:05:31 PM
was the carillon still operating?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 18, 2012, 06:32:27 PM
was the carillon still operating?

Was that a casino?

I have no idea. Didn't go into any casinos



Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on June 19, 2012, 04:04:48 AM
Was that a casino?

I have no idea. Didn't go into any casinos



casino?????, I'm talking about the bells ringing from the tower.

hint: (use a dictionary, pilgrim)  ;D


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 19, 2012, 05:54:56 AM
I had no clue what a carillon was. and since in a recent post Noodles Leone and I were talking about the casinos, and you the you asked asked if it was "operating," as in "my brother Fredo operates this establishment," I mean, is it that far off? "The Carillon" -- not a bad name for a casino, eh?  ;)

But I never saw or heard of a bell tower there


And to anyone who hasn't visited the Falls, I strongly recommend you go this summer. But don't expect anything other than the water to look like it does in the movie... That bridge going over the Niagara river is still there. And I believe they have that tram ride as well. And of course the ICONIC Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds.... My group once stayed in a cheapie motel very similar to the Rainbow Cabins, but it was 45 minutes away from Niagara Falls, in Buffalo, NY. I'm afraid the real estate with a view of the Falls is a bit too valuable for the cheap motels like in the movie. It's all high-rise luxury chain hotels. And there ain't nuthin wrong with that  ;)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 21, 2013, 01:45:03 AM
I just watched the dvd again (this post got me in the mood! http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11587.msg162942#msg162942 )

---- I wonder if the motel was actually right across from the falls. In the wide shots they used of the motel and the falls, it really does look like it's right there; it does not look like a processed shot. I wonder if maybe they did some trick where the bottom half of the film is one image, the top half is another, and then they put the two of them together? (I think that in some Hitchcock films like The Birds, in some scenes the action is taking place on bottom of the image while the "town" in the background is actually a painting put on the top of the image, so the top and bottom of the image are really 2 pieces put together). I'm not certain, but it really looks like the falls is right near that motel in the establishing shots. Did they really have such cheap motels right near the falls in 1953?

---- In the scene where Marilyn is going to the bus station to buy tickets, she is wearing the blue skirt and grey sweater; then later that same day, when she is brought to the check room where her husband supposedly left his shoes, she is wearing the black skirt and red jacket. I think that's a goof in continuity; those two scenes are taking place on the same day, there's no reason why she would have changed her outfit during those few hours (when she is supposedly frantic about her missing husband).


---- This movie really, really needs a blu-ray release.

On the dvd's bonus features, it says the film was restored for the dvd release, and it provides a few  side-by-side comparisons of the post-restoration and the damaged film pre-restoration. In several of the comparisons -- especially the first few -- the restored version is very obviously less bright than the original. I don't know if that was intended or not, or if it's just a by-product of the restoration, or the restorers believed that's the way the film looked originally, but I really hope the keep the proper lighting. Anyway, the dvd image is really not very good, and I really hope 20th Century Fox does a major blu-ray restoration on this movie.



Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 10, 2013, 11:30:41 AM
Going Blu for the 60th: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/323551-tcfhe-press-release-niagara-60th-anniversary-blu-ray/


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on May 10, 2013, 12:09:31 PM
nice graphic in your msg.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 10, 2013, 01:29:25 PM
Going Blu for the 60th: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/323551-tcfhe-press-release-niagara-60th-anniversary-blu-ray/

that's great news!

The image quality is not great; ever since I saw (and loved!) this movie I've been hoping for a blu-ray release. Hopefully, it'll look even more beautiful now :)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 14, 2013, 05:09:25 AM
I pre-ordered the blu-ray on Amazon. They said my estimated delivery date is August 5-August 9. And because I chose the Free Super Saver Shipping for my entire order, the 2 packs of socks I placed in the same order are also not gonna arrive till then
(these great Hanes ankle socks http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SKNYAU/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item)
Any blu-ray that delays my sock delivery better be damn a damn good one!

btw, do any of these blu-ray review sites mention anything about bonus features? One thing that disappointed me about the dvd (in addition to the less-than-great image quality I mentioned previously) was the lack of bonus features - I think it's just a trailers, a gallery of photo stills, and a small piece with comparisons of shots pre-restoration and post-restoration. There's no commentary, no video discussions with any critics or interviews with any collaborators, etc. For a film like this, I'd really like it if 20th Century Fox put some effort into in addition to a good restoration of the image a nice collection of bonus features and a good commentary. (Considering that this is a noir, would it be too much to dream for an Eddie Muller commentary? He is really good).

--------

BTW, RE: the dvd's does anyone know if the various dvd versions of Niagara that have been released whether individually, or as part of all sorts of Marilyn Monroe collections are identical?

Numerous dvd versions are have been released http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=Niagara+Marilyn+Monroe&rh=n%3A2625373011%2Ck%3ANiagara+Marilyn+Monroe

(This is the one that I own http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-Marilyn-Monroe/dp/B000JF5T5W/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373796825&sr=1-1&keywords=Niagara+Marilyn+Monroe )

I'm wondering if these are all the same version of the movie, just repackaged over and over again for marketing purposes, as part of various "Classics" collections? Or are these actually from different source prints, and there are actually differences in image quality between the various versions?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 14, 2013, 12:04:47 PM
--------

BTW, RE: the dvd's does anyone know if the various dvd versions of Niagara that have been released whether individually, or as part of all sorts of Marilyn Monroe collections are identical?

Numerous dvd versions are have been released http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=Niagara+Marilyn+Monroe&rh=n%3A2625373011%2Ck%3ANiagara+Marilyn+Monroe

(This is the one that I own http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-Marilyn-Monroe/dp/B000JF5T5W/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373796825&sr=1-1&keywords=Niagara+Marilyn+Monroe )

I'm wondering if these are all the same version of the movie, just repackaged over and over again for marketing purposes, as part of various "Classics" collections? Or are these actually from different source prints, and there are actually differences in image quality between the various versions?
I don't know, but the fact that Beaver has not felt the need to do a comparison review of all the releases suggests that there's only one version and that version has just been repackaged. http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreview6/niagara.htm


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 14, 2013, 04:01:00 PM
well that jackass Beaver also says that Niagara's image quality is great. for the sake of giving him the benefit of the doubt, I hope that the dvd he reviewed is actually of different quality than mine. Cuz if it ain't, well - well, that would be just like Beaver. A site that I only use for the few factual stuff like bonus features and aspect ratio; I pay no attention to anything else he writes, for which he is utterly useless.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 14, 2013, 04:22:52 PM
well that jackass Beaver also says that Niagara's image quality is great. for the sake of giving him the benefit of the doubt, I hope that the dvd he reviewed is actually of different quality than mine. Cuz if it ain't, well - well, that would be just like Beaver. A site that I only use for the few factual stuff like bonus features and aspect ratio; I pay no attention to anything else he writes, for which he is utterly useless.
All of which is beside the point I was making.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 14, 2013, 04:25:13 PM
All of which is beside the point I was making.

yes, well the reason I actually first wondered if the dvd's are different is that I saw beaver give a positive grade to the image quality of the dvd he reviewed, and I can't see how anyone would actually think that image quality was good


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 14, 2013, 04:30:46 PM
It's a 2004 standard.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 14, 2013, 06:22:59 PM
It's a 2004 standard.

 in general, do you often see a significant difference in image quality between a dvd released around 2004 and one released let's say seven or eight years later, from the same color movie made in the 1950's? 


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 15, 2013, 06:33:54 PM
Yeah. After 2004, mastering in HD became a lot more common.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 20, 2013, 02:32:55 PM
D&D is gonna be so pleased: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreview6/niagara.htm

Oh, wait, Drink doesn't trust the Beaver's screen caps, so he won't be able to enjoy these amazing new colors in advance of the Blu-ray release. No, Drink, don't even think about following that link. I absolutely FORBID you to go there!!!


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 20, 2013, 09:29:57 PM


Oh, wait, Drink doesn't trust the Beaver's screen caps,

did you see Beaver's screencaps of the My Name is Nobody dvd? I saw one of the American dvd's, and looked at Beaver's screencaps, and it looked nothing like the movie that I saw. Go back and look at some of your movies that Beaver shows screencaps of, and tell me that his screencaps are truly representative of the picture.
And that's just one of my problems with Beaver, but I'm not gonna rehash that here. Hey, if the Niagra blu-ray is really beautiful, I'd be thrilled. I think Amazon said my copy should arrive sometime in the first 5-9 days of August. As I've said in the past, the only info I use Beaver for is basic stuff like aspect ratio and bonus features, and on that front, I am very disappointed that they didn't include any bonus features on Niagara. I suppose everyone involved in that movie is dead by now, but I wish there was a commentary or some other discussion by a film scholar. But hey, what's done is done; if the blu-ray image and sound are really great, I'll be mighty thrilled.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 21, 2013, 08:52:05 PM
(Let's set aside my issues with Beaver, and assume that his screencaps of Niagara are accurate) I suppose it can raise the question: how close is this restoration to how the film looked when it was released in 1953? Is it consistent with the vision of the director and cinematographer? (And does it matter? there's always the question about how a restoration should be carried out, which Martin Scorsese articulated very well here http://www.film-foundation.org/common/11004/askTheDirector.cfm?clientID=11004&sid=6 - I cut and pasted it in this thread http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10908.msg160282#msg160282 )

And on a similar note: if the BRD is so bright, maybe that takes away from the movie's noir-ness? Truth is, (as is probably the case with color noirs generally), the main noir aspects may not be in the visual department anyway, but as CJ's screencaps earlier in this thread show, there are some noir visuals, like the window-blind shadows. (and btw, if you look at the restoration comparison shots in the DVD's bonus features, you'll see that the restoration of the DVD made the image look brighter than it was pre-restoration, though I am not sure of the darker pre-restoration look is how it was intended originally, or if that was a result of film erosion). So now the BRD is even brighter, and while we can't say anything for sure till we see the movie, I just wonder if, as beautiful as it may be, perhaps it's not the filmmakers' intended look for the movie....?


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on July 22, 2013, 03:18:28 AM
(Let's set aside my issues with Beaver, and assume that his screencaps of Niagara are accurate) I suppose it can raise the question: how close is this restoration to how the film looked when it was released in 1953? Is it consistent with the vision of the director and cinematographer? (And does it matter? there's always the question about how a restoration should be carried out, which Martin Scorsese articulated very well here http://www.film-foundation.org/common/11004/askTheDirector.cfm?clientID=11004&sid=6 - I cut and pasted it in this thread http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10908.msg160282#msg160282 )

And on a similar note: if the BRD is so bright, maybe that takes away from the movie's noir-ness? Truth is, (as is probably the case with color noirs generally), the main noir aspects may not be in the visual department anyway, but as CJ's screencaps earlier in this thread show, there are some noir visuals, like the window-blind shadows. (and btw, if you look at the restoration comparison shots in the DVD's bonus features, you'll see that the restoration of the DVD made the image look brighter than it was pre-restoration, though I am not sure of the darker pre-restoration look is how it was intended originally, or if that was a result of film erosion). So now the BRD is even brighter, and while we can't say anything for sure till we see the movie, I just wonder if, as beautiful as it may be, perhaps it's not the filmmakers' intended look for the movie....?

that was what I'm thinking.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 22, 2013, 05:52:59 PM
Pretty much, when a director/producer/studio or whoever chose to shoot in Technicolor, that person/those persons were ceding control of color values to Natalie Kalmus.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 02, 2013, 04:38:05 PM
gave it a spin again today 9/10


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 02, 2013, 05:57:59 PM
My blu-ray disc from Amazon finally arrived. Just started watching a few minutes ago. It is a BEAUT  O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 04, 2013, 01:35:29 AM
Watched the rest of the blu-ray disc tonite. It is absolutely gorgeous. If you are a fan of this movie, you MUST MUST MUST see the blu-ray. It is everything a movie like this deserves. I've been saying for a while that this movie needs a good BRD restoration, and lemme tell you, this baby was worth the wait. Absolutely beautiful.


As for what I said earlier about being afraid that the bright colors may take away the film's "noir-ness," no worries about that. There are actually very few night scenes in the movie, and not that many noir visuals anyway - most of the noir visuals are in the shadow of the window blinds. But this is primarily a daytime and outdoor film, and it's simply beautiful. Fox did a spectacular job. My only disappointment is in the lack of bonus features just the trailer for this film, and the trailers for a few other Monroe films (I wonder if they're waiting a few months to release a big package with bonus features, so that serious fans who've bought the BRD will double-dip?) But hey, you can't have everything. Right now, I am a very happy little boy  :)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 11, 2013, 09:28:59 AM
so dj, have you seen the blu ray yet? It's already more than a whole week since it was released!


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 11, 2013, 11:02:08 AM
Yeah, well, I'm on my vacation, here in Seattle, so I didn't pick it up right away. But then my buddy--let's call him Calder Benson--decided he just had to have a new 50" plasma screen. So I helped him set that up. Then he needed things to watch on it, so I suggested Niagara--he'd never seen it before. So we watched it Friday night.

As reported, the colors are really good. I had trouble finding an audio setting I was really happy with--I couldn't quite hear the dialog as clearly as I would have liked, but that could just be due to my unfamiliarity with my friend's new system. Calder seemed to enjoy the film--he noticed how Hitchcockian it is. This seemed like a good comment, especially in regard to the bell tower-murder sequence: the way in which shots of the bells are intercut into the scene, the high shot from above of the crime, the sense of suspense created, first for the victim, and then for the perp after he gets locked into the tower. And of course with Hitch you often get the famous-landmark-worked-into-the-climax routine: the Statue of Liberty in Saboteur, Mt. Rushmore in NxNW. Hathaway, of course, uses the Falls in the same way ("Falls" is the operative word, that being a recurring motif in Hitchcock). The way in which the pop theme song is worked and re-worked throughout the soundtrack until you get the payoff with the bell chimes--worthy of Hitch as well, and nicely done.

So, a good film, nicely presented on this new release. I give the film an 8, the BD a 10.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 13, 2014, 11:14:58 PM
I just watched the BRD again, gotta say that the movie is almost good despite itself.

stanton called it "a lame and disappointing thriller without any thrills 5/10" and it's hard to disagree with him. As a thriller, this is a basically a failure, the direction is nothing special, but somehow I love watching it, partially for personal reasons: Having visited Niagara Falls three times, somehow the movie is extra special to me, not just seeing the falls itself but the areas and tourist sites around the Falls, brings back these memories for me. Of course, that doesn't help any of you watching it, so I am pointing this out specifically, the rating I gave the movie (a 9/10 originally, maybe I'd drop a point or half-point now) is partially for personal reasons and therefore may not apply to y'all.
The colors on the BRD are spectacular.
Marilyn is used very well here - the two great forces of nature, Niagara Falls and Marilyn Monroe - it's kinda comical how they use her, I had to laugh. Firstly, when she walks, she is so obviously trying her hardest to shake her ass, it's hilarious. (As one critic said at the time, "She's got her whole future behind her!") And her makeup is always perfect, lipstick always thick, even when she is sleeping, in the shower, or in a medically induced coma!

Also, notice how she changes outfits three times on the final day of her life: when she goes to the bus station to get the bus tickets, she has the blue/gray outfit; then, when she reports her husband missing, she has the red/black outfit on; then, when she has to go identify "her husband" in the morgue, she is wearing all black and white (no, the black isn't for mourning, she's doesn't even know he is dead yet.)

She should have been wearing the same outfit all day - what kinda woman changes outfits every scene on the same day her husband is missing, and has perfect makeup in the shower, while sleeping, and while in a  medically induced coma? Answer: Marilyn Monroe, when the movie is trying to show her looking pretty at all costs, regardless of whether or not it makes sense  ::) ;D

There really is no tension in the story, as a thriller it is comically silly.

Joseph Cotten adds nothing to this movie (or any other movie he was ever in). His is the one character I really wish had been cast with someone else. Jean Peters is okay. IMO Casey Adams, i.e. Max Showalter, was a terrific choice for this movie, he's this nerdy innocent naive guy with no clue what's going on, way in over his head, with this naive big smile all the time, I thought that was mad funny.

Another thing that makes no sense: after Cotten kills Marilyn's lover, why does the bell tower play their song? How would Cotten know that the lover had said he'd play the song once he kills Cotten? Later, (once Marilyn is in a coma) we actually see Cotten putting in that song request ... but it kinda doesn't make sense that Cotten would know to play that song in the bell tower.

And remember, the  movie takes place on the Canadian side, yet when Adams/Peters go on the Maid of the Mist boat, the announcement says, "Most famous boat ride in America!  ;D

Anyway, so there's really no tension, as a thriller it's a joke, the direction is nothing any amateur couldn't have done, lotsa the shit is silly, yet somehow .... somehow ... the colors are beautiful (probably more so on the blu ray than they were ever intended by the filmmakers) Marilyn and Casey Adams were used very well, something very cute about the motel and the other little locations in Canada (before the whole Canadian side became commercialized high-rise luxury hotels), and it means a lot to me personally, bringing back good memories, so somehow .... I give this like an 8.5/10 .... but I could hardly argue if someone else doesn't rate it half as well  ;)


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: cigar joe on August 14, 2014, 04:39:45 AM
Quote
Firstly, when she walks, she is so obviously trying her hardest to shake her ass, it's hilarious.

I read somewhere recently that supposedly the wardrobe crew would saw off the tip of one of her high heels to accentuate her walk.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 14, 2014, 09:15:58 AM
I read somewhere recently that supposedly the wardrobe crew would saw off the tip of one of her high heels to accentuate her walk.

 ;D


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: titoli on May 07, 2016, 07:38:06 PM
Saw it again after ages, on my big screen. Agree with most of what said. I don't usually like Cotten, but here is nothing short of perfect. Some of his scenes are bordering on pure horror, much better than some of Hitchcock.  And the finale, in spite of backprojection, is very well made. 8/10 for the problem pointed by jinxy of the divorce: it should have been made clearer why she wants him dead instead of just leaving him flat.


Title: Re: Niagara (1953)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2017, 09:44:43 PM
The movie played on TCM tonight, caught the final two minutes, of Peters being rescued by the helicopter. Pretty bad continuity error: She gets into the rescue seat and doesn't fasten her seat belt; the helicopter starts pulling her up immediately. Then we cut to her being raised into the helicopter, and her seat belt is fastened ;D