Let me continue with my Marilyn Monroe movie reviews. It’s been a really long time since I did one or even watched any movie in particular. It’s all about rewatching the same 4 Netflix comfort shows for me recently but I made an exception. The River of No Return it’s an hour and a half long western-themed movie from 1954 staring no other than Marilyn Monroe.

I’m not really fond of western movies, or better yet I haven’t seen one that would interest me so far.

This one is the typical one. Has it all. A pretty singer in hot corsets and big skirts that has every man lusting after her. Indians. Dirty men with a gun. A good guy and a bad guy. Dusty vibe with pretty scenery.

Once again Marilyn is portraying a pretty blond, but in this one, she’s not particularly dumb blond. She has plenty of witty comebacks in this movie and a fierce attitude. She would be a perfect strong sassy woman if she wouldn’t be so naive. I mean kudos for always defending your man but there comes a time when you just have to rethink your beliefs and relize your man is not that great.


Spoilers Alert:

The plot is pretty simple. Marilyn is a hot singer who’s taking care of a little boy that was found in the area. The father of the kid comes back from prison for killing a man whilst defending the other and takes the kid.

Marilyn and her gambler asshole fiance got into trouble while rafting the river and the father and the kid helps them out.

There’s too much testosterone so the men fights, fiance wins and leaves for the city whilst Marilyn decides to take care of the kid and hurt father. The trio embarks upon many adventures as the father wants to fight the fiance. Adventures includes lion, Indians, more guns and plenty of rafting the river and angry fights.

Marilyn and the father do not get along well due to Marilyn’s stubbornness, father’s passivity with too much aggression and so much sexual tension resolving in fights and angry make-out sessions.

In the end, the men fight again and the kid shoots the fiance, whilst protecting his father just like his father before. Marilyn realizes he was a dick and is quite ok with his death although quite shook. She goes back to singing in hot costumes but the father comes and swoops her over his shoulder and takes her home to his son.

Finally, Marilyn throws away her hot singing shoes.

It was 1954 so I’m not gonna comment on the special effects, I’m sure they did the best they could at that time.

If it was a recent movie the lack of consent from Marilyn’s site and so many sexual advantages from males upon her figure would cancel the movie immediately. There was this one scene where I was sure the father was about to rape her as she kept struggling to get away from his kisses but he pinned her down to the ground. Luckily the lion came and saved the day. A sentence I never thought I would write.

Unrealistic standards for women were nothing new back then.

Marilyn got wet from the river and dried immediately like 5 times in the movie while wearing a white, seethrough blouse. There is just no way someone can look as beautiful as she whilst fainting, almost freezing to death and getting splashed by the wild river over and over again, and still have the hair put in place.

The father was too much of an alfa male and Mr. Right all the time it was so irritating. He was supposed to be the good guy. The righteous one. But he was just as bad as any other in that movie in my opinion.  I might be judging them too hard but I did not like a single male character in that movie. Not even the kid.

Marilyn spent most of the River of No Return in one outfit – a white blouse, boots, and Levi’s® jeans and I assume it must have been a big thing back then seeing women in jeans and looking as good as Marilyn does.

Overlay the river of no return was very predictable, but it’s an easy watching and Marilyn plays a slightly different role from her usual ones.


You can check my previous Marilyn Monroe movie reviews here:

1 Comment

  1. March 14, 2021 / 9:39 pm

    Thanks for your post. I’m not a fan of westerns, but I was in a funky mood last night and tuned into a few before stumbled upon the Yancy Derringer series on Prime Video. It brought back so many memories of TV from the 60s and 70s, when I was a kid, where this stuff was ubiquitous in rerun. So interesting to consider the cultural attitudes that produced this malarkey. I’ve also been reading King Leopold’s Ghost. The juxtaposition of the of the opposing world views, and the tension between fact and fiction, can leave your head spinning – much like today.

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