River of no return

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German title River of no return
Original title River of No Return
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1954
length 91 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Otto Preminger
script Frank Fenton
production Stanley Rubin for
Twentieth Century Fox
music Cyril J. Mockridge
camera Joseph LaShelle
cut Louis Loeffler

Fluß ohne Wiederkehr (Original Title: River of No Return ) is an American western by Otto Preminger from 1954. Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe play the leading roles .


The American Northwest in 1875: Matt Calder, who spent a long time in prison for a murder, has built a new life as a farmer . He comes to a tented gold digger town to get his nine-year-old son Mark, whose mother has died. The singer Kay had taken care of him in the meantime.

A little later Matt and Mark live on their farm on the "River of No Return". Matt rescues the singer Kay and her lover, the gambler Harry Weston, who are on a raft on the dangerous rapids of the river to the nearest town of Council City to register a gold mine . Because the ride on the raft has proven too dangerous, Weston knocks Calder down and steals his horse and rifle. With Matt lying unconscious, Kay refuses to simply leave him to his fate. She stays on the farm while Weston promises to return after registering the gold mine.

When the Indians attack the farm, Matt, Mark and Kay have to escape to the raft. Your ride on the wild river will be a life-threatening experience. During a night camp, Mark is threatened by a large wildcat. When Matt is fighting the animal, the prospector Colby shoots the cat. Harry Weston took the mine from Colby while gambling . Since the prospector Kay makes advances, Matt gets into an argument with him and fights with him. After defeating Colby, he can take his rifle. During the rest of the raft trip, they are repeatedly attacked by Indians, but can repel the attacks because they now have the rifle and ammunition. There is also tension between Matt and Kay, especially over how Matt should deal with Weston after his arrival in Council City.

Once in town, Matt tries to hold Harry Weston accountable. When the latter is about to kill the unarmed Matt, little Mark shoots the player from behind. Kay's only option left is to go back to work as a singer in the local saloon . But since Matt and Kay found each other in the course of their river trip, he goes to the piano after one of their singing numbers, takes Kay and carries her on his shoulder to his car. When she asks where he is taking her, he replies: "Home."


  • River of No Return was filmed in CinemaScope in national parks in Canada and is featured by its nature footage. The close-ups of the raft trip were shot in the studio using the reverse-pro method, whereby the actors' contact with the ice-cold water was real.
  • Marilyn Monroe broke her leg while filming, delaying production of the film. In many scenes in the film, Monroe is only seen with his legs covered.
  • The film premiered in the USA on April 30, 1954, in Germany on September 10, 1954. The film was first shown on German television on July 14, 1973 on ARD .
  • Until the 1990s, film copies were shown on German television, which were pasted in mirror image from about the middle of the film. This can be recognized by the actors' "wrong" buttoned jackets and by the lettering on the buildings at the end of the film. The last few minutes have been reassembled correctly.


The German dubbed version was created in 1954 by Elite Film Franz Schroeder GmbH .

role actor German Dubbing voice
Matt Calder Robert Mitchum Wolfgang Lukschy
Kay Weston Marilyn Monroe Margot Leonard
Harry Weston Rory Calhoun Harald Juhnke
Mark Calder Tommy Rettig Roland Kaiser
Dave Colby, prospector Murvyn Vye Eduard Wandrey
Sam Benson, prospector Douglas Spencer Robert Klupp
Shopkeeper Ben Don Beddoe Walter Werner
croupier Jack Mather Otto Czarski
Dealer in tent city Will Wright Erich Poremski
Pastor in Zeltstadt Arthur Shields Alfred Balthoff
Drunk cowboy Hal Baylor Gerd Duwner


Phil Hardy notes that the film, Preminger's only western, embodies the director's typical "objectivity" by avoiding any viewer-guiding point of view. Mitchum and Monroe acted "wonderfully together". Even Joe Hembus sees the interaction between the two actors' partnership kindred spirits ". The film is also “a feast day for everyone who knows how to interpret symbols”.

“It's hard to say whether the landscape or Marilyn Monroe's beauty is the greater attraction of River of no return. The mountain landscape is breathtaking, but Miss Monroe is no less in her own way. Who prefers what depends at most on where the interests lie. Screenwriter Frank Fenton has made every effort to give nature and Miss Monroe roughly the same weight ... Director Otto Preminger has brought all the splendor and threat that emanates from these elements onto the field-of-view CinemaScope screen ... But the attention of Mr. The Mitchums and the audience turn to Miss Monroe, who often and likes to pose. "

- Bosley Crowther : New York Times , May 1, 1954

"Brilliantly staged western (melo-) drama with a simple, clichéd plot that became a cinematic event thanks to optimally deployed stars, attractive songs and, above all, the CinemaScope landscapes (raft trip) that were sensational for their time."

“For all its pomposity, River of No Return is still the best of Hollywood entertainment. Marilyn Monroe's wonderful original voice can also be heard when she performs her songs: 'River of No Return'; 'One Silver Dollar' and 'I'm Gonna File My Claim'. And then there is the beautiful Canadian landscape that the film presents. "

- Dirk Jasper : FilmLexikon


  • Karsten Visarius: River of no return in film genres - Western / Ed. By B. Kiefer u. N. Grob with the collaboration of M. Stiglegger. Reclam junior, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-018402-9 ; Ss. 181-185

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Filmlexikon and Spiegel.de .
  2. ↑ Flow of no return ( memento of the original from November 5, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at the synchronous database @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.synchrondatenbank.de
  3. Flow of no return in the German synchronous index , accessed on August 31, 2018
  4. ^ Phil Hardy: The Encyclopedia of Western Movies. Woodbury Press Minneapolis 1984. ISBN 0-8300-0405-X . P. 234
  5. Joe Hembus: Western Lexicon - 1272 films from 1894-1975 . With a foreword by Sergio Leone. 2nd Edition. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 1977, ISBN 3-446-12189-7 , p. 191 .
  6. ^ River of No Return in the New York Times
  7. River of no return. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used