The River of No Return

directed by Otto Preminger
Category: "Western"
Year of Release:1954
Date Added:05/30/2008
Date Watched:01/30/2006
My Rating:8

Reviews for The River of No Return

Review - River of No Return, The

Set during the gold rush. Matt Calder has just gotten out of prison for murder. He plans on farming in a remote valley, but first has to go to town to look for his son Mark, sent west after Mark’s mother dies. Mark has made friends with Kay, a dance-hall girl in love with Weston, a gambler. Weston has just won a gold claim in a card game and is anxious to get to Council City to file it.

Weston and Kay head down the river on a raft. They stop by Matt’s farm, and Matt convinces Weston he has little chance of making it through the rapids. In response, Weston steals Matt’s rifle and horse and takes off after knocking Matt over the head. Indians raid the farm, and Matt is forced to take off on the raft with Kay and Mark.

Kay and Matt don’t like each other, and Kay reveals to Mark that Matt shot a man in the back. Mark thinks his father is a coward.The trip if full of dangers from Indians, mountain lions, rapids and the possibility of starvation. Matt manages to kill an elk, and the smoke of the cooking fire brings two men, one of them Colby, the man Weston won the claim from. Colby makes moves on Kay, and Weston fights him. He sends Colby and his friend off, taking one of their rifles, but the two men are soon waylaid by Indians.

When the raft gets to Council City, Kay asks Weston to apologize to Matt. Instead, Weston guns for him, and Mark has to shoot Weston in the back to keep his father from being killed. Kay gets a job in the local saloon, but Matt grabs her and takes her back to the farm.

It’s a rather trashy story, but I kinda like the characters. The scenery is great, although the special effects on the river shots (with the river rushing by and 150 mph on the screen in the background) don’t work very well.
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