It was 63 years ago that 26 year old Marilyn Monroe arrived on June 2nd to begin filming of the movie, “Niagara”. Until the movie was finished filming on June 18th it appeared Niagara took, “second billing”. All eyes were on Marilyn.
I can remember as an eight year old my father, Manny Bailey telling me, “She looked like an angel”. My father, who was the captain of the Maid of the Mist, was to appear briefly (don’t blink) in the movie as one of the many Niagara extras. Years later I went on the write a book on the movie called, “Marilyn Monroe and the Making of Niagara”. The book has long been out of print but I still keep getting requests for the publication.
When the “world premiere” occurred at the Seneca Theatre in Niagara Falls Ontario on January 28, 1953 Niagara would never be the same. The scenic beauty of Niagara Falls would be seen by millions. Especially appealing were the scenes in the movie of Niagara Falls illuminated at night.
Niagara became one of the biggest movies of 1953 for Twentieth Century Fox, returning five times its investment of two million dollars in the first year release!.
Attached is a photograph from my personal collection of Marilyn Monroe filming a scene in front of Table Rock House near the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Look at how the film crew seem bored to death.
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I've loved this movie from day one. Gone to Niagara dozens of times trying to find some of the places where they shot. Some are easy to find and others impossible with all the new age Niagara that has taken over. I would love to go in the tower near the border and walk the stairs where she was killed in the movie, but they have that all locked up now and Reno's have changed it so you cannot get up there. The original bus station where they shot some scenes is long gone. So are the gift shops. I went over to the Brock Sheridan and found the room she stayed in. I believe it was 801. She had a view back in that day but they have long since boarded it all up with new buildings. I never could find the building but did come close when she leans on the car and hears the bells playing Their song, then decides to walk to the tower from far away. I drove down there once with no luck. If I go again I'll look around. This movie was shot the same time my mother and father were married. Dad never said anything to me at all about it. The scene in Chippewa is easy to find but after watching the movie, I came to realize that there were two more buildings beside the now still there Restaurant. This would take it well on to the private property and the house which is there today. This is obviously my favourite movie and the one I always grab for when I need the Marilyn fix.
My dad, George A. Doyle, was a student from Niagara University. He was one of the extras on the Maid of the Mist. Nice to meet you.
I was there in Niagara Falls few days ago. The hotel where we stayed is where Marilyn Monroe stayed at..Crowne Plaza her room was 801 8th fl we were on the next floor up.