Saloon singer Monroe, two-fisted farmer Mitchum, and the young son he hardly knows, may be drifting down-river by raft from both immediate dangers and their immediate pasts, but the thrust of Preminger's only Western consistently forces them to attempt the 'impossible' return: to restart their variously broken lives and reconstitute the 'ideal' family. While Mitchum's performance is excellent, the film holds most interest as an early appraisal of the Monroe enigma: in revealing analogy to the posthumous cult, Mitchum's ability to see beyond her sex symbol/whore facade extends only as far as her fitness for the role of Mother. There really is no return.
River of No Return
Cast and crew