‘Nightmare Alley’ Director Inspired by Marilyn in ‘Niagara’

With his Nightmare Alley remake due for US release this month – and in Europe early next year – filmmaker Guillermo del Toro includes Niagara (1953) among his Top 10 Film Noir Inspirations, over at Collider.

“One of the most beautiful movies to look at. The color is astounding. A very important part of the genesis of the legend of Marilyn Monroe. It plays with desire, gender roles, an incredibly strange and intertwined psychosexual story. Vertigo and this could be a great double program.”

Adapted from a novel, Nightmare Alley was first produced at Twentieth Century Fox in 1947, with Tyrone Power. Director Edmund Goulding later worked with Marilyn on We’re Not Married! (1952), and of course, Niagara was also made at Fox. Del Toro’s remake was co-written with film critic Kim Morgan, who has written extensively about Marilyn (see here.)

“There’s a wonderful strength to Monroe (the woman endured so much in her own life that she was, as Elton knows, more than a candle in the wind) — she was such a strong, singular performer (there will never, ever be another Marilyn) that her vulnerability gives her a special power … And great artist that she was, looking at her provoked whatever you desired to interpret from her.”