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The River (1938)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 384 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

This short Depression-era documentary describes the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States. It laments the environmental destruction committed in the name of progress, ... See full summary »

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Title: The River (1938)

The River (1938) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Thomas Chalmers ...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

This short Depression-era documentary describes the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States. It laments the environmental destruction committed in the name of progress, particularly farming and timber practices which cause massive erosion and result in vast amounts of top soil being washed down the river into the Gulf of Mexico. The film focuses especially on the impact this has had on impoverished farmers. It ends on a very upbeat note, however, with a celebration of the TVA, "modern" farming technology, and the use of dams to control the river and prevent flooding. Written by George Schneiderman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated
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Release Date:

4 February 1938 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Libary of Congress, in 1990. See more »

Connections

Referenced in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896)
Music by Theo. A. Metz
Played as part of the score during the lumber and cotton scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

Hypnotic
26 October 2004 | by (Maidstone, Kent, England) – See all my reviews

This is a beautiful piece of documentary work with an artistry and sensitivity that highlights the highs and lows of life with the Mississippi river. The narration and repetition of significant words is simply hypnotic, driving home the points of devastation and the moments of industrial and agricultural joys.

I've been fortunate enough to see this documentary through my work, but I would agree with the user commentary from 'Zetes' that this is an absolute must see for documentary enthusiasts. I am mostly enthused with the creativity of this piece - so often people assume documentaries are unobstructed pieces of fact that have no bearing on the creative film side. This piece is propaganda, yes, but it has a real emotional pull that doesn't feel too contrived. And the cinematography is amazing.


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