IMDb > The River (1951)
The River
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The River (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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The River -- Trailer for Jean Renoir's classic film


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7.6/10   4,563 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Rumer Godden (novel)
Rumer Godden (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The River on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 December 1951 (France) See more »
Beauty...Mystery...Delightful Humor... See more »
Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A great film See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Nora Swinburne ... The Mother

Esmond Knight ... The Father

Arthur Shields ... Mr. John
Suprova Mukerjee ... Nan
Thomas E. Breen ... Capt. John

Patricia Walters ... Harriet

Radha ... Melanie

Adrienne Corri ... Valerie
June Hillman ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nimai Barik ... Kanu (uncredited)
Richard R. Foster ... Bogey (uncredited)
Jane Harris ... Muffie (uncredited)
Jennifer Harris ... Mouse (uncredited)

Trilak Jetley ... Anil (uncredited)

Bhogwan Singh ... Sajjan (uncredited)
Penelope Wilkinson ... Elizabeth (uncredited)
Cecilia Wood ... Victoria (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Renoir 
Writing credits
Rumer Godden (novel)

Rumer Godden (screenplay) and
Jean Renoir (screenplay)

Produced by
Kenneth McEldowney .... producer
Jean Renoir .... producer
Original Music by
M.A. Partha Sarathy 
Cinematography by
Claude Renoir 
Film Editing by
George Gale 
Production Design by
Eugène Lourié  (as Eugene Lourie)
Art Direction by
Bansi Chandragupta 
Production Management
Kalyan Gupta .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bansi Ashe .... assistant director
Harisadhan Dasgupta .... assistant director (as Hari S. Das Gupta)
Sukhamoy Sen .... assistant director
Satyajit Ray .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles Knott .... sound engineer
Charles Poulton .... sound engineer
Camera and Electrical Department
Ramananda Sen Gupta .... camera operator
Shadhon Ray .... apprentice camera operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Alain Daniélou .... musical advisor (uncredited)
Subrata Mitra .... musician: sitar (uncredited)
Other crew
Forrest Judd .... assistant: Mr. Renoir
M.A. Partha Sarathy .... technical advisor
Subrata Mitra .... production assistant (uncredited)
Satyajit Ray .... assistant: Mr. Renoir (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Esmond Knight, who plays the one-eyed Father, did actually lose his eye in the war, during the battle to sink the Bismark. He served on the Prince of Wales, and later starred as the Captain of the Prince of Wales in the film Sink the Bismarck! (1960).See more »
Continuity: Harriet's arms change position when lighting Captain John's cigarette on the boat.See more »
Harriet:Ten minutes ago, she wasn't born. And, tomorrow, we'll be used to her. And yesterday, we...
Valerie:Bother yesterday.
Melanie:This is today.
Harriet:And today. Here is the baby. The baby and us. The big river. The whole world and everything.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Dick Cavett Show with Mel Brooks (2006) (TV)See more »


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46 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
A great film, 13 October 2004
Author: ethandre from New York, New York

It's difficult to argue with Gabridl's remarks about the film - and I'm sure Renoir would have pleaded guilty as charged. Of not making a civics lesson. So, if that's what you want out of art, then this is not the film for you. At all. You will learn nothing of Indian politics, the "exoticism" will drive you mad, and you'd do better to go back and re-read Said's "Orientalism," as Gabridl suggests.

Renoir went to India, and made a film from the perspective of an entranced outsider looking in, creating his own, personalized world - not India, but Renoir's world, where everything is transitory, including beauty and death, and where every sight and sound becomes that much more precious.

I am glad that we have come so far since I've been a kid, when so many ideas and prejudices carried over from the colonial era were still floating through the air, and it's true that no one except that most naive among us would make a film like THE RIVER today. But Renoir was alive in 1950, not now, and he made his film for his time, and that time attaches itself to the film, just like it does to every artwork. I doubt that even Gabridl would suggest that it was the work of a craven exploiter of the masses, and that its "faults" are not the faults of a corrupt man, but of a generous and compassionate one. It's one of the most generous films I know of.

Finally, I would add that while this is a film made by a westerner for other westerners, it was certainly inspirational to Satyajit Ray, who worked as Renoir's assistant.

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