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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Popularity: ?
Down 37% 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:
Thoughtful and Beautiful... See more (36 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
A. Charles Knott .... sound engineer (as Charles Knott)
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?

Renoir told Adrienne Corri that she had spoiled a take by moving her eyes twice instead of once. She later said that she "had no idea that such a small thing could mean so much".See more »
Continuity: The position of Captain John's hand changes when he is on the ground (at around 59 mins).See more »
Harriet:Wouldn't you rather marry an American?
Melanie:I don't understand them.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Darjeeling Limited (2007)See more »


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49 out of 53 people found the following review useful.
Thoughtful and Beautiful..., 28 January 2003
Author: jasonb84 from Dublin, Ireland

This is a little known film, but well worth watching if you're lucky enough to find it on Video or TV. The director Jean Renoir is the son of the French Impressionist Painter Pierre Auguste Renoir ( the cinematographer Claude Renoir is Jean's nephew ) and the family talent shines throughout this film, which is beautifully shot. Whether showing the amazing landscape of India and the river itself, the colours and intricacies of the many Indian festivals, or even a close up of Valerie's face as she gazes at Captain John, every frame displays grace, beauty and style that film rarely captures.

The plot itself, how a troubled outsider affects three teenaged girls, is a simple tale, and all the more powerful for it. We've all had a crush, and know the river of emotions that are awakened by one. Each of the three girls, the irrepressible and dramatic Valerie, the talented but awkward Harriet, and the stoic Melanie ( who despite schooling in the West is somehow more Indian in nature than her friends who've been brought up in India ) vie for Captain John's affections in their own way.

However, the real love of this film is India itself - it's fascinating people, beliefs, festivals, and the constant River that runs through them all. It's a slow paced film, not in a hurry to get to any kind of conclusion, and you are immersed in the country, and what it's like to live there. Like relaxing on one of the many river boats, as its floats gently downstream, the film meanders along, showing us different scenes along the way, from the local postman's route to the house gates to the son's fascination with Cobras, with the story always moving on, though always interwoven with more day to day life. This brings a familiar reality to the film, it doesn't just skip moments that might not immediately concern the main characters - like life, other events happen, and they have their place in this film too.

Actually getting to watch this film will be hard, it's not well known ( and not even considered one of Renoir's best ), but if you ever come home one night, flick on the TV, and see this starting, then get comfortable, and enjoy a lovingly made film about a country and the people, both native and foreigners, who live there.

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