Wild River (1960)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  May 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,958 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 32 critic

A TVA bureaucrat comes to the river to do what none of his predecessors have been able to do - evict a stubborn octogenarian from her island before the rising waters engulf her.



(screenplay), (based on novels by), 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Hank Bailey
Hamilton Garth (as J.C. Flippen)
James Westerfield ...
Cal Garth
Barbara Loden ...
Betty Jackson
Walter Clark
Sy Moore


A young field administrator for the TVA comes to rural Tennessee to oversee the building of a dam on the Tennessee River. He encounters opposition from the local people, in particular a farmer who objects to his employment (with pay) of local black laborers. Much of the plot revolves around the eviction of an elderly woman from her home on an island in the River, and the young man's love affair with that woman's widowed granddaughter. Written by Sam Neff <samn@yang.earlham.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance


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Release Date:

May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Río salvaje  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The French magazine Cahiers du Cinema named this one of the best films of the year (it was released in France in 1962), at #6. See more »


When they fly over Fontana Dam (a straight dam) the next scene of a dam from a much higher elevation shows a curved dam, clearly not Fontana Dam. See more »


Carol Garth Baldwin: You're gettin' awful human, aren't yuh, Chuck?
Chuck Glover: I was always human, wasn't I.
See more »


Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »


You Are My Lucky Star
(uncrdeited) (1935)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Heard during radio broadcast
See more »

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User Reviews

An almost forgotten masterpiece
12 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

WILD RIVER is one of Elia Kazan's best films, with brilliant affecting performances, beautiful cinematography, atmospheric settings, and a multilayered plot with important thematic points to make about the rights of the individual vs. the needs of the larger society as a whole. Jo Van Fleet gives one of the all time great performances of the screen in this film as far as I'm concerned. The music is also beautiful and evokes the time and place of the setting, 1930s Tennessee.Why isn't this film on video? Wonderful, one of my favorite movies.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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