13 user 1 critic

The River Rat (1984)

After serving time for a theft he didn't commit, all Billy wants to do is to reconnect with his daughter. However, some loose ends, like the whereabouts of the stolen loot, just won't let him go.


(as Tom Rickman)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Frank ...
Roger Copeland ...
Young Billy
Tommy Burlison ...
Tamara Hartley ...
Young Joyce
Louise Anderson ...
Wexel's Aunt
Melissa Hart ...
Mary Harper ...
Old Woman
James Hurt ...


After serving time for a theft he didn't commit, all Billy wants to do is to reconnect with his daughter. However, some loose ends, like the whereabouts of the stolen loot, just won't let him go.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


He paid for his crime . . . now he must pay for his freedom! See more »


Adventure | Crime | Drama


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La barca del infierno  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$441,466, 23 September 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Martha Plimpton received an 'introducing' credit. See more »


Wexel puts his branch into the fire twice. See more »

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User Reviews

Worth remembering
22 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

It's a shame that this movie has not made it to DVD. The 3 main characters are well cast and developed. I like the sensitive handling of the father's attempts to build a relationship with a daughter he has never known. Dennehy, whom I have seldom seen playing a villain, seems almost an incarnation of pure evil (shades of Cape Fear).

I hope that,over time,it will get the recognition it deserves. It is an interesting example of a well-made film that isn't trying to be a blockbuster and shows the interesting alternative side to American film making.

Great settings and a good soundtrack which I would like to have been able to purchase. It looks like a portrait of a way of life, with its close association with living on and beside the river, that has probably disappeared now. A simple tale,well told.

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