The River (1984)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  19 December 1984 (USA)
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Farming family battles severe storms, a bank threatening to reposses their farm, and other hard times in a battle to save and hold on to their farm.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mae Garvey
Shane Bailey ...
Lewis Garvey
Becky Jo Lynch ...
Beth Garvey
Joe Wade
Don Hood ...
Senator Neiswinder
Harve Stanley
Howard Simpson
Bob W. Douglas ...
Hal Richardson
Dave Birkin
Lisa Sloan ...
Judy Birkin
Larry D. Ferrell ...
Rod Tessley
Susie Toomey ...
Sally Tessley
Kelly Toomey ...
Lisa Tessley
Zemke (as Frank Taylor)


Farming family battles severe storms, a bank threatening to reposses their farm, and other hard times in a battle to save and hold on to their farm. Written by K. Rose <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

farm | river | tennessee | flood | raincoat | See All (42) »


He might be able to hold back the river. But could he hold back the greed of man? [Theatrical Australia] See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A folyó  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$8,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Second of two consecutive cinema movies with watery water-related titles directed by director Mark Rydell whose previous theatrical feature film had been called On Golden Pond (1981) which had made and released around three years earlier. See more »


[first lines]
Mae Garvey: Watch out, Tom! Beth, get in the truck! Tom! Are you hurt?
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Radio Lover
Performed by John Conlee
Courtesy of MCA Recordings, Inc.
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User Reviews

stubborn obsession
12 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Tom (Mel Gibson) and Mae Garvey (Sissy Spacek) struggle to keep their farm afloat after a devastating flood. Joe Wade (Scott Glenn) has a scheme to build a dam to bring water to his land. To do it, he would need to buy out all the farmers including the Garveys. Tom needs a loan but Joe Wade has lined up the bank and political backers against them.

It is the little guy struggling against the big guy. It is also about Tom's single-mindedness. Tom is not necessarily a sympathetic guy. He is stubborn beyond reason. He has a mean streak in him. This makes the simplistic movie structure of small-guy-makes-good not so simplistic. Sissy Spacek is able to soften him image somewhat. There are a couple of great scenes in the mix. The auction scene is the most memorable and heart breaking. The faces in the crowd says it all. The other is the strike. The ending of which is another great scene for a different reason. This starts out yet another small farmer struggle movie. In fact, it's the last of three big such releases of that year. It turns into a man obsessed against the river.

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