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A River Runs Through It (1992)

PG | | Drama | 30 October 1992 (USA)
2:37 | Trailer

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The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing.



(story), (screenplay)
3,161 ( 2,714)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Burns
Vann Gravage ...
Nicole Burdette ...
Buck Simmonds ...
Fred Oakland ...
Mr. Burns
David Creamer ...
Ken Burns


The Maclean brothers, Paul and Norman, live a relatively idyllic life in rural Montana, spending much of their time fly fishing. The sons of a minister, the boys eventually part company when Norman moves east to attend college, leaving his rebellious brother to find trouble back home. When Norman finally returns, the siblings resume their fishing outings, and assess both where they've been and where they're going. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Story of an American Family.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for momentary nudity, and some language in a family drama | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nada es para siempre  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was originally produced by Carolco, the studio responsible for Terminator 2 (1991) and the Rambo films, among others. Due to the serious debt Carolco was facing, Robert Redford called upon film producer Jake Eberts to put in the financing of the pre-production. During post-production, Carolco sold their rights to the film to Eberts. See more »


When Paul holds up the big fish there is some monofilament line visible that goes through the fishes mouth. See more »


[first lines]
Older Norman: [narrating] Long ago, when I was a young man, my father said to me, "Norman, you like to write stories." And I said "Yes, I do." Then he said, "Someday, when you're ready you might tell our family story. Only then will you understand what happened and why."
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Crazy Credits

The scenes on the Blackfoot River were actually shot on the Madison and other rivers around the Bozeman and Livingston areas. The "Big Blackfoot" has already become too polluted and populated to provide the image the scene required. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Any Given Sundance (2008) See more »


Yes, We Have No Bananas
Written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (as Irving Conn)
Skidmore Music Co., Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

The river runs and runs...
26 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

I would imagine that Norman Maclean's nostalgic reminiscences of his youth in the first part of the 20th Century, as filmed here by Robert Redford probably means a lot to Americans yearning for the country, which the director drives home with endless variations on the scenic pastoral shot, with actors occasionally dotting the landscape. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but to a city-bound Scot (and hey, I know my country has a countryside at least the equal of the Montana shown here), I failed to really connect with the story or the characters.

Perhaps I watched too many TV episodes of "The Waltons" or "The Mississippi" in my formative years, but found that the family portrait conveyed here and the ups and downs of the two brothers was a little too sentimental, second-hand and, to be honest undramatic, to really engage me.

It's entertaining in its undemonstrative way and acted well enough, especially Tom Skerret and Brenda Blethyn as the God-fearing parents but until someone finds a way to make fishing exciting to watch, a film like this which celebrates the art of angling to the extent that this one does, will never quite hit the mark for me. More style than content in short...

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