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A River Runs Through It (1992)

PG | | Drama | 30 October 1992 (USA)
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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.

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(story), (screenplay)
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2,546 ( 99)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Vann Gravage ...
Nicole Burdette ...
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Buck Simmonds ...
Fred Oakland ...
David Creamer ...
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Storyline

The true story about two boys growing up in rural Montana while rebelling against their stern minister father. Eldest brother Norman eventually leaves home and becomes a disciplined, grounded professor, while younger brother Paul becomes a rebellious journalist and descends into gambling and liquor. Their mornings are spent in school and religious study, while their afternoons are devoted to fly fishing for trout in the Blackfoot River. Written by Kale Whorton <nikko11@mind.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of an American Family.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nada es para siempre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$43,440,294 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brad Pitt trained fly-fishing for four weeks. Since most of the time he was not near any river in Los Angeles, he trained it on top of a building. See more »

Goofs

Paul does a Bogart imitation, while at the speakeasy. The scene takes place in the mid to late 1920s, either during silent movie era (He would not have even known what Bogart's voice sounded like), or early talkies. Bogart was an unknown in movies until the 1930s. See more »

Quotes

[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."
See more »

Crazy Credits

No fish were killed or injured during the making of A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. The producers would like to point out that, although the Macleans kept their catch as was common earlier in this century, enlightened fisherman today endorse a "catch and release" policy to assure that this priceless resource swims free to fight another day. Good fishing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Burns Bog: A Road Runs Through It (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik of Araby'
Written by Harry B. Smith, Ted Snyder and Francis Wheeler
Used by Permission of
Mills Music Corp, Inc. / Jerry Vogel Music Co.
Ted Snyder Music Co. / Bienstock Publishing Co., on behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Picturesque and Literary: An Ode to the American Wilderness
22 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen all the films directed by Robert Redford and appreciated his love of the American people and the land. In A River Runs Through It, Redford displays the lyric romanticism and visual splendor of the high Rocky Mountains of Montana as if he were a 19th century landscape painter of the ilk of Thomas Moran or Albert Bierstadt. This film makes love to the visual and the word with text by author Norman Maclean, and stunning camera work by Phillippe Rousselot (Serpent's Kiss, Reigne Margot).

Redford's cast is perfect. Tom Skerritt is the Rev. MacLean, a man whose methods of education include fly fishing as well as the Bible, Brenda Blythen, the mother, and his sons, Craig Schaffer and Brad Pitt create a family whose interactions reflect the same problems all encounter with growing teenage sons, and later, complex young men. Both Schaffer and Pitt are totally believable as the brothers whose love of fly fishing and each other will tie them together forever. It is the relationships between men, father and sons, brothers, and their women to the outside world that grounds A River Runs Through It to a vein of storytelling that is missing in so many of Hollywood films produced in recent years.

What makes these relationships special however, is the attention Redford gives to the language as spoken in dialogue. This is a literate script, beautiful to hear and unforgettable when coupled with the stunning Montana rivers and mountains. The words and setting are equal to performances by a cast that rises to their material. While the idea of fly fishing may seem an odd device to center a story, it is not so implausible in Redford's directorial hands. Given the material, Redford's elegant ode to a simpler time and life is worth revisiting again and again.


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