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A River Runs Through It (1992)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  30 October 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 39,645 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 130 user | 42 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


$43,440,294 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The poem that Norman Maclean and his father recite is an excerpt from "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" by William Wordsworth. See more »


When grown-up Paul catches the biggest fish ever, and is washed downstream, the fish differs between a salmon and a large trout between scenes. The "tell" is the nose of the fish. 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."
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 »


Bye Bye Blackbird
Performed by Prudence Johnson
Written by Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson
Warner Bros., Inc. / Olde Clover Leaf Music Co., Roy Henderson Music Co. / Bienstock Publishing Co.,
on behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

A good movie
25 June 2003 | by (The Hague, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

In a little town in Montana two brothers grow up. One of them is Norman (Craig Sheffer), the other is Paul (Brad Pitt). Their father is Reverend Maclean and they grow up with his lessons that has to do with religion, and the lessons of fly-fishing. In this movie fly-fishing represents life, a little.

The story is good and keeps your attention although there are some moments you need a little action. Probably the movie has this moments because it is not really about the events that happen, but about the message. Some things do happen though. Norman goes to Dartmouth to study. After six years he returns and gets involved with a nice girl named Jessie (Emily Lloyd) and he is invited to teach in Chicago. Paul has become a reporter and is known as the "fishing reporter". He is famous and it seems he has a nice life, but he drinks a little too much and gambles too much.

The movie is very well directed, it has a nice score and all of the actors are good. The most beautiful thing in this movie is the cinematography. The mountains, the woods and the river all look very beautiful. If the movie was only made for these things it was good enough to watch. Fortunately there is more.

16 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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