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A River Runs Through It (1992)

PG | | Drama | 30 October 1992 (USA)
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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Vann Gravage ...
Nicole Burdette ...
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Buck Simmonds ...
Fred Oakland ...
David Creamer ...
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Storyline

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

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:

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Box Office

Gross:

$43,440,294 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Coonenbergs was a retired railroad engineer. He taught Brad Pitt, Craig Sheffer and Tom Skerritt how to fly-fish for this movie. He also taught fly-fishing and fly-tying to his fellow residents, and staff members, of his retirement community. He grew up near the Maclean family in Missoula, Montana. His family's cabin was built next door to the Maclean family cabin in Seeley Lake, Montana. He learned to fly-fish and tie flies from Rev. John Maclean, and was considered Paul Maclean to be his best friend. The friendship between the Maclean and Coonenbergs families continues to this day, into its fourth generation. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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."
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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 TruInside: Heathers (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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