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The River Wild (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  30 September 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 30,803 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 41 critic

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.



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The River Wild (1994) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Willa Hartman
Tom Hartman
Gail's Mother
Victor Galloway ...
Gail's Father (as Victor H. Galloway)
Ranger Johnny
Paul Cantelon ...


Gail, an expert at white water rafting, takes her family on a trip down a river on which she used to be a guide. Along the way, the family encounters two men who are unexperienced rafters that need to find their friends down river. Later, the family finds out that the pair of men are armed robbers. The men then physically force the family to take them down the river to meet their accomplices. The rafting trip for the family is definitely ruined, but most importantly, their lives are at stake. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The vacation is over

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and threatening moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Río salvaje  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)


£2,430,239 (UK) (17 March 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Late Academy Award Winning Composer Maurice Jarre originally wrote the film's score, but due to poor test screenings for the film, the music was rejected and Jerry Goldsmith was brought in to re-score the film. A documentary on the late composer features him and Director Curtis Hanson during the recording sessions of the soundtrack. See more »


Tom falls into the water from a cliff after being shot at and emerges soaking wet. A minute later his clothes are dry. See more »


[first lines]
Gail: Roarke! Roarke! I've told you for the 157th time, turn that damn music off. I'm losing my hearing. Jeez. You gotta find your sneakers buddy. You owe me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dog named 'Maggie' is listed in the credits (almost top-billing) as being played by a dog named 'Buffy.' See more »


Referenced in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »


Psalm 69
Written by Al Jourgensen (as A. Jourgensen) and Paul Barker (as P. Barker)
Performed by Ministry
Courtesy of Sire Records by Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

For The Most Part A Credible Thriller
3 December 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

THE RIVER WILD is not the most original thriller ever made , it's premise is " a clean cut family bump into a couple of desperate criminals in the sticks and their lives are now in serious danger " but it deserves some credit in not trying to paper over its flaws with ridiculous action sequences or other type of melodramatic plot twists . Perhaps the producers of the recent Jodie Foster thriller FLIGHTPLAN should have watched this to see how a family based thriller should be made ?

Some people may be put off by the fact that there's not much in the way of explosions , car chases or a massive body count and that there's a lot of talking but when you've got a thriller where Kevin Bacon is the bad guy ( And no 1990s movie was complete without Bacon as a bad guy ) if you do have a film that is watchable at the very least . And let me just repeat that this is a film where credibility takes precedence over action . There is a slight flaw where towards the end where one of the characters starts making devices out of stuff lying around ala MCGUYVER but for the most part this is an enjoyable thriller

22 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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SEVERELY underrated roaddog54
Does anyone know Other films with impressive scenery? DVD-Fan
Underrated movie, I think. shewster
A love for Wade? x-tally-x
Why would Gail fire the gun? susannahhun
Meryl Streep. Schwarze_Engel
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