The River Wild (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  30 September 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 31,075 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 41 critic

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



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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?


Meryl Streep did most of her own stunts. See more »


After Tom jumps off cliff into the river he coaxes the family dog, a yellow lab named "Maggie", into jumping in after him. Throughout the entire movie the dog is called "Maggie" and referred to as "girl" but when the dog leaps from the cliff into the river, you can clearly see it's a male dog. 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 Gilmore Girls: Run Away, Little Boy (2001) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Meryl Streep, David Strathairn, Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly
See more »

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User Reviews

Streep Braves the Rapids...and Succeeds.
16 January 2001 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

No, I didn't say Gail braves the rapids...but Meryl Streep, not only literally, but metaphorically. Streep is definitely the actress of our time, and in no small part to her ability to tackle difficult roles of many colors, and do them without breaking a sweat. Such is true with "The River Wild", a predictable, but entertaining river rapids adventure/hostage drama. Streep incorporates her role with strength, humor, and even a bit of vulnerability. Backed by the menacing Kevin Bacon and the refined David Strathairn (the ultimate everyman...that's a compliment), Streep holds her own in a genre that one doesn't necessarily think of when her name comes to mind. One tremendous scene involves Streep reminding her captor (Bacon) of the dangers of the upcoming waterfall/rapids system known as "The Gauntlet"...Streep whispers determination and threats, promises of anger and doom, directly into Bacon's ears with a quite rage, only to be turned to an edge-of-tears monologue when her family comes to mind. Bravo to Curtis Hanson's pre-"L.A. Confidential" film (1997's SHOULD HAVE for Director and Picture). The plot itself may have holes, but with the talents of Streep, backed with the reliable cast, "The River Wild" packs quite a punch of entertainment and thrills.

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SEVERELY underrated roaddog54
Does anyone know Other films with impressive scenery? DVD-Fan
Underrated movie, I think. shewster
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Meryl Streep. Schwarze_Engel
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