6.3/10
33,220
70 user 42 critic

The River Wild (1994)

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

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

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

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

Taglines:

The vacation is over


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Río salvaje  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$46,815,748 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Neill turned down the role of Tom Hartman. See more »

Goofs

After Terry falls out of the boat on Little Niagara, there is a quick wide shot of the boat showing all four people still in the boat. See more »

Quotes

[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.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Episode #2.34 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(uncredited)
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

Nothing too special but an enjoyable little thriller nonetheless
23 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

To celebrate her son Roarke's birthday and help build his relationship with his father (and her), Gail takes the family unit up to where she used to work as a river guide for a bit of white water rafting. Once there they meet another group heading down river and, when Wade and Terry lose their guide, Gail agrees to let them follow them in their own boat. However when Gail and Tom begin to feel uncomfortable with their guests they try to slip away unnoticed – only for Wade to pull a gun and insist that Gail will help them proceed downriver and cross the legendary Gauntlet.

I first watched this when it came out in the cinema and I remember enjoying it. However noticing it back on television recently I couldn't help but be a little uninterested in it and wondered if I had just false memories of how good it really had been and so decided to watch it again and see. After a slow opening the film gets down to business with the two boats getting together and gradually going to the conclusion that we know is coming but enjoy heading towards anyway. The film delivers its straightforward plot well in the early stages, using the father-figure conflict well (even if it ignores the heavy feminist subtext) to generate the tension, while the later stages is more of a simple hostage thriller sort of affair. This aspect is still quite enjoyable even if it is not as tight as it really needed to be and, as a non-rafter, I wasn't sure how intimidated I was meant to be by the load of water that was the gauntlet.

As a result, the film is a little talky but the cast are able to deal with it and it is really only the clunky, slow start that suffers as a result. I'm not a big fan of Meryl Streep and I didn't think she was totally fitted to the material given her but mostly her performance was natural enough to be convincing. Strathairn plays second fiddle to Streep but he is still enjoyable as he delivers an insecure character. With these two big names in the lead it would have been easy for them to dominate but it is Kevin Bacon that steals the film with a charismatic performance that he easily turns into menace – hardly his greatest performance but he makes more of it than others have in the past. Mazzello is a typical 'cute kid' American actor but he is good enough for this material and he is pretty good in the first half when he is given the material. Reilly and Bratt add some well-known faces to the mix but really neither has that much to do.

Overall this is not a great film but it is good enough to be worth seeing once. The action is not typical for this genre and the novelty value of it makes it seem more interesting. The film looks good and it is tense enough to do the job while the plot gets past the slow start to deliver an interesting set up and a solid enough series of set pieces with a good cast and director onboard (sorry!).


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SEVERELY underrated royalewithcheese2020
Does anyone know Other films with impressive scenery? DVD-Fan
A love for Wade? x-tally-x
Underrated movie, I think. shewster
Why would Gail fire the gun? susannahhun
Meryl Streep. Schwarze_Engel
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