The River Wild
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Synopsis for
The River Wild (1994) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.

Warning! This synopsis may contain spoilers

See plot summary for non-spoiler summarized description.
Visit our Synopsis Help to learn more
A Boston couple, Gail (Meryl Streep) and Tom (David Strathairn) are having marital problems. Gail, a rafting expert, decides to take their child Roarke (Joseph Mazzello) on a holiday rafting down the Salmon River in Idaho, along with their pet dog. At the last minute Tom joins them. As they are setting off they meet a couple of other rafters, Wade (Kevin Bacon) and Terry (John C. Reilly), who appear to be friendly.

After a day's rafting the family make camp for the night, but Tom continues to work on his laptop computer rather than enter fully into the experience. The family are joined by Wade and Terry who help to celebrate Roarke's birthday. Gail flirts with Wade. However, after a while Wade begins acting suspiciously and Gail decides it would be best to part ways. During the morning's rafting Wade reveals to Roarke that they have a gun with them. As they raft down the river the parents discuss an exit strategy that will allow them to leave the two men behind, and at lunch they attempt to leave on their raft and get away before Wade and Terry realize what is going on.

Their attempt fails and Wade pulls the gun on them and assaults Tom. Gail then realizes that an armed robbery she had heard about was actually carried out by Wade and Terry, and their rafting trip is actually a way for them to get away. The family are forced to raft at gunpoint down the rest of the river before they all set up camp for the night. During the night Tom attempts to steal the gun off the sleeping Terry but is heard and has to run into the bushes and to the river. Wade gives chase and believes he has shot him when he hears a loud splash into the water.

It's revealed that Wade and Terry, in order to aid their escape, want to go on down the river to a set of rapids where in recent years one person was killed and another was left paralyzed. Consequently, rafting is no longer allowed. Wade and Terry force the rafters down through the rapids despite Gail's repeated attempts to flip the raft and so force Wade and Terry out of the river.

Meanwhile a park ranger (Benjamin Bratt), who knows Gail, is white water canoeing down the river. He bumps into the group; but Wade holds the gun to Gail's back and pretends that everything is OK. Later, he appears again but this time Wade shoots him and he falls dying into the river.

Tom reappears and manages to flip the raft. Gail and Roarke, who have been tied to the raft by Wade, remain in the raft and to get hold of the gun, which had fallen into the water. whilst Tom is fighting Terry. The struggle ends when Gail throws the bag of money into the water and shoots Wade whose dead body floats off down river. The film ends with the family and Terry (who has been arrested) being helicoptered out.


Related Links

Plot summary Plot keywords Parents Guide
User reviews Quotes Trivia
Main details MoKA: keyword discovery