The stormy relationship of a young teenage boy with his troubled older brother is told in an extended flashback segment bookended by what happens when the two meet again 15 years later. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence Sellars
Young Edward
Edward Sellars
Jean Marie Barnwell ...
Henry Howland
Mrs. Sellers
Lorri Lindberg ...
Mrs. Silver
Anita Candle
Catherine Shaffner ...
Mrs. Morris
David Cutting ...
Chris Blackwelder ...


The stormy relationship of a young teenage boy with his troubled older brother is told in an extended flashback segment bookended by what happens when the two meet again 15 years later. Edward is a young teen living in a family the father abandoned years before and where the mother has become a Christian fundamentalist and courts a self-righteous school principal. In this setting, Edward tries to come to grips with his feelings towards the brother he both loves and fears, while struggling to protect his family and others from his brother's wrath. Written by Sean Parlaman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The quietest towns always hide the ugliest secrets.







Release Date:

21 November 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Río azul  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Brothers in Harm
6 March 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

The story opens in the present… After fifteen years of non-communication, homeless and disheveled Jerry O'Connell (as Lawrence Sellers) arrives to visit his younger brother, handsome and successful Neal McDonough (as Edward "Ed" Sellers). Mr. McDonough gives his wayward sibling food, money, clothing, and a cleansing shower - but balks when Mr. O'Connell sheepishly asks if he can stay for a few days. All things considered, O'Connell says he would have reacted similarly. So, McDonough puts O'Connell on a bus headed out of town. Then, he recalls their youth…

In the past… Single mom Susan Dey is raising O'Connell with his brother (now played by Nick Stahl), and sister (Jean Marie Barnwell), in a small Wisconsin town. Young Stahl idolizes brother O'Connell, despite his juvenile delinquent tendencies. They live in a lovely home, but dysfunction reigns. Influenced by O'Connell, Stahl befriends Patrick Renna (as Zoltan Morris), a kid with one testicle and a taste for arson. Meanwhile, Ms. Dey takes comfort in Christianity, and dates religious principal Sam Elliott (as Henry Howland). Mr. Elliott is raising a disabled daughter…

Based on a novel by Ethan Canin and neatly directed by Larry Elikann, "Blue River" (their town) is a strange but satisfying TV drama. Things get off to a rocky start with O'Connell's freakish "Planet of the Apes" make-up job - but, this is more the result of uneven production values than skill; other aspects of the film look very good. The performances are excellent, right down to smallish roles like the one played by Merritt Wever; her "Lottie" is an outstanding debut. Although not finally nominated, it's likely that a few of the participants were considered for "Emmy" awards.

******* Blue River (11/21/95) Larry Elikann ~ Jerry O'Connell, Nick Stahl, Susan Dey, Sam Elliott

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