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Riverworld (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  22 March 2003 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,805 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 5 critic

Hale, an American astronaut dies and is reincarnated with other persons who have lived throughout all of human history and end up on a mysterious planet called 'Riverworld'. The humans are ... See full summary »

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Title: Riverworld (TV Movie 2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jeff Hale
...
Mali
...
...
Lev Ruach
Kevin Smith ...
Valdemar
Nikita Kearsley ...
Gwenafra
Brian Moore ...
Monat
...
...
Nero
Paolo Rotondo ...
Flavius
Patrick Kake ...
Tane
...
Langer
Lloyd Edwards ...
The Mysterious Stranger
Crawford Thomson ...
Warrior
André Kovachevitch ...
Guard #1 (as Andrew Kovacevich)
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Storyline

Hale, an American astronaut dies and is reincarnated with other persons who have lived throughout all of human history and end up on a mysterious planet called 'Riverworld'. The humans are left to their own devices and create tribal fiefdoms and succumb to brutal wars and raids. A mysterious race of hooded 'beings' oversee them - sometimes intervening, but their motives are unknown. Anyone who has ever lived and died on Earth comes here rather than 'the afterlife', even an extra-terrestrial call Monat, who had the unfortunate luck of dying on Planet earth in 2039. Hale leads a revolt and joins with others on a large boat to explore this mysterious new world. Written by stonegriffin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

22 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mundo del río  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Smith, who played Valdemar, died shortly after finishing this film. The film is dedicated to his memory. See more »

Goofs

Nero is presented as a superior fighter. The real Emperor Nero wasn't a fighter. See more »

Quotes

Monat: My name is Monat.
[other prisoners gasp]
Alice: What is it? What are you?
Monat: I am not human, as you can see, but neither am I dangerous, I assure you.
Jeff Hale: [to the others] It's all right.
[turns back to Monat]
Jeff Hale: Incredible.
Monat: I am from a star system your astronomers named Tau Ceti.
Jeff Hale: Yes, Tau Ceti. Are there other extraterrestrials here?
Monat: Alas, I am the only one.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Riverworld (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

not a movie -- just another series pilot
22 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A law was passed in the 1970s that all fantasy novels had to be franchises, with sequels out the wazoo for time and eternity. Philip Jose Farmer opted not to be a criminal and wrote book after book about a strange world, dominated by an endless river along whose banks everyone who had ever lived on earth was reborn. Food and clothing were supplied, and there were alien observers, whose plan was -- well, that's the plot!

Now the Sci-Fi Channel, abetted by Canada and Australia, has filmed the concept, but be warned, it's not really a movie -- it's the pilot for a series! A 21st century US astronaut, Lewis Carroll's Alice, a riverboat man named Sam, a Holocaust survivor, a strange little girl, a Yoruba princess (whose native dances look suspiciously like standard stripjoint choreo but who also does martial arts like Xena), and the evil Nero, among others, are here, struggling for survival, for power, and to launch an oldfashioned Mississippi steamboat. (So where is Richard F Burton?)

Tech credits are fair for the budget. Except for Emily Lloyd, as Alice, the cast is no-name. There's a higher than expected body count among the extras, which will no doubt be toned down considerably to make sure of a TV PG rating when this goes to weekly, and the gaggle of reborns coming out of the surf during the teaser in flesh-colored G-strings and bras, where appropriate, is probably as close to sensuality as this is going to get.

The ending is as wide-open as the defenses at Basra, with the aliens talking enigmatic foreboding stuff that will make more sense later in the series and a climactic revelation that is no surprise at all and just sets up the conflict for subsequent episodes.

This is going to be a lot like "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World," except that it has a river, not a plateau, where the leads can encounter a new civilization every week while tooling along in that steamboat. If you liked the Lost World series, you may find this worth watching. Odds are they'll be using some leftover scripts from it! On the other hand, if you were a fan of the books, I think you'll regard this as basically an unworthy bastardization for popular consumption of a fascinating idea -- even though Farmer did eventually write it into the ground.

On the IMDb scale, 3 out of 10.


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this a pilot for a series? vik-15
Books are brilliant, movie terrible PBDogs
I actually really Liked this movie Timotayo77
the alien... lifeornothing
Why did they rewrite the entire concept? TheFroth
Script / Transcript kamisama103
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