67 user 5 critic

Riverworld (2003)

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 »


Kari Skogland


Philip Jose Farmer (based on the books written by), Stuart Hazeldine
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Johnson ... Jeff Hale
Karen Holness ... Mali
Emily Lloyd ... Alice Lidell Hargreaves
Jeremy Birchall Jeremy Birchall ... Lev Ruach
Kevin Smith ... Valdemar
Nikita Kearsley Nikita Kearsley ... Gwenafra
Brian Moore Brian Moore ... Monat
Cameron Daddo ... Samuel L. 'Sam' Clemens
Jonathan Cake ... Nero
Paolo Rotondo ... Flavius
Patrick Kake ... Tane
Colin Moy ... Langer
Lloyd Edwards Lloyd Edwards ... The Mysterious Stranger
Crawford Thomson Crawford Thomson ... Warrior
André Kovachevitch André Kovachevitch ... Guard #1 (as Andrew Kovacevich)


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

Plot Keywords:

nero | emperor | alien | time | spaceship | See All (144) »


Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


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


Most of the people being reborn to the surface of the water were naked, but many had some covering creating a visual inconsistency. See more »


[first lines]
Jeff Hale: System check complete. We're ready to go, Scotty.
See more »


Version of Riverworld (2010) See more »

User Reviews

Pleasant adventure movie as long as you don't expect it to follow the books
20 February 2007 | by new_moonSee all my reviews

It could mean that I'm a bad person, but I enjoyed this movie.

It probably helped a lot that I didn't read the books when viewing it. Without prior expectations from reading the book this is a good adventure story with a very interesting premise, good plot-turns and the usual weaknesses: the mandatory love-story (if you can call it that) is off-the-peg, and the hero is so bland and all-American that the only explanation is a file marked "all-purpose hero" which US film-makers get first day in their "shouting at actors 101" course. (But hey, if it works for 300 million movies, why not use it for another one.)

And of course a couple of logic-holes, but all of that is too common for made-for-TV fantasy movies to really complain about it.

But the supporting casts is, in my opinion, a joy: I love Sam, and the alien, and of course the main baddie. In the case of the baddie because I'm just a sucker for athletic evil bad guys making moves on the damsel in distress, extra bonus if the villain knows how to handle a sword.

Sam, because he is everything an interesting hero should be: you get to learn his whole story only after a while, and he has the doubts and weaknesses and moments of indecisiveness that the first-billed character lacks.

And the female lead is pretty good, too.

Compared to the books or to recent LotR-movies this certainly is disappointing. Viewed as a made-for-TV movie, it's entertaining, uses original ideas and is clearly above the average. Pity the series was never made/aired.

**For those who read the book before:**

The movie doesn't follow the books, and for good reasons. The books were award-winning, not bestselling because they were too realistic, too thought-provoking. Too many things in them would blow the chances of a TV series pilot to smithereens. Using some dead European guy most US-Americans never heard of as a protagonist wasn't half of the problem, but keep in mind how irreligious and pragmatic he was (remember his idea on how to get strips for binding material? See what I mean?) and the occurrence of drugs, sex and violence and it should be clear that changes had to be made. I prefer whole-hearted changes that create new heroes and situations to half-hearted ones which leave a shell of the book-character.

As it is, the movie isn't retelling the book, it's just loosely based on it. It uses the settings and some plot ideas of the book, but with changes to make sure that main stream audiences won't be put off. If that's acceptable to you, this might be an interesting movie for you.

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Official Sites:

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Canada | New Zealand | UK | USA



Release Date:

22 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riverworld See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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