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The River (1951)

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Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier.

Director:

Jean Renoir

Writers:

Rumer Godden (novel), Rumer Godden (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nora Swinburne ... The Mother
Esmond Knight ... The Father
Arthur Shields ... Mr. John
Suprova Mukerjee Suprova Mukerjee ... Nan
Thomas E. Breen Thomas E. Breen ... Capt. John
Patricia Walters ... Harriet
Radha ... Melanie
Adrienne Corri ... Valerie
June Hillman June Hillman ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Harriet, now an adult, narrates the story of her coming of age growing up as a British national and a daughter of a jute press manager in the Bengal region of India, they living in the big house on the banks of one of the holy rivers. At the time, she is the eldest of six siblings - five girls and one boy - with another on the way and with she being significantly older the rest of her siblings. As such, she spends much time with an honorary member of their family, a late teen - not quite an adult - named Valerie, also a British national and the daughter of the jute press owner. Another friend, who recently arrived home from her western schooling, is Melanie, the biracial daughter of British national Mr. John and his then deceased Hindu wife. Both Mr. John and Melanie realize her difficult position, straddling both the Hindi and western cultures. Their small world is shaken up with the arrival of Captain John, Mr. John's cousin and an American ex-military man who has one prosthetic leg... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beauty...Mystery...Delightful Humor... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | UK | India | USA

Language:

English | Bengali

Release Date:

19 December 1951 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The River See more »

Filming Locations:

Ganges River, India See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Dall, Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, James Mason, Robert Walker and Sam Wanamaker were all considered for the role of Captain John. See more »

Goofs

(at around 36 mins) A cigarette appears from nowhere. See more »

Quotes

Nan: I saw a spider this morning. That's lucky!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Celluloid Man (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A unique achievement
26 February 2001 | by dfmlsfSee all my reviews

There is something special about this movie. In fact, to say there is something special does not tell much, and it could be equally applied to hundreds of films which are much less special than this. So let's start again. I had never seen a film like "The River" before. Thanks to the Spanish TV program "Qué grande es el cine" I discovered this piece of Art created by a major artist: Renoir. Some of my other favourite movies are similar in some aspects to others. And so, "North by Northwest" resembles other thrillers with Cary Grant; "A Touch of Evil" is a moral fable and also a nightmare which reminds a bit of "The Night of the Hunter", and so on. But "The River" reminds me of nothing I have seen on a screen. It has to do with ethics and with life. It has to do with balance, with understanding human nature. I think this film has everything which can be told in a film. Absolutely everything. I believe this film reflects an attitude towards life and towards art. So I got it finally! This film is if anything an attitude. Once you have seen, you feel better, you know more about life, your perspective has changed. It is a ray of light. I should be compulsory in High School and everywhere.


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