Peter Soffel is the stuffy warden of a remote American prison around the turn of the century. His wife, Kate, finds herself attracted to prisoner Ed Biddle. She abandons her husband and ... See full summary »
A somewhat mentally handicapped 20-year-old man works as a laborer, but everyone abuse his naiveté. A nice 40-year-old American woman hires him one day and they become close. However, the town and his family see her as predatory.
Tom and Mae Garvey are a hard working farming couple living with their two children on the east Tennessee farm owned by Tom's family for generations. They and many of their neighbors have hit hard times of late. A downturn in the economy has led to dwindling land prices. But the biggest problem of late has been that their crop land has been prone to flooding as the property is adjacent to a river. Manipulating the powers that be including a local senator and the local bank, Joe Wade, who also grew up in the area and now runs the local milling company that sets the local grain prices, is working behind the scenes to buy up the properties along the river for a song as he wants to build a dam which would flood the Garvey's and others riverfront properties. The dam would generate electricity, but more importantly for Joe it would provide irrigation opportunities for farm properties away from the river, such as his own. Tom already intensely dislikes Joe as he and Mae used to go together. ...Written by
Throughout the movie, the weather seems to go from hot to very cold. In the beginning scenes you see the Garveys out trying to shore up the levee on there land and you can see their breath. In another seen, Lewis is walking behind his fathers tractor (planting seeds and the tractor over heats scene) in what looks like a hot summer afternoon. Same with the scenes wear Tom goes to the steel mill for work and it's very cold out while back at the farm, Mrs Garvey is sweating on the tractor while spraying the corn. See more »
Watch out, Tom! Beth, get in the truck! Tom! Are you hurt?
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"The River" tells the story of a family trying to hold on to their way of life in the face of insurmountable odds. The family initially faces a major threat from the river located next to their house, but then an even bigger threat from a businessman (Scott Glenn) who wants to build a dam and flood the valley.
I wouldn't call "The River" a masterpiece, but it does a good job showing the family's desperation. The dad (Mel Gibson) accepts a questionable job, while the mom (Sissy Spacek) has an experience that's likely to make anyone squirm. Every step of the way there are all sorts of hazards, whether in the working conditions, in the terrain, or from the businessman and his cronies.
This is a movie that goes for a lot of realism. The characters' bleak existence gets made clear through their unrefined looks. I recommend it.
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