7.1/10
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117 user 46 critic

River's Edge (1986)

A high school slacker commits a shocking act and proceeds to let his friends in on the secret. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.

Director:

Tim Hunter

Writer:

Neal Jimenez

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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Crispin Glover ... Layne
Keanu Reeves ... Matt
Ione Skye ... Clarissa (as Ione Skye Leitch)
Daniel Roebuck ... Samson
Dennis Hopper ... Feck
Joshua John Miller ... Tim (as Joshua Miller)
Roxana Zal ... Maggie
Josh Richman Josh Richman ... Tony
Phillip Brock ... Mike
Tom Bower ... Bennett
Constance Forslund ... Madeleine
Leo Rossi ... Jim
Jim Metzler ... Mr. Burkewaite
Tammy Smith Tammy Smith ... Kim
Danyi Deats ... Jamie
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Storyline

A group of high school friends must come to terms with the fact that one of them, Samson, killed another, Jamie. Reactions vary, as Layne is intent on protecting Samson and smuggling him out of the state, while others think it's best to go to the police. Matt's tough little brother also finds out about the body and no one knows quite how the police will learn about the murder or who will be blamed for it. Written by Christine Sai-Halasz <sai@mit.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most controversial film you will see this year.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

River's Edge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale,Island See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Black and White (opening sequence)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neal Jimenez read the story in the newspaper while visiting friends, wrote a script, and turned it in to his instructor, while he was an English major at Santa Clara University. Jimenez said "that the incident is merely the inspiration for the screenplay". See more »

Goofs

When the detective is questioning Matt in his office, the boom mic is reflected on a glass case behind the detective's desk. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Checker: [points at legal age sign]
Samson: That's a real nice sign, how much.
Checker: I have to see ID.
Samson: I left it at home. How much?
Checker: I'm not going to sell you this unless you show me ID.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Video Discoveries (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Know
Written by Greg Sage
Performed by The Wipers (as Wipers)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Award for Most Disturbing
16 September 2013 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Samson 'John' Tollet (Daniel Roebuck) is a strange guy. But nobody foresaw that he would kill his girlfriend Jamie. He left her naked body on the river's edge. When he tells everybody, nobody believed him. When people actually saw the body, everybody must deal with it in their own way.

The friends are all heavy metal listening slacker disaffected teens. Keanu Reeves plays the nice guy Matt. He's conflicted about Jamie's death. He knows something is morally wrong but he's unable to voice it at first. Keanu is able to inhabit this role perfectly. His uncomfortableness with Layne afterwards is amazing. Ione Skye plays Clarissa the sweet girl who just can't get up the courage to call the police. But it's Crispin Glover who steals the show playing Layne. He is the complete amoral weirdo. It's almost as if he enjoys the rush. It's more than a simple great movie. It's actually giving a slice of humanity and inhumanity without being preachy. It is unique.


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