7.0/10
14,754
124 user 51 critic

River's Edge (1986)

R | | Crime, Drama | 8 May 1987 (USA)
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
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,794, 10 May 1987

Gross USA:

$4,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Keanu Reeves' supporting role in this film is one of his first break-out roles that led to parts in such films as Bill & Ted and Parenthhood, leaving Reeves to be typecast as a stoner character throughout the late 80s - early 90s. 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

References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
Written and Performed by Hank Ballard
Courtesy of Gusto Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Chilling and effective examination of alienation and ambivalence
5 January 1999 | by pooch-8See all my reviews

Tim Hunter made a masterful film in River's Edge, one of the most serious and thoughtful dramatic studies of teenage life I have ever seen. So many elements of the film have a cult following (chief among them the performances of Crispin Glover as Layne and Dennis Hopper as Feck) that I will comment on my own personal favorite moment: the harrowing sex scene between Matt (Keanu Reeves) and Clarissa (Ione Skye). Entwined in sleeping bags with a six pack while police search for their good friend, the two try to find respite while the overwhelming events of the day coil into a vacuum of solitude and silence experienced by children who have sex without knowing each other or themselves. Some will argue that Hunter is heavy-handed with the close association of sex and death, but to see Matt writhe helplessly under Clarissa while elsewhere John (Daniel Roebuck) describes to Feck what it was like to strangle his girlfriend always sends chills up and down my spine.


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