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A River Runs Through It (1992)

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The story about two sons of a stern minister -- one reserved, one rebellious -- growing up in rural Montana while devoted to fly fishing.

Director:

Robert Redford

Writers:

Norman Maclean (story), Richard Friedenberg (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,248 ( 297)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Craig Sheffer ... Norman Maclean
Brad Pitt ... Paul Maclean
Tom Skerritt ... Rev. Maclean
Brenda Blethyn ... Mrs. Maclean
Emily Lloyd ... Jessie Burns
Edie McClurg ... Mrs. Burns
Stephen Shellen ... Neal Burns
Vann Gravage Vann Gravage ... Young Paul
Nicole Burdette Nicole Burdette ... Mabel
Susan Traylor ... Rawhide
Michael Cudlitz ... Chub
Rob Cox ... Conroy
Buck Simmonds Buck Simmonds ... Humph
Fred Oakland Fred Oakland ... Mr. Burns
David Creamer David Creamer ... Ken Burns
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Storyline

The Maclean brothers, Paul and Norman, live a relatively idyllic life in rural Montana, spending much of their time fly fishing. The sons of a minister, the boys eventually part company when Norman moves east to attend college, leaving his rebellious brother to find trouble back home. When Norman finally returns, the siblings resume their fishing outings, and assess both where they've been and where they're going. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of an American Family.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for momentary nudity, and some language in a family drama | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A River Runs Through It See more »

Filming Locations:

Bozeman, Montana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$43,440,294
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

First reunion in 30 years of Robert Redford and Tom Skerritt since their co-starring feature debut in War Hunt (1962). See more »

Goofs

When leaving the gaming house, the car Norman is driving has the passenger side lamp out. After Paul talks to Norman and the camera pans back, the headlamp is back on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Older Norman: [narrating] Long ago, when I was a young man, my father said to me, "Norman, you like to write stories." And I said "Yes, I do." Then he said, "Someday, when you're ready you might tell our family story. Only then will you understand what happened and why."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The scenes on the Blackfoot River were actually shot on the Madison and other rivers around the Bozeman and Livingston areas. The "Big Blackfoot" has already become too polluted and populated to provide the image the scene required. See more »


Soundtracks

Yes, We Have No Bananas
Written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn (as Irving Conn)
Skidmore Music Co., Inc.
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User Reviews

A Nearly Perfect Film
30 January 2004 | by brianspSee all my reviews

When I saw previews for this film, I thought "Its a movie about fishing, why would I want to see that?" This is as much of a fishing movie as Hoosiers is about basketball, or Field of Dreams is about baseball.

The story is elegant, the narrative beautiful, the characters deftly drawn. The relationship between the father and two sons is really interesting, and I love the interplay between them. There is great sadness, and also great humour. While nostalgic, I don't think the film ever becomes maudlin, and by the time the film draws to its inevitable close, I feel the same sense of loss and regret every time.

This movie does what films are supposed to do - touch one's heart and mind.

The closing lines, taken from a short story by McLean, are as haunting as they are beautiful:

"But when I am alone in the half light of the canyon all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul and memories. And the sounds of the Big Black Foot River and a four count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."


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