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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
4,040 ( 1,694)
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

At one point, this was considered as a vehicle for Lloyd Bridges and his two sons, Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges. See more »

Goofs

When Norman goes to Dartmouth, a modern-day truck is visible in the background. 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

No fish were killed or injured during the making of A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. The producers would like to point out that, although the Macleans kept their catch as was common earlier in this century, enlightened fisherman today endorse a "catch and release" policy to assure that this priceless resource swims free to fight another day. Good fishing. See more »

Alternate Versions

The US DVD has different composer credits for the widescreen/pan & scan version. The widescreen version lists (whose score was rejected) while the pan & scan version lists 'Mark Isham' (who replaced Bernstein). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shirtless: Hollywood's Sexiest Men (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sheik of Araby'
Written by Harry B. Smith, Ted Snyder and Francis Wheeler
Used by Permission of
Mills Music Corp, Inc. / Jerry Vogel Music Co.
Ted Snyder Music Co. / Bienstock Publishing Co., on behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Montana only LOOKS!! Serene
21 October 2005 | by dataconflossmoorSee all my reviews

A stunning realization occurs when some sort of phenomenon takes place!! Be it, firecrackers going off, witnessing a robbery, a hurricane nonchalantly devastating everything in it's path, or, for that matter, any other spectacular occurrence !! In the case of the Maclean Family, however, reveille was something which was no more complex than their day to day lives..Montana in the early twentieth century was an environment which was rough and tumble...The Maclean family was comprised of four people, the father, a minister, who was ideologically driven to raise his family properly. His wife was God fearing, and dutiful. The two boys were, well...BOYS!!.. What else can you say?...Brad Pitt starred in this film before he was really THE!! Brad Pitt, and his acting performance in this film was, to say the least, remarkable!!!.. His brother, Norman, was the cerebral type, he was touched by emotions that were genuine, and motivated by a set of values that Missoula, Montana concurred with!! Paul (Brad Pitt) was a misfit from the offset, and lived on the edge...You would think that Montana in the 1920's had no such thing, yet somehow, gambling, drinking, and violent confrontations, were as much a part of Paul, as was his fly fishing rod!! Fly fishing!! Did I say that? Parenthetically, this was the core of this movie's theme!! The recreation of fly fishing served as the cohesive bond which homogenized the kindred spirits of the Maclean brothers, and to a lesser degree, the father!! I would describe the acting in this film as incredibly believable, and the cinematography went beyond sensational.. Put it this way, anyone who sees this film will want to live in Montana.. Breathtaking filmography of bluer than blue mountains and streams captured the youth and effervescence that the Maclean brothers had for life...Seldom in a film do you witness whereby feelings immediately invoke a dogged tenacity to accomplish whatever it may be that someone wishes to accomplish..The Maclean brothers lived life to the fullest, and for better or worse, the father knew that this was going to be the only way the two of them could become men!!...Robert Redford directs this film, and tells the story of the Maclean's through the perspective of the older brother, Norman...Norman gets offered a position at the University of Chicago at age 26, and marries the woman he will always be in love with...What this film also points out, is that the younger brother, Paul, has attained an accomplishment of his own by being the epitome of a remarkable fly fisherman!! The seedier side of life prevails in the younger brother's existence, and exerts an insidious form of consternation for the Maclean family!! As most human shortcomings go, the Maclean family made light of turbulent waters, (literally) and thus, established unity as a family, by putting necessary blinders on!!!

The end of the movie "River Runs Through It" presents an epigram of life through the eyes of the older brother.. For Norman Maclean, stoicism is a prerequisite to perseverance in his emeritus years!! Such a fate is largely due to the fact that reflecting on his life is tantamount to yearning for people who have passed away! The fond memories of his brother, his wife, his mother, and his father, must now be viewed philosophically!! For Norman, his life has been relegated to stubborn facts that have determined his dubious outlook, and precarious resolve! Something as simple as the statement "This was your life, and that is how you lived it" is a somber recollection of the joy, the sorrow, the regrets, and the love, he gave, as well as was the recipient of!! Best put in the last sermon he heard his father give, his father said "We can completely love someone without completely understanding them".. Whether you agree with what has happened in your life or not, it happened nonetheless! Norman Maclean must come to grips with the fact that his life has been fragmented by misunderstandings! Norman Maclean has become a decrepit octogenarian who is polarized by virtual conclusions to his life!! The murky waters of Montana's picturesque rivers serve as a vicious and desultory finalization to his years on earth!! Without question, the very prolific statement of "what seems complicated is really very simple" purveys a very acrimonious message in this movie...More simply put...The people and places which were important in Norman's life, are now only a bittersweet memory....merely a painfully intellectual rumination of events which are aggravated by the haunted waters of Montana's beautiful streams and rivers...To which, for the entire Maclean family, "all things merge into one and a river runs through it"


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