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A River Runs Through It (1992) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

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

  • 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.

  • The true story about two boys growing up in rural Montana while rebelling against their stern minister father. Eldest brother Norman eventually leaves home and becomes a disciplined, grounded professor, while younger brother Paul becomes a rebellious journalist and descends into gambling and liquor. Their mornings are spent in school and religious study, while their afternoons are devoted to fly fishing for trout in the Blackfoot River.


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Synopsis

  • The film tells the autobiographical story about two boys, Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul (Brad Pitt), growing up in 1920s Missoula, Montana under the watchful eye of their father, a Presbyterian minister. Their mornings are spent in school and religious study, while their afternoons are devoted to fly fishing in the nearby Blackfoot River. At home, however, the family's stoic emotions hint at trouble is to come. Norman goes to the east coast for college and lives there for six years, without returning home until then. In the meantime, Paul gets a job as a prolific journalist and makes a name for himself back home. The movie is about Norman's return home and his and Paul's summer together.

    As adults, Paul is a rebellious journalist and his brother, Norman, is a level-headed, grounded teacher. Norman matures and channels his rebellion through his writing while dating Jessie Burns, while his reckless brother Paul turns to gambling and liquor. The film chronicles their intertwining and often conflicting lives, focusing on Norman's point of view, as they grow up in the shadow of their minister father. A great deal of the film surrounds the men's love of fly fishing for trout in Montana's rivers, and their shared experiences through it while growing up.

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