6.4/10
37,738
71 user 49 critic

The River Wild (1994)

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writer:

Denis O'Neill
Reviews

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From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Meryl Streep ... Gail Hartman
Joseph Mazzello ... Roarke Hartman
Stephanie Sawyer ... Willa Hartman
David Strathairn ... Tom Hartman
Elizabeth Hoffman ... Gail's Mother
Victor Galloway Victor Galloway ... Gail's Father (as Victor H. Galloway)
Diane Delano ... Ranger
Thomas F. Duffy ... Ranger
Kevin Bacon ... Wade
John C. Reilly ... Terry
William Lucking ... Frank
Benjamin Bratt ... Ranger Johnny
Paul Cantelon Paul Cantelon ... Violinist
Glenn Morshower ... Policeman
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Storyline

The teacher Gail Hartman is facing problems with her marriage with her husband, the workaholic architect Tom Hartman. On the birthday of their son Roarke, Gail decides to leave her daughter with her parents and take her family to raft down a wild river where she was a guide. On the departure, a young man named Wade befriends Roarke and leaves the place with his friends Terry and Frank. Later the family encounters Wade and Terry, who do not have rafting experience, and Gail helps them to cross a whitewater. They get closer to the family and soon Gail and Tom learn a dark secret about Wade and Terry. What will they do to get rid of the men? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The vacation is over


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and threatening moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Río salvaje See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,200,000, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$46,815,748

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,400,000, 31 December 1995
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS | Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Late Academy Award Winning Composer Maurice Jarre originally wrote the film's score, but due to poor test screenings for the film, the music was rejected and Jerry Goldsmith was brought in to re-score the film. A documentary on the late composer features him and Curtis Hanson during the recording sessions of the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

Tom falls into the water from a cliff after being shot at and emerges soaking wet. A minute later his clothes are dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gail: Roarke! Roarke! I've told you for the 157th time, turn that damn music off. I'm losing my hearing. Jeez. You gotta find your sneakers buddy. You owe me.
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Crazy Credits

Dog named 'Maggie' is listed in the credits (almost top-billing) as being played by a dog named 'Buffy.' See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Confidential: Off the Record... (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Dollar Bill
Written by Mark Lanegan and Van Conner
Performed by Screaming Trees
Courtesy of Epic Records by Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Clean but entertaining family adventure
31 March 2011 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

For a conventional Hollywood adventure story, THE RIVER WILD isn't bad at all. While it lacks the rawness of similarly-themed independent fare and the kind of twists and surprises you'd expect from the best this genre has to offer, it tells the story it sets out to tell with a large amount of success, mainly thanks to the lean script and no-nonsense pacing. Much of the action comes from a series of spectacular white-water rafting sequences in which the stunt team are really put through their paces. These mark the film's highlight. The human plot, involving a couple of hostage-takers, is less spectacular, but the film still gets by thanks to the calibre of the cast.

Meryl Streep, although a little too earnest in some places for my liking, takes plaudits as the outdoors expert who has to use her wits to survive both nature and the evils of mankind. Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly are fine as the no-good criminals, and Benjamin Bratt bags a nice little role as a good-guy ranger. Youngster Joe Mazzello is a more mature presence than in the previous year's JURASSIC PARK, and David Straithairn (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) gets to have some fun as the straight-laced father forced into becoming a hero. Okay, so you know the outcome from the outset (and in a 12-certificate family adventure nothing THAT bad is ever going to happen), but this is nonetheless a mildly entertaining little movie.


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