6.3/10
36,726
70 user 48 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
Popularity
4,957 ( 2,556)

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From $2.99 (SD) 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

Sam Neill turned down the role of Tom Hartman. See more »

Goofs

After Terry falls out of the boat on Little Niagara, there is a quick wide shot of the boat showing all four people still in the boat. 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 Gilmore Girls: Run Away, Little Boy (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday to You
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Meryl Streep, David Strathairn, Kevin Bacon, and John C. Reilly
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent thriller with several good performances and terrific scenery
3 May 2005 | by Juni78ukrSee all my reviews

I watched The River Wild mainly for two reasons. The first one was incredibly talented young actor named Joseph Mazello, while the second was Kevin Bacon, also very good and underrated actor in my opinion. I expected just an average thriller or something like that but this movie managed to surpass my expectations. Though it wasn't a great or Oscar-worthy movie I found The River Wild mostly good and entertained, worth seeing movie. The story is concentrated on average dysfunctional family with workaholic father, who have almost lost a contact with his wife and two kids. They undertake a raft journey on vacation to celebrate their eldest son, Rourke birthday and in the same time trying to save their dying marriage. This at first calm and beautiful journey gets unexpectedly dangerous when the family meet on their way two strangers (played by Kevin Bacon and John C.Reilly), who also for their own reasons go to a journey with the same route. The story is not flawless and has some plot holes but overall it's not bad written. Well, maybe it's quite predictable but I don't think that such predictability harmed the movie too much. The acting overall was pretty good. To my surprise somehow happened that Meryl Streep became a weakest part in this excellent cast ensemble. I think she was a bit unconvincing as careful mother as well as a strong rafter. Another problem is that her character (Gail) is not developed as much as the movie needs it. For unknown reasons she got even a Golden Globe nomination for this movie but anyway The River Wild definitely is not among her best works. David Straithairn is much better playing Gail's husband and Roarke's father. Kevin Bacon is brilliant as evil, psychotic villain, while John C.Reilly gave decent performance of his diffident, weak-willed sidekick. And finally Joseph Mazello, the most talented actor among entire casts in the movie. His part didn't give him many opportunities to show his talent but in those short moments his acting was beautiful and he was able to overshadow others. Despite all these very good performances the most exceptional thing about The River Wild is not the good acting but a beautiful scenery and excellent cinematography that have captured it. Even only this terrific scenery, filmed somewhere in Oregon, is enough to make this movie worth seeing. It's simply beyond my words. Finally, it is worth to mention nice score, written by Jerry Goldmith, with excellent main theme.

In the conclusion The River Wild is not great but quite a good movie, with good casts, acting and one of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. My grade 7,5 or B.


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