6.4/10
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78 user 53 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
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Meryl Streep ... Gail Hartman
Joseph Mazzello ... Roarke Hartman
Stephanie Sawyer ... Willa
David Strathairn ... Tom
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:

The River Wild See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,214,450, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$46,816,343

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$94,216,343
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

Kevin Bacon starred in a movie seven years earlier called White Water Summer, in which he also played a villainous character in a movie that dealt with white water rafting. 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.
See more »

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 Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Psalm 69
Written by Al Jourgensen (as A. Jourgensen) and Paul Barker (as P. Barker)
Performed by Ministry
Courtesy of Sire Records
By arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Streep rides the rapids and has Bacon for breakfast
14 August 2001 | by GeofbobSee all my reviews

Meryl Streep plays a part out of her normal range in Curtis Hanson's 1994 actioner, as an expert whitewater rafter, who has to save herself and her son - eventually with the aid of hubby - from a couple of desperados, who insist on being taken through some awesome rapids. I don't know how much was Streep, how much stunt-double, and how much effects, but her character emerges as a convincing woman of action who is also an anxious mother.

Kevin Bacon is very effective as a regular guy, who just happens to be a psychotic criminal in his off moments; John C Reilly plays his weak, shifty sidekick; and Joseph Mazzello is the son, who initially finds Bacon more fun than his dad. It is David Strathairn, though, who for me takes the male acting honours, as a distant, serious-minded husband and father, who gets going when the going gets tough - though luckily, through thick and thin, he never loses his glasses!

There is more than a touch of Deliverance, and the ending is pre-ordained; but the film is entertaining and gripping throughout, and is aided by some breathtaking Rockies scenery, beautifully shot. (There's a faithful dog too!)


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