12 user

Follow the River (1995)

An "inspirational" saga of a pioneer woman who is abducted by Shawnee Native Americans.


Martin Davidson


James Alexander Thom (novel), Jennifer Miller (teleplay)




Complete credited cast:
Sheryl Lee ... Mary Ingles
Ellen Burstyn ... Gretel
Eric Schweig ... Wildcat
Tim Guinee ... Will
Renée O'Connor ... Bettie Draper
Tyler Noyes Tyler Noyes ... Tommy Ingles
Andy Stahl ... Henry Lenard (as Andrew Stahl)
Gabriel Macht ... Johnny Draper
Tony Amendola ... LaPlante
Sammy D. Miller Sammy D. Miller ... Goulart
Graeme Malcolm Graeme Malcolm ... Buchanan
Juddson Keith Linn Juddson Keith Linn ... Deer Following
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Snake Stick


Mary Ingles is pregnant when she and her two sons are captured from their homestead in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains by the Shawnee tribe. Her husband, Will, narrowly escapes death during the attack. Impressed by her grace under the pressure of captivity, Wildcat, the Shawnee chief, confers special privileges on Mary and her children, eventually proposing that Mary become his mate. Surprised by her attraction to the handsome brave, Mary nonetheless opts to remain faithful to Will and engineers a plan for her escape. Separated from her children, Mary joins another female settler, and together they embark on a harrowing homeward trek. Her odyssey comes full circle more than a decade later when she is finally reunited with her long-lost children. Written by <Goldenshadows@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some frontier violence and mild thematic material | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Andy Stahl and Eric Schweig also acted in Disney's Tom and Huck (1995). See more »


In the scene in which Mary, Tommy and Betty are welcomed into the lodge with the Shawnee woman, Mary confides that she has little breastmilk for her newborn baby (likely due to malnutrition while in captivity). The woman gives her fennel seeds, which Mary then appears to feed directly to the baby. Seeds of any sort are never safe to feed to an infant. While fennel promotes lactation and eases colic, the best utilization is either the mother eating them or making a tea to give to the baby in very small doses. See more »

User Reviews

Hollywood messes up another fine book!
24 March 2004 | by DansLaLuna1See all my reviews

A few years ago, I was at a pub in Santa Monica, CA. Having a beer and reading John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meaney". A man was sitting next to me and we struck up conversation about the book, and if it could be made in to a movie (Which, sad to say, it sort of was in the guise of "Simon Birch", another book ruined by Hollywood, but I digress)This man then asked me what great book I had read which I thought would be a great movie, and I said "Follow the River". I explained the story to him (Mari's review is great)and even that I would cast Eric Schweig as Wildcat. Less than a year later, viola, this god-awful movie shows up on television (and I don't think it was a coincidence). This book is so beautiful, a tale of strong will and courage, overcoming great odd's. And it's turned into American-pie everyone lives happily ever after fodder. Why must Hollywood take wonderful books and ruin them. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Herz einer Unbeugsamen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed