5.4/10
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6 user 4 critic

River Made to Drown In (1997)

Allen, a struggling young artist who once survived by working in the streets, is now involved with Eva, a wealthy Los Angeles gallery owner. Quite by surprise Allen receives a visit from an... See full summary »

Director:

James Merendino

Writer:

Paul Marius
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Chamberlain ... Thaddeus MacKenzie
Michael Imperioli ... Allen Hayden
Ute Lemper ... Eva Kline
James Duval ... Jaime
Austin Pendleton ... Billy
Talia Shire ... Jaime's Mother
Mike Starr ... Frank
Richard Riehle ... Heavyset Man
Michael Saucedo ... Luis
James Karen ... Ray
Michael Kearns Michael Kearns ... Arthur
Michael O'Hagan Michael O'Hagan ... Jack
Lewis Arquette ... Vagabond
Paul Marius Paul Marius ... Turk
Jon Powell ... Martin
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Storyline

Allen, a struggling young artist who once survived by working in the streets, is now involved with Eva, a wealthy Los Angeles gallery owner. Quite by surprise Allen receives a visit from an old john, Thaddeus, who is dying from aids and has come to spend his last days somewhere humble ans spare. Allen reluctantly takes him in, straining his relationship with Eva, who slowly discovers the truth about their past. When Thaddeus implores Allen to find Jamie, a young hustler he had once tried to rescue, Allen returns to the streets where he must choose between what he left behind and the uncertainty that lies ahead. Written by Alie Heidema <heidema@wxs.nl>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Allen Hayden: Don't get involved, it's a waste of time! I just wanna push my bullshit, eat, sleep, fuck and finally die. That's all!
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User Reviews

And The Band Played On
8 March 2008 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

As that renowned philosopher Roseanne Roseannadanna used to tell Jane Curtin on "Saturday Night Live": "Well Jane, it's always something". No truer words were ever spoken. If it's not discrimination or rejection or hate crimes, it's some awful illness. And whatever it is, that something gives us permission to drown our sorrow in our beer, or our soup, or our birthday cake.

And so, self-loathing Thaddeus (Richard Chamberlain) exudes resentment and bitterness in a charming sort of way, as he calls on his old friend Allen (Michael Imperioli) to help him fulfill one last dream, before he dies. Allen resists, and tons of dialogue ensues.

Because much of the plot takes place indoors, and because the script is so talky, the story might have had more success as a Broadway play, where melancholy melodrama can be more appreciated. Most the film's characters, not just Thaddeus, have reached the end of the line, with little or no hope for the future, and with no dreams left to pursue. The story is an orgy of sentimental pathos.

But at least the film gives us some insight into the artistic temperament. Richard Chamberlain's performance is entertaining, if perhaps a tad hammy. The film's score varies from jazzy to mournful. Production design is modest. Color cinematography is conventional.

With its explicit references to Buddhism, and its cynical and fatalistic themes, the film will be too alien and bleak for most viewers. But as art-house story material, the film has thematic depth in human tragedy. As such, "A River Made To Drown In", while not nearly as good, reminds me a lot of one of its better predecessors, the landmark movie: "The Boys In The Band" (1970).


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 2003 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Cicatrizes do Passado See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Island Park Films Inc. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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