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A River Runs Through It
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  • A Return To God's Land
    Robert Redford's _A River Runs Through It_ is a movie based on the autobiographical novel by Norman MacLean. The setting for this movie is the picteresque river country of Missoula, Montana. The story is told through the eyes of Norman MacLean, who reflects on his life of love, schooling, hardship, and fishing. Norm begins the story relaying the details of his father (Tom Skeritt), the minister and his quick-tempered younger brother Paul, played by Brad Pitt. As the picture progresses Norm tells of how is life revolved around to things: God and fly fishing. As Norm and Paul get older they split their ways. Norm aims for a life of academics and teaching in the Northeast, and Paul becomes a newspaperman in Montana with a nasty habit for gambling, fighting, and drinking. When Norm returns home after many years, he finds that things are no longer as he left them. It takes a reuniting with his father and brother and a new-found love to find out who he is and what he has lost....more info
  • a cinematic sucess
    A River Runs Through It fits into the elite category of movies that can be enjoyed by audiences ranging from pubescent boys and girls to nursing home residents.
    The movie owes much of its success to two eye-catching elements: the cinematography and Brad Pitt.
    Set on the banks of Montana's Blackfoot River around World War I, A River Runs Through It tracks two brothers' coming of age. Norman the poet (Craig Sheffer) and Pauley the playboy (Pitt) grow from playful youngsters into scheming teenagers and then become individual adults with only one thing to keep them connected to each other: fly fishing. It is based on Norman Maclean's autobiographical novel of the same name and was released in late 1992.
    Unlike many of other movies, A River Runs Through It exists with only an ounce of cheesy romance. Richard Friedenberg's writing revolves around a simple plot and sticks to it. The story focuses on the metamorphosing relationship of siblings from childhood to adulthood and the narration gives it a "The Wonder Years" sort of feel. Each character, no matter how minor, is well-developed. They lead happy-go-lucky lives where everything is fine and dandy, unless you break the golden rule. "In Montana there's three things we're never late for: church, work and fishing," says Paul.
    As much a part of this story as the script and characters is the setting. Sunbeams streaming past lush clouds, through tall trees and falling onto crashing waters are the backdrop of the film. Philippe Rousselot, who won an Oscar for this film's cinematography, captures the simple beauty of nature in the arc of fish leaping over water and a fiery, red-orange sun washing over neverending plains of tall grain.
    While most of the people in A River Runs Through It are customary and not very memorable, Pitt's Paul Maclean stands out as the beautiful sore thumb of Missoula, Montana. Aside from the repeated image of his sun-washed chest wading above the clear waters, he transforms to dancing a jig, brawling inside a speak-easy and drowning his worries away over shots of whiskey, to being a mama's boy for a brief second. This is the film that well-deservedly gave Pitt's acting credibility.
    It is no coincidence that Pitt bears a striking resemblance to a young Robert Redford throughout the film. Redford, who directed and co-produced A River Runs Through It, cast himself as the ever-present narrator and, undoubtedly, wants his presence felt in every aspect of the film that is now a classic.
    A River Runs Through It utilizes the best of each film element - from acting to writing to cinematography - to produce a piece enjoyable to a wide audience....more info
  • Admittedly, not for everyone.
    Some people will complain that it's pace is slow, while others will praise it's deliberateness. Some will say it's boring, while others will say it is restrained. All in all, I think your mood when you see it will most impact your opinion. That being said, I found the film to have an almost magical quality as it tells the story of a family trying to make their way in a changing world. If you demand quick edits, a high-concept plot, and cliched paper-thin drama, the movie certainly is not for you. If you can accept the pacing, this movie cuts deep....more info
  • Eventually All Things Merge Into One, And A River Runs Through It...
    A River Runs Through It is a haunting, powerful, nostalgic, drama directed by Robert Redford and based upon the autobiographical novella by Norman McLean. The film follows the McLean family growing up in rural Missoula Montana, raised on a steady diet of fly fishing and strict religious conservatism. The film embodies strong messages about the human condition and man's struggle against himself and his external reality. Showcasing the incredible acting abilities of a young Brad Pitt, breathtaking cinematography, and a lush sweeping score by Mark Isham, A River Runs Through It is simply one of the finest coming of age family dramas ever created. Won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

    The film opens with a shot of the river, and then a montage of sepia tone photographs of Missoula Montana in the 1930's. Redford memorably recreates the period, in an ode to early America. Norman McLean is (voice over narration by Robert Redford) recalling the memories of his life since past. We learn that he and his brother Paul (Brad Pitt) were brought up by his strict Presbyterian preacher father (Tom Skerrit), in an extremely conservative environment, their father introducing them to fly fishing, and yet making no clear distinction between the two. Although it will come to serve as a counter point to their religious grounding (Freedom versus Restraint). Fly fishing serves as a metaphor for the way that each son will approach life, literally and symbolically. The River (Water) is a constant motif in the film that also serves as the never-ending physical and emotional challenge that will eventually shape their destinies.

    We learn that Paul (Brad Pitt) is the rebellious younger brother, who "toughness came from somewhere deep inside of him", while Norman (Craig Sheffer) is the more conservative brother. In an early scene, Paul further rebels and refuses to eat his food. We watch the boys grow up. Paul comes up with an idea to steal a rowboat and "shoot the chutes", (ride the boat down the huge waterfall) everyone else chickens out when they finally reach the river, except Paul and Craig. Craig reluctantly goes along with his brother's impulsive urges, for fear of looking afraid. Back at home, the boys are confronted by their distraught parents, who found out from another one of the boys parents. Their father tells them that they will go to church and pray for forgiveness. The next morning during lunch, Norman and Paul engage in a brawl that is a result of their two personalities clashing. We hear that was the only time they ever fought. Norman is accepted into Dartmouth College on the east coast, while Paul stays in Montana. This begins to foreshadow Paul's inability to change his situation, while Norman has the means to seek his own path. Four years later, Norman returns home, Paul has taken a job as a Helena reporter, and developing as a fly fisherman. In their first fishing trip together, we learn that Paul has broken free from the structure of his father's "four count rhythm" and developed a more improvisational technique called "shadow casting". We begin to see how fly fishing will symbolize the course of Paul's life.

    Norman meets a pretty girl named Jessie Burns (Emily Lloyd) at the local fourth of July dance in an awkward encounter. He makes arrangements to see her again, and they meet Paul and his Indian girlfriend one night. Paul, has brought his Native American partner along, (a statement to the rebellion of his character) and causes some commotion at the bar. We meet Jessie's brother Neal, who is visiting from California, an arrogant, self flattering drunk, who is the heart of the Burn's family. Norman agrees to take Jessie's brother Neal fishing one day, and they return to find Neal and his friend passed out in the sun among a couple of empty beer bottles. In a mirrorlike situation, Jessie and her brother are symbolic of Paul and Norman. Jessie as Norman, and Neal as Paul. (note the similarity in name) Jessie asks Norman "How come the people who need the most help, won't take it." Norman is not able to answer her, and it is through their relationship that we begin to see the McLean's more clearly.

    The film slowly unfolds itself, letting the viewer appreciate it's subtle yet powerful storylines. Perhaps it is so effective because it appears matter of factly. It does not come across heavy handedly. Norman is called by the police station to pick his brother up one day, having gotten into a fight over his girlfriend. Paul becomes increasingly in debt at the local gambling house, and has also become an alcoholic. As his life slowly spirals into oblivion, he is unaware of the consequences of his actions. Norman immediately recognizes the destructive path that his brother is heading towards and offers to help. Paul stubbornly refuses to take the money and help that his brother has offered to him. Norman has been accepted to teach at the University of Chicago and urges Paul to come with him. Paul realizes that he will never leave Montana, and so does Norman. In the family's final fly fishing trip together, Paul has seemingly transcended the art of fly fishing, having mastered his method of "shadow casting", and makes an incredible catch. Paul has ironically found freedom from his father's religious upbringing through fly fishing, although he is simultaneously being destroyed by his own rebellion. We are presented with the duality of man and his conflicting inner desires to find equilibrium on many levels. Although Paul has found peace with nature, he is struggling to resolve inner demons that plague him. The inner demons that will eventually destroy him.

    Redford's commentary on the healing power of nature and the stubbornness of the human spirit is a a testament to man's universal struggle against himself. Indirectly, we recognize that there is only so much a family or person can do to protect someone. We realize that love is simply not enough, and that eventually a person will take their own path that they were meant to take. The River ultimately symbolizes the destinations that are unstoppable as much as nature itself is unstoppable. Everyone's course is their own. In its ambiguity and power, it is at once haunting and beautiful.

    *The rerelease A River Runs Through It contains a brand new Anamorphic widescreen presentation, the image is stunning, although "Deluxe Edition" is misleading. Aside from trailers, text only filmographies, and a collectible scrapbook, there are no additional special features*...more info
  • Spellbinding! Big Sky is calling...
    The narrative of Robert Redford is captivating, uplifting, and graceful. 'On the banks of the Big Blackfoot River....' a place I've been, and long to return. Nothing, el zippo, tops the splendor and majesty of Montana, nothing even comes close! It's timeless valleys, raging aqua-tinted torrents, and green alpine towns and villages dispersed all throughout its western landscapes define 'National Treasure.' Missoula, Montana, home to the Maclean family, is a good old fashioned town of turmoil and unsetteldness squaring off against an unmistakable serenity with nature's works and ways. 'To the beat of a four count rhythm....' might not be the most instructive of flyfishing casting approaches (I've lost many a woolybugger in willow trees climbable only by the most inane of flytiers), but it makes for undulating cinema. 'Oh I could never leave Montana brother...' is a line beckoning truth; after visiting Montana on several occasions (first was an Amtrack train ride in '94... ok a person could easily get up and go from Havre, MT) getting to catch sights of Glacier to the north, the Bitterroot range in the south, and all that lies in between (e.g. Flathead Lake)....there are no fleeting instincts. A geologist could be lost in paradise in, say, Yellowstone for ages, not even taking into consideration the abundance of mountain ranges lining Montana's western front - stretching north to south, from Great Falls to Anaconda. Redford's directing brings along the viewer through every imaginable trace of landmark - riverbanks, pubs, train stations, backyard fields with forest and mountain top afar, and even a couple sunburned rawhides! Not a favorite still shot. Boats are stolen, category 'forget about it' white waters are paddled through, unpaid gambling wagers bring conflict wrought with misunderstanding, dinner table discussions of Calvin Coolidge's fishing secret '...what are they bitin on?....The end of my line!' and job satisfaction are brought up, shortcuts winding their way through train tunnels are taken, and in the end, reflection and memories are revealed in honest fashion. Verdant pastures and picueresque backdrops steal the film's premise, offering more than just basic storyline. But the moment of closure is why I adore Robert Redford's film set in Missoula....in addition to the melancholic violin intermezzos.
    'On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.'
    Anyone ever visiting Montana will register in their sights and other senses this inescapable impression. Don't forget, if you're going to fish these pristine waters (i.e. Yellowstone, Clearwater Creek, Madison, Bighorn, Big Hole, Gallatin, Beaverhead, Kootenai Rivers), catch-and-release is the only real keeper! A River Runs Through It is a Montana dreamscape. Once more, if going there, remember to 'Enjoy the Silence.' ...more info
  • Critics just make me laugh
    "Preachy"? "Self-Important"???? Good grief... Some people just feel the need to throw insults at anything. This movie was a rock solid story of a family conflicted on many different levels, but love still remained. Togetherness still remained, no matter how far apart they were physically, or the depths one of them may fall. What a great movie this was. Also, the cinematography and music was outstanding, capturing every moment. It's a shame that some people forget about the entire scope of a film, and just want to jump on the negatives. You'd really have to go out of your way and come up with BS like "self-important", or start jumping on the "Hollywood liberals" to rate this any less than 4 stars....more info
  • What means ygItyh in the title?
    Where does a river run through? Through a town or a forest?
    No, it runs through his memory. I deeply sympathized with main character?fs, Norman?fs, love for his hometown, river and his brother, because I was born and raised in a city with a river, and I have a sister, too.
    This movie is actually two brothers (Norman and Paul) and their father?fs story. They all loved fishing, and used to go to the river to fish. Norman, the elder brother, loved his family, especially, his brother, Paul, but he could not help Paul when a tragic accident occurred. Fishing and the river remind the aged Norman of the old days and his brother.
    Beautiful pictures and beautiful, beautiful Brad Pitt make this movie worth seeing, even if you do not have a brother or a sister or the memory of a river....more info
  • A classic......
    Great movie!

    One of Brad Pitt's many, many great movies!

    A great story with great characters!

    If by some chance, you haven't seen it, watch it!!...more info
  • Great Movie
    This is what all movies should strive to be....more info
  • Outstanding
    Outstanding movie, and acting. Watch it over and over again. Too bad it spawned so many idiot "wannabes" to pick up a fly rod and clog the riverbanks....more info
  • would buy from them again, great doing business with them
    just like i said good doing business with them, and to just let u know i liked the other form u had for review and rate this item...more info
  • Beautifully Done!
    This is a spectacullar film! It sows the seeds of thought in the viewer and shows how powerful an impact a film can have.

    The movie focases on the lives of two brothers played by Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer. It follows their lives as they grow up in Montana under the strict rules of their father (Tom Skerrit), the local preacher. The movie also explores the different paths that two boys with the same up-bringing can take.

    Robert Redford's excellent directing, and narration, along with strong performances by a well know cast, and the breathtaking cinematography make this a very memorable film....more info

  • A Pile of Crap
    If there was somthing for NO stars, I would rate it that. This is the worst movie I have ever seen. It's beyond boring, there is no climax at all. The movie just drags on about some guy and his family. Hell, if this is such a great hit, maybe my dog can star in the sequel....more info
  • Unabashed fan
    The original short story is a better story, but I am an unabashed fan of watching the fly fishing and seeing the beautiful mountain scenery in this visually gorgeous film.

    Brad Pitt shows real acting genius in this one, too....more info

  • Stunning Scenery, Wonderful Story...and Brad Pitt too!
    This review refers to the Columbia/Tristar DVD edition of "A River Runs Through It"...

    Even with Brad Pitt co-starring in this film, it was the awesome cinematography that kept me mesmerized. Filmed in the lush mountains and rivers of Montana, director Robert Redford and Director of Photography Phillipe Rousselot(who won an Oscar for his work on this film)capture the beauty of this land and the story.

    Based on a autobiographical novella by Norman Maclean, we are swept back to the earlier part of the 20th century with the Maclean family. Family, church and Fly fishing came above all else. Norman, played at the younger age by newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt(who was honored with the Young Artists award in 1993 for his performance), and his younger brother Paul are close and come from a loving but highly disciplined household, run by their stern father(Tom Skerritt) the Reverend of the small town church. The Rev. is strict when it comes to their education, but a big part of that education is the freedom to fly-fish, enjoyed by all the Maclean men.

    We watch as Norman and Paul grow into men(Craig Scheffer/Brad Pitt) and how differently their lives turn out. Norman grows into a fine scholar, but Paul takes a different path. His is one of a rebel, who finds trouble at every turn. But always they have their love for each other, their family, and their love of fly-fishing. Paul turns it into an art that is a sight to behold in that beautiful Montana scenery.

    Other fine performances are turned in by Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Maclean, Emily Lloyd as Jessie Burns, the girl Norman loses his heart to and Vann Gravage who plays the young Paul. A beautiful music score by Mark Isham adds greatly to the view without being obtrusive to the story. A fine screenplay by Richard Freidenberg will draw you in and keep you there. It's a great break from action movies without getting overly dramatic.

    It is rated PG, but probably not appropiate for the younger viewers, there are some adult themes as well as brief nudity.

    Columbia has done justice to this beautifully filmed movie in it's transfer to DVD. Just Gorgeous! Remastered in anamorphic widescreen(if you prefer full screen, that is on side B)with excellent clarity of the colors as well as the picture. The sound remastered in Dolby 2.0 Surround was very good, but I would have loved to hear it in 5.1. It may be viewed in French, Spanish(also stereo),or Portuguese(mono), and has subtitles in these languages as well as English. There are theatrical trailers and Talent files, but no other special features.

    If your in the mood for a great action thriller, this is NOT it! This is a film to just sit back and savor.....Oh and I really did enjoy Brad Pitt's performance(almost as much as the scenery)...enjoy....Laurie

    also recommended:
    Meet Joe Black
    The Color Purple
    Studs Lonigan (1960)...more info
  • Eventually All Things Merge Into One, And A River Runs Through It...
    A River Runs Through It is a haunting, powerful, nostalgic, drama directed by Robert Redford and based upon the autobiographical novella by Norman McLean. The film follows the McLean family growing up in rural Missoula Montana, raised on a steady diet of fly fishing and strict religious conservatism. The film embodies strong messages about the human condition and man's struggle against himself and his external reality. Showcasing the incredible acting abilities of a young Brad Pitt, breathtaking cinematography, and a lush sweeping score by Mark Isham, A River Runs Through It is simply one of the finest coming of age family dramas ever created. Won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

    The film opens with a shot of the river, and then a montage of sepia tone photographs of Missoula Montana in the 1930's. Redford memorably recreates the period, in an ode to early America. Norman McLean is (voice over narration by Robert Redford) recalling the memories of his life since past. We learn that he and his brother Paul (Brad Pitt) were brought up by his strict Presbyterian preacher father (Tom Skerrit), in an extremely conservative environment, their father introducing them to fly fishing, and yet making no clear distinction between the two. Although it will come to serve as a counter point to their religious grounding (Freedom versus Restraint). Fly fishing serves as a metaphor for the way that each son will approach life, literally and symbolically. The River (Water) is a constant motif in the film that also serves as the never-ending physical and emotional challenge that will eventually shape their destinies. We learn that Paul (Brad Pitt) is the rebellious younger brother, who "toughness came from somewhere deep inside of him", while Norman (Craig Sheffer) is the more conservative brother. In an early scene, Paul further rebels and refuses to eat his food. We watch the boys grow up. Paul comes up with an idea to steal a rowboat and "shoot the chutes", (ride the boat down the huge waterfall) everyone else chickens out when they finally reach the river, except Paul and Craig. Craig reluctantly goes along with his brother's impulsive urges, for fear of looking afraid. Back at home, the boys are confronted by their distraught parents, who found out from another one of the boys parents. Their father tells them that they will go to church and pray for forgiveness. The next morning during lunch, Norman and Paul engage in a brawl that is a result of their two personalities clashing. We hear that was the only time they ever fought. Norman is accepted into Dartmouth College on the east coast, while Paul stays in Montana. This begins to foreshadow Paul's inability to change his situation, while Norman has the means to seek his own path. Four years later, Norman returns home, Paul has taken a job as a Helena reporter, and developing as a fly fisherman. In their first fishing trip together, we learn that Paul has broken free from the structure of his father's "four count rhythm" and developed a more improvisational technique called "shadow casting". We begin to see how fly fishing will symbolize the course of Paul's life. Norman meets a pretty girl named Jessie Burns (Emily Lloyd) at the local fourth of July dance in an awkward encounter. He makes arrangements to see her again, and they meet Paul and his Indian girlfriend one night. Paul, has brought his Native American partner along, (a statement to the rebellion of his character) and causes some commotion at the bar. We meet Jessie's brother Neal, who is visiting from California, an arrogant, self flattering drunk, who is the heart of the Burn's family. Norman agrees to take Jessie's brother Neal fishing one day, and they return to find Neal and his friend passed out in the sun among a couple of empty beer bottles. In a mirrorlike situation, Jessie and her brother are symbolic of Paul and Norman. Jessie as Norman, and Neal as Paul. (note the similarity in name) Jessie asks Norman "How come the people who need the most help, won't take it." Norman is not able to answer her, and it is through their relationship that we begin to see the McLean's more clearly. The film slowly unfolds itself, letting the viewer appreciate it's subtle yet powerful storylines. Perhaps it is so effective because it appears matter of factly. It does not come across heavy handedly. Norman is called by the police station to pick his brother up one day, having gotten into a fight over his girlfriend. Paul becomes increasingly in debt at the local gambling house, and has also become an alcoholic. As his life slowly spirals into oblivion, he is unaware of the consequences of his actions. Norman immediately recognizes the destructive path that his brother is heading towards and offers to help. Paul stubbornly refuses to take the money and help that his brother has offered to him. Norman has been accepted to teach at the University of Chicago and urges Paul to come with him. Paul realizes that he will never leave Montana, and so does Norman. In the family's final fly fishing trip together, Paul has seemingly transcended the art of fly fishing, having mastered his method of "shadow casting", and makes an incredible catch. Paul has ironically found freedom from his father's religious upbringing through fly fishing, although he is simultaneously being destroyed by his own rebellion. We are presented with the duality of man and his conflicting inner desires to find equilibrium on many levels. Although Paul has found peace with nature, he is struggling to resolve inner demons that plague him. The inner demons that will eventually destroy him.

    Redford's commentary on the healing power of nature and the stubbornness of the human spirit is a a testament to man's universal struggle against himself. Indirectly, we recognize that there is only so much a family or person can do to protect someone. We realize that love is simply not enough, and that eventually a person will take their own path that they were meant to take. The River ultimately symbolizes the destinations that are unstoppable as much as nature itself is unstoppable. Everyone's course is their own. In its ambiguity and power, it is at once haunting and beautiful.

    *The rerelease A River Runs Through It contains a brand new Anamorphic widescreen presentation, the image is stunning, although "Deluxe Edition" is misleading. Aside from trailers, text only filmographies, and a collectible scrapbook, there are no additional special features*...more info
  • A River Runs Through It...
    This film is a true masterpiece. While I teach this movie, I watch it five times a day and I still can't keep my eyes off of it. This is one of the only films that is better than the book! The acting is subtle and superb. The story is as timeless as it is tragic. Own this movie....more info
  • Sublime, Picturesque, an Ode to the American Land
    I have seen all the films directed by Robert Redford and appreciated his love of the American people and the land. In A River Runs Through It, Redford displays the lyric romanticism and visual splendor of the high Rocky Mountins of Montana as if he were a 19th century landscape painter of the ilk of Thomas Moran or Albert Bierstadt. This film makes love to the visual and the word, with text by author Norman Maclean, and stunning camera work by Phillippe Rousselot (Serpent's Kiss, Reigne Margot).

    Redford's cast is perfect. Tom Skerritt is the Rev. MacLean, a man whose methods of education include fly fishing as well as the Bible, Brenda Blythen, the mother, and his sons, Craig Schaffer and Brad Pitt create a family whose interactions reflect the same problems all encounter with growing teenage sons, and later, complex young men. Both Schaffer and Pitt are totally believable as the brothers whose love of fly fishing and each other will tie them together forever. It is the relationships between men, father and sons, brothers, and their women to the outside world that grounds A River Runs Through It to a vein of storytelling that is missing in so many of Hollywood films produced in recent years.

    What makes these relationships special however, is the attention Redford gives to the language as spoken in dialogue. This is a literate script, beautiful to hear and unforgettable when coupled with the stunning Montana rivers and mountains. The words and setting are equal to performances by a cast that rises to their material. While the idea of fly fishing may seem an odd device to center a story, it is not so implausible in Redford's directorial hands. Given the material, Redford's ode to a simpler time and life is worth revisiting again and again. This treasure of a film should be included in every collection....more info

  • Great movie, but just in case...
    I love this movie. We try to teach modesty in our home. And I just wanted to say there was a small clip in this movie showing the back sides of some persons. It is a funny part and not sexual in any way. But still, I think that parents should know about this....more info
  • Wonderful Film By Robert Redford!
    When this film was first released, some critics called it more a travel commercial for Montana than anything else, since it so lovingly handles the scenes of the family members involved in the sacrament of fly-fishing. For those of us who fell in love with the original novel celebrating the ways in which the fishing proclivities of these two brothers framed the outlines of a wonderful story about coming of age, and the tragedy of personal misdirection, this film adaptation by Robert Redford strikes a responsive chord. As he did in "the Natural' and also in "The Horse Whisperer", Redford uses the staggering beauty of the natural environment to emphasize in boldface the ways in which each of us makes decisions as to how to conduct ourselves in ways that either foster our own development and growth, on the one hand, or to take a more sinister route, on the other.

    Brad Pitt is perfectly cast here, in the first opportunity he had to show his amazing acting range as the brother hell-bent on doing things the hard and ultimately destructive way in stark contrast to his older brother, played well by Craig Sheffer, who seems more grounded, better oriented, and more likely to be able to carry out his dreams, which ultimately take him away from his beloved Montana. The story basically revolves around the ways in which the choices each makes based on their own needs, perceptions, and personality seals their fates. In this sense it is as much a morality play as a story about the ways in which love and involvement don't necessarily cure all ills. Of course, it is also a story about the relationship each of the brothers has with their father, a minister who considers fishing more a religious activity than a sport. Yet Pitt's character, a natural fly-fisherman who casts like a dream, is unable to translate this particular form of genius into his own personal life to give him either peace or happiness.

    It is a lovely film, a terrific period piece, and a lovingly directed bit of transformation of a superb novel to the silver screen. We see so many characteristic Redford touch that one really can watch the movie just for the fishing scenes and come away dazzled by the way he employs the camera in a way that catches the marvel of Montana so unforgettably. I love this film. Enjoy!...more info

  • Beautiful
    I've heard naysayers badmouth this movie, but I've never understood it. They use descriptors such as "preachy", "overly dramatic", "self-important", and so on. Good grief! What are you, bait fishers (not that there's anything wrong with that)? This is the story of this man's family, and it is truly beautiful.

    I guide trout fishing trips in Missouri, so, of course, I love this movie partly for the fishing. This film explained my fly-fishing passion to my wife more effectively than my words and dragging her along on a few fishing trips ever could. The scenes are filmed magnificantly and are done in such a way that you can follow the logic and instinct that each fisherman uses to catch each fish. However, the story is so much more than this.

    The story begins with Norman making note that there was never a clear line between religion and fly-fishing in his family, and that parallel continues throughout the story and his life. Success as a fly-fisherman is based on knowledge, physical skill, intuition, and emotion, but balance is also required. That balance only comes through spirituality, whether you are stiving to be a Godly person, or whether you simply commune with nature in a spiritual fashion. Without balance, a tangled line can cause you to pull your hair out. With balance, even the most unsuccessful fishing trip brings joy. And so Norman stuggles with understanding his younger brother Paul, who has attained such miraculous balance on the river, but whose life away from the river is rapidly spinning out of control. In the end, the observant viewer should recognize that it is Paul's pride that eventually leads to his downfall, and it is the family's failure at their attempts to rescue Paul that they continue to struggle with the remainder of their lives as well.

    Norman spends his life trying to tap into God's balance through fly-fishing in the hopes that he will someday understand what happened to his family and why. Perhaps finally writing his book helped him to answer a few of those questions.

    Walt Fulps
    http://www.MissouriTroutHunter.com...more info
  • Lyrical and luminous
    One of the all-time best movies ever made, this lyrical and nostalgic film made by multi-talented Robert Redford lives on a long time after the final credits have rolled. It's a screenplay written from a very short coming-of-age-in-Montana memoir by Norman MacLean. A River Runs Through It concerns the lives of two brothers (one steady and reliable, the other a bit of a wild scamp - that would be Brad Pitt). Their minister father is the quintessential early century patriarch who gives both sons the gift of the art, beauty, dance, mystery, and sacrament of fly fishing, a strong metaphor for Life itself.
    Trouble sets in when the younger boy gets into serious gambling/drinking, and the family bonds are tested in ways they never expected.
    Beautiful screenplay, stellar acting, gorgeous cinematography. Just simply one of the best....more info