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A River Runs Through It
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  • VISUALLY LYRICAL, SOMEWHAT SLOW, BUT A BEAUTIFUL MOVIE.
    Most negative reviews here grumble about the movie's slowness, which is fair. Yet, despite its lack of event, this nostalgic recollection through one man's memories is a beautiful cinematograph of experience and family values.

    At the very least, you'll remember its stunning landscapes for a long time, particularly the powerful and majestic "Blackfoot River" captured immaculately by the same cinematographer as Dangerous Liaisons. Montana must be a pretty state!

    Robert Redford's voiceover narration in his silken voice is calm, allowing the poetry of Norman Maclean's written words to carry the emotion: "Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it."

    What piqued my attention was its subtheme of the passion for a pursuit -- fly fishing in this case, which is an intrigue to me in itself. As the fishing lines flick and whisk over the whispering river, a low sun sheening the tree-lined horizon, the rhythm of image embraces imagination and meditation. We are close to understanding what Norman means when he says he is "haunted by waters".

    By the time the film comes to its lyrically elegiac end, it has touched your heart and made you think. That is perhaps a good reason in and of itself to watch the movie. Personally, I'd even recommend getting the DVD, it's one you'll watch with kids or people who matter to you....more info

  • Beautiful cinema
    This movie has some amazing cinematography. I've only been to Montana as a kid for very little time, but I wish I could visit again. The movie is about two different brothers brought up in Montana their father plays an important role in the movie also. There are scenes of fly fishing in this movie that are worth the price of admission. Also this film is well narrated by Robert Redford, it never distracted me and that's hard to do with a star that has such a familar voice, but it fits in so well. A gem, that may not be for all action film fans but a drama that will please many....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 WONDERFUL, WHOLESOME FILM FOR THE FAMILY
    A wonderful family-oriented movie with such beauty and heart. It's too bad more film makers can't produce quality movies like this one. This is so-ooo worth seeing! ...more info
  • Top 5 Movies on my List
    This movie is easily on my top five favorite movies of all time. You may call me crazy, because there are a lot of good movies out there, many better known than A River Runs Through It. But it is very rare that a film captures the entire feel and Zeitgeist of a place on earth and in history so well that you are transported there in every sense on the word. When the credits start to roll I can almost feel the time warp, as I slowly begin to realize that I am back in my living room, having spent the last two hours in place the cinematographer has genuinely made come to life. And the story is timeless just by itself. It deals with family, roads we take in life, even love. And it is so well told, with Robert Redford himself reading Norman MacLean's achingly beautiful prose throughout the film as narration, that you cannot help but identify with the characters and feel nostalgic about a simpler life in a simpler world. If you have any doubts about this movie, rent it if you want. I promise you will understand what I mean, because to believe such high praise for something that is afterall just a movie takes a great leap of faith. But I promise you will at least be able to agree that someone in the world could feel that way about this exquisite film....more info
  • Dull Hollywood Tripe
    Here is Hollywood glamorati trying to make us believe in small town virtue so that we will applaude them for their touching heart rending acting. Its tripe and nothing more. There is nothing here that has anything to do with small towns; it is pure Hollywood.

    Not even the slightest attempt to portray a real small town. I mean ... an underground speak-easy club and a gambling club all in the same small rural Montana town. Pleeeze give me a break. This isn't Chicago! There aren't enough people there to support that kind of sin infrastructure.

    The whole movie is so unrealistic, so contrived, so full of paltitudes - it is just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

    Of course in our times it is lauded as a great tribute to rural America, but it is nothing of the sort. Brad baby never has a hair out of place. He is gorgeous in every shot, as is his brother and everyone in town. No dirt under their finger nails. The people who live in that type of town lack hair stylists and manicurists. They don't look like movie stars and don't act like brats from suburbia. The people in those towns are generally not good looking, they are slow, not to energetic and, well, strange. You'll see nothing resembling that in this glamorati vehicle.

    The whole moral is that even if you disgrace your family, even if you are a drunk, a blaggart, a loser, a gambler - you really are perfection if you can fly fish. Virtue reduced to fly fishing - so 90s, so now, so trendy of Hollywood's new love of high priced cabins in Montana and long retreats in the mountains. I may not be so virtuous, but I'm a helluva fly fisherman so that's what counts (substitute "actor" for "fisherman" and you have the formula for Hollywood virtue, i.e. I may be a miserable useless human being but they love me on the big screen).

    As I said tripe. No one will watch this pabula ten years from now. It will be trite and forced like some 50s movie about the perfect man as seen through the myopia of the times....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
  • POSSIBLY THE BEST FILM OF THE 1990s
    This film is hard to describe, but I'll do my best; the interaction between the characters was enjoyable, the beautiful relationships between the people, i.e.: Crag Shaffer (spelling?) and his minister father, as well as Craig Shaeffer's would-be/soon(?)-to-be-wife, and his brother, played by Brad Pitt. This is a warm-hearted film, yet it's melancholly, 'cause like towards the end of the film the narrator says, beautiful things don't last forever. Nothing specific really points to this direction (the sad ending), its just this kinda subliminal feeling the film has, like all the good stuff happening is too good to be true or something. None of the material in this film is boring (unless you want an action film...) nor hokey or sappy or anything. It's a mature blend of everything sweet and beautiful...and melancholly. The very last scene where the narrator reflects on the current state of his life left shivers on my spine. I LOVE this movie!!!...more info
  • a classi movie
    This movie was a big hit when it firs came out in the late 90s. A word of warning this movie has frequent cursing in mild drinking and a couple short scenes with brief nudity. This movie should be for those ages ten and up. It tells the storey of two boys growing up in montanta in the early 1900s. Based of the best selling book made a few years prior to this. This movie will have you laughing at times and crying at others. Don't miss this classic storey, of love, family and forgiveness....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
  • 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
  • One of The One-Hundred Greatest Films Ever Made
    A River Runs Through It is a difficult film to review or even fairly comment upon. It is beautifully-filmed and overflowing with the sort of natural scenery---thick dark forests, cold, free-flowing rivers, wide-open skies---that in most movies would steal the show. It also features a cast of actors, Tom Skerit, Emily Lloyd, Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, giving what I will long remain convinced is the most outstanding performance of their careers. This classic 1991 motion picture (re-)tells the true story of writer Norman Maclean's youth and early adulthood nearly a century ago in the wilds of rural Montana. Norman is a deep, pensive person, in many ways the opposite of his younger brother Paul, a free-spirited daredevil whose adventurous nature is good-hearted but perilous, as everyone around him except Paul himself seems to see. Norman and Paul's father is an upstanding Presbyterian minister whose scholarly erudition and sternly eloquent sermons give way at frequent intervals to undertaking the great passion in his life: fly fishing. The Reverend Maclean loves nothing more than to take his sons to the river to fly fish for trout. On these trips the elder Maclean imparts life's lessons to the boys and passes on words of wisdom they will each go on to recall during the course of their lives.

    Time passes in the film and we leave the boys as youths and rediscover them as young men. A visiting Norman has returned home in the 1920's, having completed college in the east. Paul is now a somewhat infamous regional newspaperman, who uses his articles to skewer corrupt local figures in business and politics. Where Norman is every bit as staid and responsible as his childhood hinted he would grow to be, Paul is a hard-drinking charmer whose fondness for high-stakes poker games in frontier saloons and nights out with the wilder of the local women stands at odds with his upbringing in the respected Maclean household. During the summer that follows Norman's homecoming after graduation, he and his brother and father once again return to the river and fly fish, Norman finds love with a beautiful girl from a neighboring town, and the entire Maclean family watches as Paul slowly destroys himself in a fast life he cannot seem to leave alone. The film tells the kind of engrossing, touching story that very few cinematic works do, and is one of the crowning jewels of modern motion picture achievement. A River Runs Through It is at times funny, at others profound, throughout it radiates its quality, and ultimately...

    And ultimately I hope anyone reading this will see this great film for him or her self....more info
  • Good, but not great.
    I enjoyed the scenery of this movie, which has breathtaking views. The casting was pretty decent as well. The other reviewers are right in the sense that this move does provide a feeling of sentimental values at the ending, but I was quite disappointed with the movie. I couldn't really sense too much of a theme from the movie because the character analyses seemed to be too vague in order for you to completely understand their dynamic nature. The ending, for instance, shocked me. I didn't really see it coming, especially since there was hardly any time for the main characters to reflect upon the action that had taken place, and left me without a sense of closure. The beauty of this movie is very aesthetic, I guess, and for what it is I would say it is a good movie, but not a great one by any means....more info
  • A movie with many facets
    I first saw this movie soon after its 1992 release after reading an article about in a magazine. From a cinematography and emotional level standpoint, I never tire of it. Reading the book about a year later added to my enjoyment as well. MacLean's tight, but flowing style made the timelessness of this parable possible. A very young Brad Pitt gives one of the best performances of his career, but it is the story of the family that makes me want to see it again and again. I have shown it to my English classes for years, and it is a rare student who is disappointed (even though it came out just after they were born)....more info
  • Great Movie
    This is what all movies should strive to be....more info
  • Still waters run deep!
    Add this one to your library. Beautiful scenery, great story and great acting make this film a personal library keeper. This flim clearly showcases two things; namely, Robert Redfords directing genius and Brad Pitts acting depth. I think in many respects A River.... parallels Ordinary People in character, depth and scope. ...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
  • Why I like this movie?
    I'm not much of a fishing movie fan. But after watching this movie over 10 years ago, to make a long story short, I bought a fly fishing reel the next day and once I got the money to buy a fly rod, I bought a nice one. Got addicted to fly fishing and got better at it too. This movie is like a Jeep thing. It's either you like it or you wouldn't understand--the point that is. It's not about the river, it's about men and fishing. It just so happens you need a river to fly fish. Luckily I have one here. ...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
  • A story, an art.
    A movie that had no popular resonance but exemplified the beauty of water, trout, family, the sun, and the richness of life yet unexplored. We are a dying species, this film perhaps captures a few of us who perceive the transience of life and the beauty of seeing into the moment.

    The photography is a wonder, the theme is unique, the message is universal....more info
  • Decent Adaptation of an Average Book
    This 1992 movie has a star-studded cast (Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt) and is a great period piece based on Norman Maclean's autobiography of the same name. Great cinematography, with a meandering story line (to follow the river I'm sure). An overall "nice" film - not hard to watch, but not hard to skip either....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
  • Should be ranked as a classic
    "River" has it all - the sure direction of Redford, excellent script and acting, and the breathtaking beauty of Montana. This is a nuanced film about two brothers on divergent paths and their complicated relationship with each other and their dad. But it's not corny or maudlin. The fly fishing sequences are symbolic in many ways. This is a great film all around, but would be worth buying just for Craig Sheffer's performance alone....more info
  • DOUBLE-SIDED DVD
    Everyone knows the movie so my review is on the DVD itself. This is the first double-sided DVD I've seen. At first I was disappointed for the side I played first was not in letter-box version. The other side was, so I made a lable and put in on the non-letterbox side. Why would this be done? Who would want this movie if not in Cinemascope?...more info
  • 'Ansel Adams meets Elia Kazan' in this awesome film!
    Once upon a time, Hollywood made "films, " and some of these films became the epitdome of art. That talent has all but been forgotten in an era where imagination takes a back seat to the obvious. There used to be a clamor for fine directors and actors who could convey the thoughts and feelings of an author or screenwriter without the use of nudity or foul language. They used to make films without explosions and blood and gore. And those films used to be AND still are better than most anything that Hollywood cranks out today.

    Enter "A River Runs Through It" directed by Robert Redford. This film is a quiet character study that has brilliance in the acting and directing. This is so apparent that you'll find your emotions welling up in you as you watch it. It is such a delicately made film that you'll need to watch it multiple times to understand that the director and actors aren't going to spell out what you should be feeling. They aren't going to speak every emotion they're having - you're going to have to surmise those for yourself. This is so NOT like the films Hollywood makes today. It's a subtle, beautiful film.

    Brad Pitt may have made a mark in the public's collective memory when he appeared shirtless in "Thelma and Louise", but in "A River Runs Through It" he shows his chops and in doing so, let's us know he is an exceedingly talented actor not just a pretty boy.

    Craig Sheffer (has the lead in this film and does a phenomenal job of giving us a young man living with the painful knowledge that he must forever live in the shadow of his younger brother, Paul (Pitt). Though, Norman (Sheffer) is the reliable touchstone, Paul has a remarkable brightness of light that encompasses him.

    Paul is the opposite of Norman emotionally, but they share a common familial bond and a love of fly fishing in the Missoula River. They are able to work out their differences while they fish. Theirs is a relationship that doesn't depend on words, but rather on understanding.

    A River Runs Through It is not unlike the story of the prodigal child, nor is it too far removed to be able to be compared to Elia Kazan's "East of Eden". It, too, was an intelligent film that didn't spell everything out for the viewer.

    The story revolves around Norman and Paul as they grow up in Montana with their minister father and loving mother in the 1920's. Montana, itself, is a character in this film, as Redford shows us its majesty and grandeur without making it feel like a travelogue.

    At once, funny and poignant and heart rending, A River Runs Through It tells us the quiet story of the two brothers growing into manhood and getting on with their lives. It doesn't have car crashes and there's no gratuitous nudity. The script doesn't rely on the screenwriter having a hampered vocabulary, thus forcing him to use expletives instead of true dialogue.

    No, A River Runs Through It depends on talent. Talent from the book it was based on - talent from the screenwriter - talent from the director - and finally, talent from the fine cast of actors.

    After watching this film, I doubt you'll be able to understand why it didn't take every award that Hollywood doles out.

    It doesn't get much better than 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

  • Phenominal!
    At once beautiful, touching, and deeply moving, A River Runs Though It is the story of two boys who charistically different, retain a close bond through their love of fishing in their homtown of Missoula, Montana. Brad Pitt(legends of the fall) does an exceptional job as Paul Maclean, a carefree, daredevil type who has a gambling problem. this performance shows that Brad is not just a pretty boy but also an superb actor. Craig Sheffer gives a spellbinding performance as Norman Maclean, Paul's serious, level headed brother. He seems to radiate an auroa of light that is rare in a acting performance. I love this movie because it shows Montana's natural beauty and the love of two brothers that can never be broken. It also potrays the message; "it's a nice day out, let's go fishing" One more thing to fully appriciate this movie you have to see it!...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
  • A classic.
    The film was so much more enjoyable than "Brokeback Mountain". I really, really enjoyed it. Nuff said.... ...more info
  • Perfect Parents ...
    A River Runs Through It is an excellent title for this tale, based on real events and a book. I will never read the book and I have no television-so obviously I read. The reason I like this Movie is simple-its like reading a book. Great storytelling is what you get. You will never forget this story and you will want to share it with others.
    Robert Redford Directed this film and I hope he knows what an Oscar this little piece of work is.
    When you go to the movies or buy a dvd you are looking for entertainment, sometimes you get more like a feeling you appreciate even being invited to watch=gratitude.
    The Performances are outstanding especially the little boy who plays Pitts character at 6 years old-few seconds on the screen and you will never forget the scene. Of course I could go on about ALL the scences since they were beautifully presented, performed and combined into a gem of a tale. If you are a parent you will LOVE this film and probably understand more as time goes by-every time I see it I find something new and beautiful. It is a Masterpiece of real life intertwined with a common groud of survival- means procreation and evolution. The River is a source for driving the Heart of the story. I imagine there is very few people in the WORlD who could view A River Runs Through It and say they wished they had watched Oprah instead. This movie is about spirit vs. effort and like any great sport the most compelling events involve the team who is simply better at the sport and the team who has heart-those are the games you cannot call no matter the odds. There is no other movie like it. ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • magnificent and dramatic
    Robert Redford has done it again. hes made a movie so memorable that it is great. with a cast like this it makes the film worth while. Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt are brothers, Pitt is the wild one and they have a priest father played awesomely by Tom Skeritt. full of powerful scenes and the tear jereker for some girls when the shocking news of their beloved Brad Pitt dieing...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
  • Better than I expected . . .
    Some years ago my brother had the promotion poster for this movie framed and hanging in a wall of his apartment, my first and only thought was that it was a pretty cool photo.

    But years after that I realized that it was a lot more and better than just that, when I came accross the actual DVD here on Amazon and I decided to give it a try on top of the nice price it was for sale.

    This is a film like those for instance, when it all starts at some point of the characters life and it takes you all the way through their lives until 20 or 30 years later, it is something like The Color Purple, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Green Mile, Driving Miss Daisy and I can keep going on and on . . .
    There are actually a lot of movies in that same path and in my humble and personal opinion, I love them.

    All in all this is a very nice and enjoyable movie, if you are into family issues and traditions and family life and situations in general
    then I would honestly recommend this one for you.

    You will like it and will enjoy it too ! ! ! ...more info
  • I am haunted by waters.
    I have heard it said that Norman Maclean's classic novella "A River Runs Through It" is the finest piece of American literature ever written. I don't understand how things like literature can be ranked in such simple terms. I will say, however, that it is one of my personal favorites. Spare, poetic and spellbinding. Perhaps one of the reasons that I love this novella so is because I grew up on a farm near the Rocky Mountains, and spent so much time when I was younger fishing and tracking through wood and field. Maclean's tale speaks to me of my youth in authentic and familiar terms.

    I generally approach cinematic adaptations of literature, particularly of literature which I hold in such high esteem, with a certain amount of reluctance, even dread. Who could possibly capture the beautiful, simple craftmanship of Maclean's profound prose on celluloid? Evidently, Robert Redford. And he does it with grace and apparent ease. Many of Maclean's efficeintly magnificent words are provided through narration. While I generally find the device of voiceover narration distasteful (primarily because it is so often used to "coach" the viewer), in this case, the viewer is drawn into (and eased out of) Macleans world by Macleans own prose, and nothing could be more appropriate or satisfying. Also, the cinematography is nothing short of spectacular, capturing the magnificent, rugged expanse of Montana's "big sky" wilderness one moment, the golden intimacy of an afternoon on the river the next. I dare say that Redford has captured the essence of Maclean's abiding love for his childhood wilderness in this film, and we, the viewers, are richer for it.

    A River Runs Through It is as close to perfection as I have seen in translating a beloved work of letters onto the cinematic screen. Does it have its flaws? I'm sure it does, and there are other reviews here that will point them out for you if you care. For my part, I wish only to say that this is a story about love, crafted by Maclean with love, and now adapted to the screen by Redford with a care that speaks of love - love of the subject matter and the written words. Macleans last words in the novella (and the movie) are "I am haunted by waters." Thanks to his words, and Redfords faithful adaptation of them, I too am haunted....more info
  • Cinematic Poetry.
    I don't think anybody who has ever visited the American West, particularly the north-western states of Montana and Wyoming, hasn't come away deeply impressed with the majestic beauty of their mountains, rivers, streams, endless skies, prairies and meadows. Many probably went home to find that the photos they took, trying to immortalize their impressions, just didn't seem to do justice to the real thing, and wishing they possessed the craft to adequately capture the region's beauty in images, whether literary or visual. Robert Redford has succeeded to combine words and pictures in this stunning adaptation of Norman Maclean's 1976 autobiographical novella "A River Runs Through It."

    Set in early 20th century rural Montana, this is the coming-of-age story of the author and his brother Paul, sons of a Scottish Presbyterian minister who raised them with both love and sternness and instilled in them, more than anything else, an understanding for the divine beauty of their land, symbolized by and culminating in a fly fisherman's skill in casting his rod, and his ability to become one with the river in which he fishes. For, in Norman Maclean's words, in their family "there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing;" and growing up, the brothers came to believe quite naturally that Jesus's disciples themselves must have been fly fishermen, too; and that consequently every good fly fisherman is closer to the divine than any other human.

    But while they were united by their love for their native land and its rivers and fish, the brothers couldn't have been any more different on a personal level. And thus, this is also a story of brotherly (and parental) love and loss, of the inability to communicate, and of dreams and aspirations nurtured and fatally disappointed. While disciplined, sensible Norman (Craig Sheffer) left Montana for a six-year college education at Dartmouth and ultimately - after having temporarily returned home and taken a bride - to assume a teaching position at the University of Chicago, rebellious Paul (Brad Pitt in a truly career-defining role) knew that he would never leave his home state and "the fish he had not yet caught;" and opted for a journalist's life instead. But ultimately he wasn't able to fight the demons that possessed him; and his parents and brother had to stand by and helplessly watch him embark on a path of self-destruction, reduced to comments on symbolic matters like Paul's decision to change the spelling of their last name by capitalizing the "L" ("Now everybody will think we are Lowland Scots," scorned their father), where to open topicalize their concerns would have destroyed the careful equilibrium of mutual respect, love, hope, caution and guardedness characterizing their relationship. And so, only after Paul's death could his father tell a hesitant Norman that he knew more about his brother than the fact that Paul had been a fine fisherman: "He was beautiful" - and mourn in a sermon, even later, that all too frequently, when looking at a loved one in need, "either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them. We can love completely, without complete understanding."

    Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt are perfectly cast as the earnest, reasonable Norman and his maverick brother Paul, who relies on his innate toughness in his fateful attempt to take life to its limits and still beat the devil, but who also turns the casting of a fishing line into an art form that makes a rainbow rise from the water, and who with his greatest-ever catch stands before his father and brother "suspended above the earth, free from all its laws, like a work of art." Moreover, this movie reunited Robert Redford with Tom Skerritt, with whom he had first shared the screen in the 1962 Korean war drama "War Hunt" (both actors' big-screen debut), and who gives a finely-tuned, sensitive performance as the Reverend Maclean. Notable are also the appearances of Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Maclean and Emily Lloyd as Norman's bride-to-be Jessie. But the movie's true star is Montana itself, particularly its rivers and streams; every frame of Philippe Rousselot's Academy Award-winning cinematography and every sweep of the camera over Montana's magnificent landscape, and along the silver bands of its rivers with their gurgling cataracts and waves curling softly against their banks, powerful testimony to Robert Redford's genuine love and respect for the West and for nature in general; the causes closest to his heart and matched in importance only by his efforts to promote a movie scene outside of Hollywood. And Redford himself assumes the (uncredited) role of the narrator, thus bringing to the screen Norman Maclean's lyrical language and uniting words and pictures in an audiovisual sonnet, subtly accentuated by Mark Isham's gentle score.

    Both movie and novella end with the lines that have given the story its title: "[I]n the half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul; and memories, and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River, and a four-count rhythm, and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one; and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs" - those of Norman Maclean's now-lost loved ones; those he "loved and did not understand in [his] youth." As we have had to learn, it is not only human life that is terminal; even nature itself (including, incidentally, the Macleans' beloved Big Blackfoot River) is not immune to destruction by human carelessness. This movie is a powerful plea to all of us not to wait until it has become too late.

    Also recommended:
    A River Runs through It and Other Stories, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition
    The Norman Maclean Reader
    Norman MacLean (Western Writers)
    The Big Sky
    Desert Solitaire
    Jeremiah Johnson
    The Horse Whisperer
    Legends of the Fall (Deluxe Edition)
    Spy Game (Widescreen Edition)...more info
  • Transendentalism (sp.?)
    Way back in English Lit, University of Oregon, 25 years ago, I remember one idea that that once something achieves perfection in anything, it self distructs, always. A near perfect chair exists, a near perfect painting, a near perfect poem, a near pefect fly fisherman. But none of these exist in a perfect form. There is only one perfection and to attempt to mimimic it assures distruction.

    This movie portrays that notion, just fine....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