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A River Runs Through It


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Product Details

  • Actors: Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Lloyd
  • Directors: Robert Redford
  • Writers: Norman Maclean, Richard Friedenberg
  • Producers: Amalia Mato, Annick Smith, Barbara Maltby, Jake Eberts, Patrick Markey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (417 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767836359
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,540 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A River Runs Through It" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Trailers for "Seven Years in Tibet" and "The Devil's Own"

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r)-winner Robert Redford (Best Director, Ordinary People, 1980) captures the majesty ofthe Montana wilderness and the strength of the American family in this acclaimed adaptation of Norman Maclean's classic memoir. Craig Sheffer stars as the young Norman, and Brad Pitt stars as his brother Paul, an irresistible daredevil driven to challenge the world. Growing up, both boys rebel against their stern minister father. While Norman channels his rebellion into writing, Paul descends a slippery path to self-destruction. Co-starring Tom Skerritt as the Reverend Maclean and Emily Lloyd as wild-hearted Jessie Burns.

Customer Reviews

A terrific story with good acting, great scenery.
deweyc
This is a most beautiful film, it is story of a man looking back on his life and the love and bond he had with his brother.
EM
Everything, every emotion in life is captured so beautifully in this film.
Marshall L. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on March 9, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Warren Anderson on April 1, 2006
Format: DVD
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.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "lecorel@hotmail.com" on November 1, 2000
Format: DVD
A River Runs Through It is one of those films that can be watched over and over. The movie focases on the lives of two brothers(Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer) growing up in Montana and the different paths they take. The sons of a minister(played well by Tom Skerrit) they are brought up religiously with two faiths, the church and fishing. Eventually Normon(Scheffer) goes away to school and Paul(Pitt) stays at home and becomes a newspaper reporter. Years later, after finishing his degree, Normon returns to Montana to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. While he was away Paul has developed some bad habbits, namely gambling. Everyone in the family is aware of the problem but doesn't seem to want to confront it. Instead they go fishing and catch up on old times. Normon meets a local girl at a dance and begins courting her. This leads to a hillarious incident involving her brother, who is a compulsive liar and a drunk. Eventually Normon settles on what he wants to do and Paul's problems come back to haunt him. Robert Redford's excellent directing, along with strong performances, and breathtaking cinematography make this a very charming film. It is worth seeing, again and again.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on January 17, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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