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The River Why [Blu-ray] (2010)

Zach Gilford , Amber Heard , Matthew Leutwyler  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, William Hurt, Dallas Roberts, Kathleen Quinlan
  • Directors: Matthew Leutwyler
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • DVD Release Date: November 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,553 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Sick of living in a home shrouded with secrets, lies and a smothering sense of competition, Gus (Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights) runs away from home and the shadow of his famous fly-fishing father (William Hurt). Determined to live life like he wants it, Gus makes his new home in a secluded cabin on the banks of a river where he plans to fish all day. Instead, he is propelled into a quest for self-discovery. An assortment of eccentric characters, including a free-spirited girl (Amber Heard, Zombieland) who shares his fondness for fishing, helps him find his way toward adulthood. Based on a book that has become a cult classic and set in the breathtaking wilds of Oregon, The River Why will cast a spell on your heart.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Note: Almost as interesting as the film itself is the troubled back story of its creation. David James Duncan's beloved 1983 novel has long been considered a tricky proposition to adapt to film due to the story's internal monologue and metaphorical quest for self-knowledge and enlightenment. The author, himself, fought a legal battle against this interpretation with claims of copyright infringement among other allegations with the case settled in 2008. To date, Duncan claims not to have seen the movie at the advice of friends and family and is certainly no supporter of it. It's an interesting story and, if you have an interest, I'd recommend looking it up.

For the purposes of this review, I do not compare the movie with the book. Each is its own entity and it would be hard to match the complexities of the novel's narrative device in film format. But lacking the depth of the book, the movie ends up being a pleasant enough coming-of-age story. If you loved the book, you will react in one of two ways. You might hate that the movie misses or only superficially deals with the larger philosophical issues. Or you might love the book so much that you forgive the movie's flaws because you relate so specifically to the subject matter.

I have no doubt that certain viewers will be enchanted by the offbeat coming-of-age story "The River Why." Attempting to be earnest and heartfelt, however, the film is a bit too quirky for its own good with stylized and unrealistic dialogue. In most film examples, the quirky quotient is used to make hip and self-congratulatory comedies about urban youths--here it is employed to a decidedly more homespun, but no more authentic, tale.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is a quiet, lazy, laid-back kind of film (kind of like the act of fishing) - so it's not for everybody, but I enjoyed it. (Didn't have to swat any flies, touch, smell, clean or eat any fish but still felt some peace and enjoyment of fishing. Cool) Am totally looking forward to reading the book now (usually the book is 10x better than the movie, as it doesn't have to finish in a certain time frame).

Some great scenery, peacefulness of fishing/nature, quirky likable characters, an awkward/interesting romance and some interesting philosophy thrown in. I will probably watch it a few times. Good for when in a quiet, contemplative sittin on the porch on a lazy day, in no hurry and someone you are comfortable with sits and enjoys it with you.

Kathleen Quinlain and William Hurt's characters add nothing to the movie - in fact the William Hurt character's accent and way of speaking basically annoyed me. So, if you think you'll watch the movie just because you enjoy either of those actors - you might be disappointed. Besides, they're small parts.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are three plots that focus on fishing January 8, 2012
There are three main plots in this film focusing on fishing. First, the estrangement of a young man and his two parents. He is sick of living at home with his frequently over-pompous father who is hiding a secret that he never really caught the fish that he wrote about in his best seller book and his mother who is a somewhat boyish tomboy. The parents love one another but have contrary personalities are frequently bickering. Second, while both parents are interested in fishing, the young man wants to go off and fish on his own in his own way. He also needs to find himself. He meets some interesting characters, including a philosopher, a writer, and a beautiful highly spirited girl. Each helps him in different ways. Third, fishing. We see how all of the people love fishing, each in his or her own way, and devote their lives to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The River Why is Worth Reading More Than Once November 14, 2013
By drigby
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This book came recommended by someone I treasure, look up to and trust. To read it only once is a disservice to yourself. Read it at least twice and you will find there's more to this book than you thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Best Fishing Movie Ever May 26, 2013
The best fishing movie I've ever seen! You've got to like fishing and understand the value of steelhead and salmon survival to get the premise of this movie. Sure, it's not a blockbuster cast or high budget movie but it demonstrates the the art and passion of fishing, and the personal relationships aspects are pretty good. Worth watching!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Thought Provoking February 27, 2013
By Rkilla
The River Why is about finding yourself, peace, and love. This film is a break from the common Hollywood entertainment film. It is a serious film; a testament to our purpose in life, a journey of spiritual awakening. The main character, Gus (Zach Gilford), leaves his home and his parents to live on the river and find himself. Fishing is a great choice to portray the spiritual and philosophical themes, since fishing is such a peaceful and solitary sport. Gus is consistently surrounded by the beauty of nature and in effect the audience enters this atmosphere and learns as Gus does. I recommend this film because it is different from most productions and it can ease your mind. It is an important and impactful film if you take it seriously. Finding inner peace, passion, and love is something that every human should experience, so I really think you can learn something if you approach the film with an open mind.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Why The River Why
This is a movie I want to view more than once, not because of the story, though it is a good coming of age story, but because of the scenery. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Skidmore
1.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book........
I loved the book.... hated the movie

I've read the book at least 3 times and enjoyed the wit, cleverness, characters, insights over and over. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cinza
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and different
The producers are in love with a river - the characters are incidental. I enjoyed the movie because the cinematography was close to A River Runs through It. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jeanette Hernandez
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh...
The actors were ok, but the screenplay differs enough from the book that it's almost a different story. B Movie on lifetime I suppose.
Published 6 months ago by CaseyV
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great.
Has some real good spots in it, but get a little slow at times.
If you like fishing you may love it.
Published 8 months ago by John T. foster
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this flick
This movie's underrated. If you dig fishing, philosophy, or Amber Heard (my future wife) then you're likely to dig this movie.
Published 8 months ago by Ross Long
5.0 out of 5 stars "The River Why"
I ordered two copies. The copy I kept for myself will not play and says it is defective. I saw the picture on TV and loved it and would love to have a working copy that I can... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Patricia A. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars the river why
great scenery! a philosophical love story with a message about the preservation of the natural world!everyone should see this movie!
Published 10 months ago by kevin saylor
4.0 out of 5 stars A harmless watch
THis is a pretty good movie. It's script needs some work, but if you can look past some of the flat or corny lines it is quite entertaining. Read more
Published 13 months ago by TheDude
2.0 out of 5 stars This River is Going Nowhere
The best thing about this movie is the setting in beautiful Oregon. The story is oh so slow and uninspiring. I love to fish but this just did nothing for me.
Published 13 months ago by E. Groth
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