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The River [HD DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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$0.01 + $3.99 shipping Only 7 left in stock. Ships from and sold by BOOKZ and THINGS.

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Editorial Reviews

This emotionally-charged film celebrates the triumph of a young rural couple as they face nature's greatest ravages, the threat of poverty and a wrenching separation. Sissy Spacek, Mel Gibson and Scott Glenn star in this moving tribute to love, faith, determination and the vanishing America of the independent farm family. Tom and Mae Garvey (Gibson and Spacek) are struggling to keep their homestead safe from the local power authority who wants to flood their land. When Mae's former beau, John Wade (Glenn), turns out to be in charge of the plan to acquire the property, tensions run high, climaxing in a devastating confrontation on the flooded river banks.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn, Shane Bailey, Becky Jo Lynch
  • Directors: Mark Rydell
  • Writers: Robert Dillon, Julian Barry
  • Producers: Edward Lewis, Robert Cortes
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), French (Dolby Digital-Plus 2.0)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O179EU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The River [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The art of farming is by far the oldest, most time-honored tradition. It is the ideal way to make an honest living, raise your family away from the madness of the city and gain self-satisfaction by doing something that really matters. "The River" effectivly portrays the plight experienced by many American farmers during the 1980's economical recession. Flooding, forclosure and overdue bills were just a part of life for those most discouraging and undeniably frightning of years. Farm-friendly legislation has been passed in recent years so farmers can apply for disaster relief, equipment loans and bankrupcy loans. The goal is to keep the Family Farm as part of American culture. "The River" was shot in Northwestern Tennessee near Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City and also in Birmingham, Alabama. A 400-acre parcel of land alongside the Holston River, in Tennessee was cleared and turned into a real working farm in just four weeks. The flood scenes were produced in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority using a dam upriver which was slated for repairs. The scenery in the movie is absolutly breathtaking. The mountains, fields and river all seem to blend into one big beautiful picture. "The River" was the third in a trio of farming-based movies that year. The other two are "Country", with Jessica Lange and "Places In the Heart" with Sally Field.
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By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A heart-land tragedy relived annually by the rain and consequential flooding of the family farmland by the adjacent river. Mels' character is sullen and cold. He is the quintessential traditional hardworking farmer. He loves his family and works almost pointlessly to keep them on their doomed property. It's difficult to watch him sulk and suffer inwardly. His character is extremely introverted and stubbornly independent. Sissy Spacek is great as the wife who tries to keep her family's head above water literally. She portrays a strong, willful and faithful person. This is a good rainy night movie. The kids are great actors and contribute a lot to the traditional values and family bonding.
The onscreen chemistry between Spacek and Gibson underscores the uncomfortable aura of the marriage in the movie. There's something strange about the couple, something that just doesn't click; a feeling of looming doom regarding their relationship. Scott Glenn's character does not help the uneasy tension.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had seen this before and liked it then, and still do. I lived in times that were hard for us, because my family was poor. They were farm folks, but had no experiences like this one, of which I am aware, but most of them were from Oklahoma, and I have heard some stories about the weather there. Also, in California, I recall the farmers having some really hard times for various reasons. It can be a tough life. This is a very touching movie. Mel is a good actor, even though he was quite young when this film was made. Sissy is one of the best.
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The movie is top-excellent and of great quality with the acting throughout the entire film. I read the reviews before buying this flick and I was astonished at some of the feedback on this movie. One four-star rating attacks Gibson's character, especially due to his nonreaction to being spat on by a striking worker due to his part as a "scab" at a factory. Did you really expect Mel Gibson to act like his character on "Braveheart" and try to impale the character that spat on him? He's playing a character that obviously has little tolerance to fight back because of it. Obviously, his family is at hard times and he simply saw that there was little difference between himself and the strikers. They're all just trying to keep their families afloat, is all. Mel Gibson played a terrific part in this movie and he was brilliant in every scene.
The movie has a lot to do with the 1980's recession that is plaguing farms throughout the state of Tennessee, not to mention the constant flooding of the river that is threatening to wash away everything that the farmers worked hard for. The movie was very realistic and I could easily watch it a thousand times over. 5 stars all the way!
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The River with Mel Gibson & Sissy Spacek as his wife is such a great movie. I really felt bad for them when the hard rains came and flooded the river. The flood ruined their crops so they had no way to pay their loan on the property and would have lost everything if he hadn't taken a side job. I would recommend this movie to anyone that loves Mel Gibson. There is a lot of action during the whole movie.
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Good acting with only ok script. Cinematography is nice. Country was a better take on this topic of the early 80s-people losing their family farms to the banks. Country had some show stopping moments of dialog delivered by Jessica Lange. Jessica seemed less a victim than the two main characters here. There is little triumph in the survival of Mel and Sissy.Jessica was more Joan of Arc than merely a survivor.

One of my friends complained about a scene in The River that seemed contrived and too obviously symbolic of workers chasing a deer that wandered into their workplace. I reminded him that I had always viewed the Deer Hunter as having very heavy handed symbolism, but he had never complained about Deer Hunter. I have always felt that Deer Hunter was a highly over-rated movie. I believe that kind of thing does take away from the enjoyment of a movie here in The River and in Deer Hunter..
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