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A River Runs Through It [VHS]

4.6 out of 5 stars 623 customer reviews

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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: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: September 5, 1995
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (623 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0800121600
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,276 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A lyrical and nostalgic film from director Robert Redford (Quiz Show, Ordinary People), based on the popular autobiographical novel by Norman MacLean, A River Runs Through It shows the best that modern filmmaking has to offer. The film chronicles two brothers coming of age in early-20th-century Missoula, Montana, under the stern tutelage of their minister father, played by Tom Skerritt (Top Gun). Their father instills in them a love of fly fishing, which for one brother (Brad Pitt) becomes a lifelong passion even as he sets out to become a newspaperman and struggles with his addiction to gambling. The other brother, Norman (Craig Sheffer), dreams of exploring the world outside of Missoula as he falls in love with a local girl (Emily Lloyd) who also dreams of broader horizons. Soon one brother must discover the true meaning of family loyalty when the other finds himself in deeper trouble than ever before. Redford, who also narrates the film, does a masterful job in re-creating the period and in drawing out affecting performances from his young cast. An Oscar winner for Philippe Rousselot's luminescent cinematography, this is a poignant and special film. --Robert Lane

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer 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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Format: Blu-ray
I had never taken the time to sit through the entire film before, so this actually worked out nicely playing it for customers all weekend. They managed to put together a nice overall package for any fan of this movie and the Blu quality made for a convincing demo to those that had seen the other two DVD releases of this.

The picture quality came across with solid vibrancy, clarity and saturation. There are plenty of chances for there to be obvious artifact (with all of the sky shots and skin close-ups) but they did a competent removal throughout. If there is any significant doubt as to what the original product looked like - be sure to watch the deleted scenes for the before and after. The sound was better than I was setting the bar for as I am not a fan of TrueHD and how bad some of the vocals turn out. Not a benchmark test for 1990s surround films, but I was pleased.

The supplements are thorough for any fan, and include:

* The 30 minute making-of filled with plenty of background, interviews, excerpts and tidbits of information.
* The Blackout Challenge, Rescuing a River: A 15 minute mix of ecological, environmental and personal story info about the river and saving it for the future.
* Casting a Line: A 6 minute guide on how to start fly fishing, there were actually a few kids that watched this part and seemed interested.
* Deleted Scenes: 17 cut/modified scenes totaling 16 minutes. A few bland, a few interesting - but what it showcases the most is how the film stock looked years ago and how great it looks in this version.
* On The Blackfoot River 1080 Loops: Exclusive to the BD. They contain a looped 1080 view, that is selectable by the user between a "Rushing River", "Rocky Mt", "Big Sky Country" and "Forest Bend".
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