Academy Awards 1992 -
Best Cinematography: Phillippe Rousselot
New York Times - 10/09/1992
"...A mesmerizing family memoir fueled by sense of place, force of memory and love of nature....[Pitt] makes himself so like the young Robert Redford that the effect is astonishing..."
USA Today - 10/09/1992
"...It's the best movie ever whose raison d'etre is the spiritual glorification of fly-fishing..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/09/1992
"...Poetic, elegiac....The movie was shot on locations that suggest the bounty of the Western states in those days..."
Fly-fishing figures prominently in this poignant tale of two brothers growing up in Montana in the early 20th century under the stern rule of their minister father. While both boys rebel, Norman (Craig Sheffer) channels his rebellion into writing, but Paul (Brad Pitt) descends onto a slippery path of self-destruction. The beautiful scenery of Montana is used to full effect with the awesome cinematography of Philippe Rousselot. Directed by Robert Redford, this adaptation of Norman Maclean's classic autobiography also features Tom Skerritt and Brenda Blethyn as the Reverend and Mrs. Maclean.
An adaptation of Norman Maclean's much-loved autobiographical novella about fly-fishing and familial relations, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT is set in the pristine Montana wilderness of the early 20th century. The story traces the relationship between two brothers growing up in an emotionally constricted household headed by a Presbyterian minister. The scholarly Norman (Craig Sheffer) follows in the footsteps of his stern, stoic father, going to college, marrying, and settling down. His brother, Paul (Brad Pitt)--daring, handsome, and athletic--chooses the more glamorous career of newspaper journalist. These two very different brothers are brought together through the years by a mutual love of fly-fishing instilled in them by their unyielding father. As Norman watches his brother's seemingly charmed life dissolve under the influences of gambling and alcohol, the art of fly-fishing becomes a poignant metaphor for the love their father was unable to express in any other way. Robert Redford (ORDINARY PEOPLE, THE HORSE WHISPERER) directs a first-rate cast including Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, and Emily Lloyd in this subtle yet poignant portrait of a family in the early 1900s.
Essential Cinema |
Family Interaction |
Fathers And Sons |
Theatrical Release: October 1992.
Shot on Seeley Lake, near Missoula, Montana. The film could not be made on the Big Blackfoot River, where the story was set, due to environmental damage.
The novella A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT was published by the University of Chicago Press in 1976. Work began on the script for the film in 1988.
Many filmmakers had already tried to option the novella, written by Norman Maclean, a University of Chicago professor and three-time award winner for excellence in teaching. He allowed Robert Redford to make the book into a movie on the condition that he would maintain Maclean's focus on fly-fishing.
"In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing."--Norman Maclean (Robert Redford, narrating)
"If our father had had his say, nobody who did not know how to fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him."--Norman Maclean (Robert Redford, narrating)