- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 23, 1999
- Originally Released: 1984
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 2.0 - French
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Theatrical Trailer
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"No sale! No sale!"
- Farmers chanting at an auction during which a farm is up for sale
Academy Awards 1984 -
Best Sound Effects Editing
Variety - 11/14/1984
"...THE RIVER offers many fine moments and several strong performances....[The] photography is a joy to watch..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2001
"...[With] extraordinary cinematography: nobody can shoot a twilight sky or a water-soaked field quite like Vilmos Zsigmond..."
In this powerful film about the fragility of the American dream, Mae and Tom Garvey (Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson) are farmers at a time (the mid-1980s) when bankers, real-estate agents, and nature itself threaten to destroy their way of life. When the local river floods and nearly destroys the farms around it, hardship hits the area. The Garveys are also at odds with the local power authority and one of its chief officers, Joe Wade (Scott Glenn), who has plans to build a dam and flood the land for a hydroelectric project. Though the family stoically attempts to continue working its farm, massive debts and a poor season finally force Tom Garvey to accept a low-paying factory job as a scab. As they struggle to keep going, Wade hovers vulturelike over the Garvey farm, waiting for its demise. Director Mark Rydell's THE RIVER is a truly beautiful, subtly heartwrenching, and unique film that captures the seldom-seen pleasures of living and growing up in an endangered world--that of the family farm. When the Garveys and their children work the land and tend the animals proudly and happily, their sun-drenched farm seems like paradise.
In director Mark Rydell's THE RIVER, a young farm couple finds themselves at odds with the local power authority which has plans to flood their lands for a hydroelectric project.
- Filmed in Birmingham, Alabama, and Eastern Tennessee. Much of THE RIVER was filmed on 440 acres of land purchased by Universal Studios by the Holston River in Tennessee. It was cleared and turned into working farms in four weeks.
- The production used a real river regulated for flood scenes with a dam that was slated for repair. The dam was fixed and altered with the help of the U.S. Army of Engineers.
- Director Mark Rydell was quoted as saying, "THE RIVER is a tribute to a vanishing America--the America of the independent farm family."
- The film was originally rated R by the MPAA, but won a PG-13 rating on appeal.