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movie-4444-review

A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (1992)

Based on the true story about two brothers, Norman and Paul, and their wily maturation into adults under the tutelage of their father, Reverend MacLean, in a sleepy rural town in historic Montana.  

The cast includes Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Emily Lloyd, Brenda Blethyn, Edie McClurg, Stephen Shellen, and Vann Gravage.

Director Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" is a quietly powerful family drama.

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"All things in life come together as one, and a river runs through it. And that river haunts me."






The film's narration is taken care of by Redford himself, who does a great job here too, setting the emotional tone by his moving, beautiful use of words.

Based on a novel by Normal Maclean, this wonderful screenplay, by Richard Friedenberg, tells true involves two brothers, Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul (Brad Pitt), who grow up in Montana, near the Blackfoot River with a minister for a father, Rev. Maclean (Tom Skerritt). Through the family practice of fly fishing, the father attempts to instruct his boys in God, life, love, and the pursuit of Earthly perfection.

Through the point of view of the oldest son, Norman, the steady one, the film covers the time period from when the boys were young, until one of them is an old man, with everyone else had died. Robert Redford offers an emotional tone to this film, with his moving narration.

In the course of the film, various themes are examined including brothers, fathers, love, fate, and fly fishing. Despite the presence of Skerritt's minister character, this movie rarely preaches, yet makes its points just the same.

Some critics complain about the slower pace of the film, but the pacing is perfect for the type of film this was meant to be; a thought provoking work of art, that helps one seek inner peace as you dwell on the beauty of nature, living life moment by moment. It is "a fabulous story about life, and an even better celebration of nature."

Craig Sheffer does a fabulous job as Norman, the older brother who has both feet on the ground, and tries to get his younger brother back on the right track.

Brad Pitt does a great job, playing the wilder, rebellious younger son, Paul, who eventually gets himself into big trouble, with his drinking and gambling.

Tom Skerritt was terrific as Reverend Normal Maclean, treating the audience to a powerful performance, in a part he was born to play. A favorite quote: "Methodists are Baptists who can read. "

My favorite scenes are those involving the fly fishing. Beautifully photographed in the rivers of Montana, the scenes present fishing as a nearly holy activity, something seasoned fisherman have been claiming for hundreds of years. The beautiful Cinematography earned Philippe Rousselot a well deserved Oscar.

On a personal note, although I have not fished since the '50's (in the cool clear lakes of Colorado,with live bait), watching "A River Runs Through It" made we want to go out, buy a rod and reel, and head for Montana. It's that kind of a movie.

If you enjoyed A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, you may like ORDINARY PEOPLE, THE HORSE WHISPERER, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, and/or QUIZ SHOW.