A River Runs Through It (1992)



Critic Consensus: Tasteful to a fault, this period drama combines a talented cast (including a young Brad Pitt) with some stately, beautifully filmed work from director Robert Redford.

A River Runs Through It Videos & Photos

Movie Info

This film, based on an autobiographical book by Norman MacLean, centers on brothers Paul and Norman, the sons of a Presbyterian minister living in Montana. Norman is the responsible son; hard-living Paul is the rebel. What unites the MacLean men is their mutual love of fly fishing.

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Norman Maclean, Richard Friedenberg, William Hjortsberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 23, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Norman Maclean

as Paul Maclean

as Mr. Maclean

as Mrs. Maclean

as Jessie Burns

as Rawhide

as Mrs. Burns

as Neal Burns

as Young Paul

as Conroy

as Mr. Burns

as Ken Burns

as Aunt Sally

as Police Sergeant

as Mr. Murchison

as Mr. Sweeney

as Harry the Editor

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Secretary at Newspap...

as Copy Boy at Newspape...

as Dealer at Lolo

as Bouncer at Lolo

as Hooker at Lolo

as Drunk in Jail

as Pavilion Singer

as Pavilion Announcer

as Drunk in Alley

as Bouncer at Speakeasy

as Speakeasy Bartender

as Piano Player

as Waitress at Speakeas...

as Black Jack

as Speakeasy Patron

as Speakeasy Patron

as Narration

as Young John
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for A River Runs Through It

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for A River Runs Through It

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (11)

A skilled, careful adaptation of a much-admired story.

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Top Critic

This may work for you if you settle at the outset for a nostalgic, all-American mood piece.

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Leave your preconceptions about fishing at the door: you'll be caught hook, line and sinker.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Here are two things I never thought I'd say: I like a movie about fly fishing, and Robert Redford has directed one of the most ambitious, accomplished films of the year.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Redford's movie is too little show and too much tell.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Redford and his writer, Richard Friedenberg, understand that most of the events in any life are accidential or arbitrary, especially the crucial ones, and we can exercise little conscious control over our destinies.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A River Runs Through It

This movie is about the youth and young adulthood of two brothers - set in the mountains of Montana - with fly fishing as a major component. Robert Redford is the narrator (and director). Worth watching.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Absolutely breathtaking cinematography more than makes up for a less-than riveting storyline. A young Brad Pitt shines as well.

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer


Robert Redford directs and narrates this American poem about the life of one family in early 20th century Montana. Touching and evocative, surely this is one of Redford's better films, a bittersweet toast to life itself. The casting choice of C.Sheffer, in my opinion, is where this work unfortunately falters. He seems to be wondering through the length of the film: "what am I doing in this here movie with Brad Pitt?!?"

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A River Runs Through It Quotes

– Submitted by Sandpoint I (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Sandpoint I (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Mackenzie M (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Mackenzie M (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss A River Runs Through It on our Movie forum!