A River Runs Through It (1992)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

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Movie Info

Robert Redford's lyrical direction sets the tone for this evocative adaptation of author Norman MacLean's memoir of his idyllic Montana youth. The MacLean family is presided over by the strict but encouraging Rev. MacLean (Tom Skerritt) and his loving wife (Brenda Blethyn). Craig Sheffer stars as the young Norman, the older son in his family, who takes his school work and writing a bit too seriously for Paul (Brad Pitt), the impetuous younger son, to take much stock in. Paul would rather have a good time, drink and play cards than get involved with academic study. Where Norman wants to be a college literature professor, Paul would prefer to stay in Montana all his life and wrangle some kind of job writing for a local newspaper. But, ironically, Paul is the better fly fisherman and in this way attains a sense of perfection. The film also details the MacLean boys' involvement with a colorful group of town's people -- including a young Indian woman Paul decides to date and the defiant Jessie (Emily Lloyd), whom Norman later marries.
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast

Craig Sheffer
as Norman Maclean
Brad Pitt
as Paul Maclean
Tom Skerritt
as Mr. Maclean
Brenda Blethyn
as Mrs. Maclean
Emily Lloyd
as Jessie Burns
Susan Traylor
as Rawhide
Edie McClurg
as Mrs. Burns
Stephen Shellen
as Neal Burns
Vann Gravage
as Young Paul
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
as Young Norman
Rob Cox
as Conroy
Fred Oakland
as Mr. Burns
David Creamer
as Ken Burns
Madonna Reubens
as Aunt Sally
Arnold Richardson
as Old Norman
Macintyre Dixon
as Police Sergeant
William Hootkins
as Mr. Murchison
Jess Schwidde
as Mr. Sweeney
Chuck Adamson
as Harry the Editor
Rex Kendall
as Reporter
Jack Kroll
as Reporter
Martina Kreidl
as Secretary at Newspaper
Noah Snyder
as Copy Boy at Newspaper
Philip A. Braun
as Dealer at Lolo
Tracy Mayfield
as Bouncer at Lolo
Anne Merrem
as Hooker at Lolo
Chuck Tweed
as Drunk in Jail
Prudence Johnson
as Pavilion Singer
D. Gorton
as Pavilion Announcer
Lincoln Quesenberry
as Drunk in Alley
Hawk Forssell
as Bouncer at Speakeasy
Jim Dunkin
as Speakeasy Bartender
Jacob Snyder
as Piano Player
Kathy Scharler
as Waitress at Speakeasy
Don Jeffery
as Black Jack
Byron Dingman
as Speakeasy Patron
Cecily Johnson
as Speakeasy Patron
Robert Redford
as Narration
Caleb Shiff
as Young John
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Critic Reviews for A River Runs Through It

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (11)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 8, 2007
Variety
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 23, 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.

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

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
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

½

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
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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