The River

Watch The River

"Beauty... Mystery... Delightful Humor..."
  • Approved
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 7.4  (6,863)

The River is a 1951 British drama film that explores love, relationships and coming of age. Produced and directed by Jean Renoir, the film tells the story of a British family who lives in Bengal, India. It is based on Rumer Godden's 1946 novel of the same name. The film revolves around the Harveys, who own a jute mill in India, and their neighbors, the Johnstons. The Harveys live with their three daughters -- Harriet, Valerie, and Tess -- and their son Bogey. Valerie, the middle daughter, is the protagonist of the film.

The story is set against the backdrop of the Ganges river, which is a central element of the film. The river represents life, death, and everything in between. The film begins with a beautiful depiction of the river as it flows through the countryside. The opening sequence sets the tone for the rest of the film, which is visually stunning and emotionally powerful.

Valerie is a seventeen year old girl who is beginning to question her place in the world. She is at an age where she is no longer a child but not quite an adult. Her innocence and naivete are contrasted with the worldliness of her older sister Harriet, who is engaged to a young man named Freddie. Valerie is fascinated by Harriet's engagement, and the attention that it brings to her sister.

As the story progresses, Valerie begins to discover her own identity. She becomes friends with Melanie, a young French girl who is staying with the Johnstons. Melanie introduces Valerie to the world of art, literature, and ideas. This is a transformative experience for Valerie, who begins to question the values and conventions of her society.

Valerie's coming of age is complicated by her budding romance with Captain John, a war hero who is staying with the Johnstons. Captain John is older, more experienced, and has traveled the world. He is a mentor figure to Valerie, but their relationship becomes more complicated over time.

The film explores the themes of love, loss, and the meaning of life. It asks big questions about mortality, spiritualism, and the search for purpose. The Harveys and the Johnstons are portrayed as flawed characters who are struggling to find their place in the world. They are human beings who make mistakes and learn from them.

The River is a slow-paced film that takes its time to develop its characters and themes. It is beautifully shot and features a stunning soundtrack by Ravi Shankar. The film is notable for its use of color, which is used to convey the emotions of the characters. The film was shot on location in India, and it effectively captures the sights and sounds of the country.

The performances in the film are excellent. Patricia Walters, who plays Valerie, delivers a convincing portrayal of a young girl on the brink of womanhood. Nora Swinburne, who plays Mrs. John, is a standout. Her character is complex and nuanced, and Swinburne brings her to life in a memorable way.

Esmond Knight, who plays Mr. John, is also excellent. His character is a tragic figure who is haunted by his past and unable to connect with the present. Knight's portrayal of Mr. John is nuanced and powerful.

In conclusion, The River is a classic film that is not to be missed. It is a powerful exploration of love, loss, and the meaning of life. It is a film that will stick with you long after you have watched it.

The River is a 1951 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.

The River
Where to Watch The River
The River is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent The River for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (6,863)