The River

Watch The River

"He might be able to hold back the river. But could he hold back the greed of man?"
  • PG-13
  • 1984
  • 2 hr 2 min
  • 6.3  (7,474)
  • 46

The River is a drama film from 1984, directed by Mark Rydell, that centers on the lives of a farming family in rural Tennessee. The movie stars Mel Gibson as Tom, Sissy Spacek as Mae, and Shane Bailey as their son, Hank. The film depicts the hardships that the family endures after their farm is affected by various environmental and economic challenges.

The plot is centered on Tom and Mae, who are struggling to make ends meet while raising their family and maintaining their small farm. The family, along with their neighbors, heavily relies on the river, which is also the source of the farm’s irrigation system. However, the river has been polluted, and its water quality has deteriorated, which threatens the survival of their livelihood. The family has to confront the complexities of environmental issues while keeping their farm afloat amidst a drought.

As the drought worsens, Tom and Mae take the difficult decision to dig a new well, and it contributes to the financial burden of the family. The situation worsens when the local factory where Tom works as a supervisor goes on a strike, and he has to choose between crossing the picket line or losing his job. Tom is forced to make a decision that could potentially threaten his family's financial stability.

On the other hand, Mae is becoming more aware that something is amiss with the river's water. She suspects that the local factory is responsible for polluting the water, but the company denies any liability. Mae reaches out to local politicians to investigate the situation, but their response is not helpful.

Throughout the movie, there are several subplots that not only make the movie entertaining but also add depth and richness to the film. For example, the relationship between Tom and their neighbor, played by Scott Glenn, presents a rival between two men who handle their livelihood differently. Tom believes in hard work and relying on God, while Glenn's character believes in taking a calculated risk, even if it meant breaking the law.

One of the strengths of this movie is the acting. Mel Gibson delivers a fantastic performance as a hardworking father who loves his family and will do whatever it takes to provide for them. Sissy Spacek is also outstanding as a strong-willed wife and mother who is determined to protect her family's interests at all costs. Shane Bailey, who was only fourteen years old at the time, delivers an excellent performance, portraying a tenacious son who wanted to help his parents in difficult times.

The River is a poignant reflection of environmental issues, economic struggles, and family relationships. Through the lens of this family, the movie portrays the complexities of life in rural America, where human beings are highly interconnected with nature. The film's cinematography beautifully captures the beauty and harshness of nature and the emotional authenticity of the actors. It's a movie that inspires and resonates with the viewer because it offers a universal message of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

In conclusion, The River is a powerful movie that draws its strength from a compelling story, excellent acting, and the evocative portrayal of human emotions. The film remains relevant today, reflecting on the interconnectedness of human beings with nature, economic struggles, and hope amidst challenging times.

The River is a 1984 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 2 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 46.

The River
Where to Watch The River
The River is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. 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
    2 hr 2 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (7,474)
  • Metascore