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River Wild
     

The River Wild

4.0 5
Director: Curtis Hanson, Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn

Cast: Curtis Hanson, Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn

 

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In a change-of-pace role designed to prove that she could carry high-concept genre films as well as character-driven dramas, Meryl Streep headlined this fast-paced adventure as Gail, a white-water rafting guide. For a vacation, Gail is accompanying her son, Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), and workaholic husband Tom, (David Strathairn), on a river trip. Gail and Tom are

Overview

In a change-of-pace role designed to prove that she could carry high-concept genre films as well as character-driven dramas, Meryl Streep headlined this fast-paced adventure as Gail, a white-water rafting guide. For a vacation, Gail is accompanying her son, Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), and workaholic husband Tom, (David Strathairn), on a river trip. Gail and Tom are experiencing marital troubles and contemplating divorce, but their problems take a back seat when they encounter some menacing rafters led by Wade (Kevin Bacon). After Tom saves Wade from drowning, they discover that the men are murderous fugitives using the river as an escape route. Kidnapped by the killers, Gail is forced to leave her husband stranded onshore and guide the villains through the "Gauntlet," a raging confluence of rivers that few rafters ever survive. Meanwhile, Tom proves to be wilier than anyone suspected, following the raft on foot and plotting his family's rescue. Following a quartet of popular B-grade thrillers, director Curtis Hanson attempted to break partially out of the genre with The River Wild, which, despite the presence of a psycho killer, played as more a stunt-filled action movie than a murder mystery.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
While the "vacationing family in peril" is not a new construct, director Curtis Hanson, in one of his pre-L.A. Confidential genre films, brings a fresh and palpable fear to the scenario in The River Wild. Due to the believable performances -- led by Meryl Streep in a departure and the wolfish Kevin Bacon in his familiar sheep's clothing -- the film crackles with a sense of normalcy spinning out of control. In less skillful hands, the good deed of picking up stranded boaters along a rocky river would have been saturated with doom from minute one -- as well as the certainty that the heroes would emerge unscathed. Hanson paints the set-up more in shades of gray, leaving the menacing behavior more of a surprise (even when the audience knows it's coming), and the outcome of tense moments not nearly so easy to telegraph. As the emasculated father, David Strathairn hits just the right pitch of nervous desperation. One might criticize the film for borrowing too heavily from another rafting adventure gone awry, Deliverance -- including a noticeable parallel between the off-boat survival instincts of Strathairn and Deliverance's Jon Voight. But Hanson and Streep provide the credibility to elevate The River Wild beyond the level of mere knock-off.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/10/1997
UPC:
0025192004322
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
3,171

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Meryl Streep Gail
Kevin Bacon Wade
David Strathairn Tom
Joseph Mazzello Roarke
John C. Reilly Terry
Benjamin Bratt Ranger Johnny
Nancy Klopper Actor
Elizabeth Hoffman Gail's Mother
Diane Delano Ranger
Thomas F. Duffy Ranger
Glenn Morshower Policeman
William Lucking Frank

Technical Credits
Curtis Hanson Director
Roy Arbogast Special Effects
David Brenner Editor
Ron Chapman Cinematographer
David Foster Producer
Robert Elswit Cinematographer
Tony Epper Stunts
Bruce A. Evans Screenwriter
Carol Fenelon Musical Direction/Supervision
Kirk A. Francis Sound/Sound Designer
Rick T. Gentz Set Decoration/Design
Ray Gideon Screenwriter
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Ray Hartwick Executive Producer
Ilona Herzberg Executive Producer
William Hiney Set Decoration/Design
Joe Hutshing Editor
James Kail Makeup
Bill Kenney Production Designer
Max Kleven Stunts
Nancy Klopper Casting
Tom Mack Asst. Director
Louis Mann Production Designer
Mark Mansbridge Art Director
Denis O'Neill Co-producer,Screenwriter
Ivan Sharrock Sound/Sound Designer
Marlene Stewart Costumes/Costume Designer
Lawrence Turman Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter List
1. Main Titles:reflections On The Charles [3:07]
2. Wade [3:49]
3. Three On A Raft [3:14]
4. Our First Whoop-Dee-Doo [12:11]
5. Wade In The Water [1:45]
6. The Birthday Present [7:35]
7. Going With My Friends [1:36]
8. I Need Your Wife... [6:24]
9. Ranger Johnny [:16]
10. Pursued [6:55]
11. Little Niagara [10:04]
12. No Stopping And No Turning Back [:11]
13. The River Wild [7:04]
14. The Trap [2:01]
15. There'S No Way... [8:09]
16. End Titles:"The River Is Wide" (Cowboy Junkies) [6:09]

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The River Wild 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
creeper More than 1 year ago
A PRETTY GOOD RIVER RIDE, WITH A TWISTED DUDE,WANTING TO TAKE HIS CAPTIVES,WITH HIM.THE HERO COMES IN TO SAVE THE DAY, ITS CHEAP NOW SO WHY NOT SEE.KEVIN BACON IS WORTH SEEING.
krisaleve More than 1 year ago
We cannot find too many family movies these days. I highly recommend it. Have some popcorn and enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a really good movie! It combines family into a life and death situation- I had a blast watching it! I was on the edge of my seat several times! It's really entertaining and I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago