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Incident at Dark River (1989)

Frustrated by the polluted river which ultimately killed his daughter, a man teams up with a social activist to take down the company responsible.

Director:

Michael Pressman

Writers:

Mike Farrell (story), David Reiss (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Farrell ... Tim McFall
Tess Harper ... Betty McFall
Helen Hunt ... Jesse McCandless
Arthur Rosenberg Arthur Rosenberg ... Dale Hanratty
Philip Baker Hall ... Dr. Leo Manus
Dion Anderson ... Editor
Nicolas Coster ... Mr. Gorman
Stefan Gierasch ... Otto Wilshke
Douglas Rowe ... Arthur Riskin
Gary Bayer Gary Bayer ... Frank Draper
K Callan
Tom Isbell Tom Isbell
Joe Bratcher Joe Bratcher ... Calvin Oates
Jongiorgi Enos Jongiorgi Enos ... Paul Strickland (as Jonjiorgi Enos)
Daniel Beecher Daniel Beecher ... Patrick
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Storyline

When Tim McFall's young daughter dies as the result of toxic waste dumped in the local river, he tries to shut down the company and everybody turns against him. In his fight he is joined by a beautiful student activist, and soon his obsession with revenge threatens his marriage as well as his career. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark River - A Father's Revenge See more »

Filming Locations:

Ogden, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Farrell/Minoff See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Trivia

A TV movie for the TNT network. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Striking Back Against Evil.
22 April 2006 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

Made for and first shown upon the Turner Network, this not inconsiderably budgeted work, filmed in Provo, Utah, with its lead, Mike Farrell scripting much of it and credited as executive producer, contains themes important to Farrell of the dangers from environmental pollution, and the manner in which the greed of corporate commercial entities affects the attitudes of much of the U. S. citizenry. Action opens at a park picnic for town families, the festivities receiving financial backing from Star Brite, a local battery manufacturer and the community's largest source of employment. The corporation's support is appreciated by all in attendance, including Tim McFall (Farrell), a building maintenance worker for a town hospital, but his favourable opinion for the industrial outfit is abruptly ended when his young daughter Kathleen dies of toxic poisoning, and Tim's dogged attempts to discover the cause of the tragedy lead him to Star Brite and its careless disposal process of toxic waste into a river that runs adjacent to the park where the picnic was held. Not surprisingly, McFall's efforts to expose the responsibility of Star Brite for his child's death are unsuccessful, in the main because the corporation, in addition to the town citizenry whose loyalty to it is based upon employment concerns, are resistant to his investigation, and even Tim's grieving wife Betty (Tess Harper) is displeased with his search for a reason of the poisoning, his only consistent ally for the distraught father being Jesse (Helen Hunt), a young student and environmental activist at the college where Tim works. Jesse accompanies Tim to the state office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where they learn that this bureaucratic unit is not merely impotent but to a great extent subservient to precisely the type of corporate organization that McFall is struggling against, while she also assists him, through a friend who is a reporter for the local newspaper, by having a front-page report published about his plight, an article that commands the attention of the entire community (for the wrong reasons), placing Tim increasingly under fire by the town's opinion makers since Star Brite controls other nearby employers, including the college and the hospital where McFall and his wife respectively work. Finally Betty, believing that her husband's judgement has been impaired by the loss of Kathleen, leaves him, taking their son with her, as well, and Tim in desperation plans a climacteric act against Star Brite that is intended to reveal the corporation's culpability in his daughter's passing, while at the same time redeeming his marriage. There are relatively few lapses in logic within this film, such as why only Kathleen, of all the town's children, should have fallen to the deadly effects of heavy metal effluvium seeping into the river's bed load, while the primary strength of the work comes from able direction from Michael Pressman, and a screenplay that is particularly well-crafted, with a fine attention to detail, including naturalistic dialogue; also to the good, creative cinematographer Jacek Laskus avoids undo reliance upon uninteresting mid length shots with a fixed camera. This is, purely and simply, a didactic melodrama, yet these mentioned merits in addition to sincere playing contribute to making this an effectively presented film, with top-flight performances provided by the principals, and by the excellent supporting player Philip Baker Hall as a research physician supportive of McFall's determination to bring a corporate industrial entity to bay.


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