6.4/10
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The River Wild (1994)

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director:

Curtis Hanson

Writer:

Denis O'Neill
Reviews
Popularity
4,801 ( 464)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Meryl Streep ... Gail Hartman
Joseph Mazzello ... Roarke Hartman
Stephanie Sawyer ... Willa
David Strathairn ... Tom
Elizabeth Hoffman ... Gail's Mother
Victor Galloway Victor Galloway ... Gail's Father (as Victor H. Galloway)
Diane Delano ... Ranger
Thomas F. Duffy ... Ranger
Kevin Bacon ... Wade
John C. Reilly ... Terry
William Lucking ... Frank
Benjamin Bratt ... Ranger Johnny
Paul Cantelon Paul Cantelon ... Violinist
Glenn Morshower ... Policeman
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Storyline

The teacher Gail Hartman is facing problems with her marriage with her husband, the workaholic architect Tom Hartman. On the birthday of their son Roarke, Gail decides to leave her daughter with her parents and take her family to raft down a wild river where she was a guide. On the departure, a young man named Wade befriends Roarke and leaves the place with his friends Terry and Frank. Later the family encounters Wade and Terry, who do not have rafting experience, and Gail helps them to cross a whitewater. They get closer to the family and soon Gail and Tom learn a dark secret about Wade and Terry. What will they do to get rid of the men? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The vacation is over


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and threatening moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

30 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Río salvaje See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,200,000, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$46,815,748

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS | Dolby SR | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Late Academy Award Winning Composer Maurice Jarre originally wrote the film's score, but due to poor test screenings for the film, the music was rejected and Jerry Goldsmith was brought in to re-score the film. A documentary on the late composer features him and Curtis Hanson during the recording sessions of the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

When Terry tells Tom that his "sister" is from Tulsa, he is sitting down at the edge of the water. In the next shot, further away, you see him half standing up and bending over. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gail: Roarke! Roarke! I've told you for the 157th time, turn that damn music off. I'm losing my hearing. Jeez. You gotta find your sneakers buddy. You owe me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dog named 'Maggie' is listed in the credits (almost top-billing) as being played by a dog named 'Buffy.' See more »


Soundtracks

Cope
Written by David Gibbs, Paul Brouwer, Steve Hurley, and Paul Hurley
Performed by Gigolo Aunts
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strong Performances Elevate This 90's Thriller...
22 June 2011 | by namashi_1See all my reviews

Curtis Hanson's box office hit 'The River Wild' is well-shot and even gripping in parts, but what really stands tall in this thriller and balances the film even when it dips, are the performances by it's talented star-cast.

The story involves a family on a whitewater rafting trip, who encounter two violent criminals in the wilderness.

'The River Wild', which has been written by Denis O'Neill, offers some gripping moments, that truly manage to hold your attention. The characters, are nicely presented and executed. But, I would like to point out, that, the writing in the latter hour tends to drag a bit. The film surely could've been shorter by at least 10-15 minutes. And I believe if it had been trimmed, it's impact would have only enhanced. Curtis Hanson's direction, like always, is efficient. Cinematography is Striking. Editing is fair.

Performance-Wise: Meryl Streep is superb, as expected. She carries the film on her shoulders and delivers with ease in each and every scene. Kevin Bacon makes a really interesting bad guy, and proves his potential as an actor. David Strathaim is first-rate. John C. Reilly is good. Joseph Mazzello supports well.

On the whole, A decent one-time watch, that offers strong performances to sail it safe.


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