6.4/10
38,746
73 user 51 critic

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

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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:

$10,214,450, 2 October 1994

Gross USA:

$46,816,343

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$94,216,343
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

An exhausted Meryl Streep balked when Director Curtis Hanson asked her to shoot one more scene before filming finished for the end of the day, however, she decided to attempt it. Swept off the raft, she was in real danger of drowning, before she was rescued. Returning upriver, she told a pale and shaking Hanson that "in the future, when I say I can't do something, I think we should believe me." Hanson hastily agreed. See more »

Goofs

One could never start a fire with the tiny magnifier that folds out of a pocket knife. 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

Happy Birthday to You
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Performed by Meryl Streep, David Strathairn, Kevin Bacon, and John C. Reilly
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clean but entertaining family adventure
31 March 2011 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

For a conventional Hollywood adventure story, THE RIVER WILD isn't bad at all. While it lacks the rawness of similarly-themed independent fare and the kind of twists and surprises you'd expect from the best this genre has to offer, it tells the story it sets out to tell with a large amount of success, mainly thanks to the lean script and no-nonsense pacing. Much of the action comes from a series of spectacular white-water rafting sequences in which the stunt team are really put through their paces. These mark the film's highlight. The human plot, involving a couple of hostage-takers, is less spectacular, but the film still gets by thanks to the calibre of the cast.

Meryl Streep, although a little too earnest in some places for my liking, takes plaudits as the outdoors expert who has to use her wits to survive both nature and the evils of mankind. Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly are fine as the no-good criminals, and Benjamin Bratt bags a nice little role as a good-guy ranger. Youngster Joe Mazzello is a more mature presence than in the previous year's JURASSIC PARK, and David Straithairn (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) gets to have some fun as the straight-laced father forced into becoming a hero. Okay, so you know the outcome from the outset (and in a 12-certificate family adventure nothing THAT bad is ever going to happen), but this is nonetheless a mildly entertaining little movie.


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