Why would you think that a quiet and serious guy like director Robert Redford (The Legend of Bagger Vance, Ordinary People) would make a movie that would anything other than quiet and serious? The movie is based on the classic novel by Norman Maclean, which is a true story about his childhood. It is an ode to the beauty of the outdoors, the sport of fly fishing and the love of family. Redford's love and admiration for the outdoors really comes through in the beautiful cinematography (film won the 1992 Oscar for cinematography) of the state of Montana. The wilderness, mountains and rivers are shown in all their splendid colours and Redford does not rush through any of these shots, letting the camera linger over their beauty. It is like a painting or a work of art. Now the cinematography alone would not make the film a worthwhile watch, but when you couple that with the high quality narrative that it is that is what makes the film a winner. The words or dialogue in the movie, like the visuals, are poetic and delivered perfectly by the cast. This movie is also the one that really introduced Brad Pitt as a star (notice how I did not say a good actor – I'm not convinced of that yet). The camera loves him and he loves it. This film is a great example of high quality 'American' film making as it does what good films are supposed to; it stirs your brain and heart. Redford is successful in making a film that shows the possible interconnection of religion, family and fly fishing. The deluxe edition DVD comes with a full-colour 32-page scrapbook packed with photos, essays and behind-the-scenes stories.
Set in Montana between 1910 and 1935, 'A River Runs Through It' is a story about a deeply caring family, but a family that is unsettled and whose members in the end can not comprehend each other. Reverend Maclean (Tom Skerritt – Steel Magnolias, Contact) is a stern minister who is father to boys Paul (Brad Pitt – Spy Game, Twelve Monkeys) and Norman (Craig Sheffer – from the television program 'One Tree Hill'). Their mother (Brenda Blethyn – Pride and Prejudice, Secrets & Lies) is the quiet woman who loves them and who they are devoted to. Paul and Norman's are taught by their father and their education includes learning the art of fly fishing. The sport of fly fishing is the tie that binds this family and is, for the most part, the only real connection they seem capable of.
Paul is a fishing artist, a man who is great when he is fishing and is a mess in many other areas. He drinks too much, accumulates large gambling debts, gets into fights, and often gets thrown into jail. The Macleans suffer along with him but do not know what to do to help him or to get him to stop. Norman attends Dartmouth and after graduation comes home. He tells the family that he wants to be a teacher. Paul becomes a newspaper man. Norman meets and falls in love with Jessie Burns (Emily Lloyd – In Country and Welcome to Sarajevo) while Paul dates a native girl named Mabel (Nicole Burdette – Goodfellas, Angel Heart). Paul is always in the middle of whatever trouble is happening. Throughout the whole movie it seems as if the whole Maclean family is holding their breath waiting for the inevitable to happen to Paul.
-Filmographies of Robert Redford, Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Lloyd, and Tom Skerritt.
-Previews of Legends of the Fall, Seven Years in Tibet, and Classic Westerns.