The River

  • 1984
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama

A good film for the viewer who isn't interested in being entertained but is willing to be thrown into the muck of the problems facing hard-working American farmers. Strong, stubborn Tom Garvey (Mel Gibson) has been working his family farm since his youth. He and Mae (Sissy Spacek), his "stand by your man" wife, are struggling to maintain their way of life...read more

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A good film for the viewer who isn't interested in being entertained but is willing to be thrown into the muck of the problems facing hard-working American farmers. Strong, stubborn Tom Garvey (Mel Gibson) has been working his family farm since his youth. He and Mae (Sissy Spacek), his

"stand by your man" wife, are struggling to maintain their way of life against terrible odds. The elements are not on their side, and neither is local kingpin Joe Wade (Scott Glenn), who wants to build a dam on the river that runs through the Garvey acreage. Wade intends to use his clout to buy

out all the farmers who stand in his way, then flood their lands in order to make a reservoir for his own use. The background story is that Garvey and Wade were once friends, and Wade had also been Mae's lover before she chose Garvey and the hard life she now leads. The script barely manages to

keep the characters from being caricatures, since everyone does, more or less, exactly what is expected. Good performances, especially from Glenn as "Mr. Greed" and Spacek as "Earth Mother." Gibson is somewhat rigid, although his is not an easy role to portray. The Southern dialects are well

handled, and the special effects are excellent. What is missing is any attempt to show political or organizational solutions to the farm problems and the woes farmers face. Instead, we are shown the strong individualist who goes deeply into himself in order to outwit the forces of profit.

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  • Released: 1984
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A good film for the viewer who isn't interested in being entertained but is willing to be thrown into the muck of the problems facing hard-working American farmers. Strong, stubborn Tom Garvey (Mel Gibson) has been working his family farm since his youth.… (more)

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