The River (1984)


“Sooner or later there’s gonna be too much rain, or too much drought, or too much corn… I can wait.” – Joe

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A farming husband and wife do their best to try and save their farm from natural and unnatural disasters.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before coming across it during my quest to try and watch all films that have received Oscar nominations for performances.

The fact that this film stars Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson also made me want to see what it was all about.

Spacek is great here and does some very daring things with her characters but she is ill-paired with Gibson who feels too out of place in this role.

Their characters have little to no chemistry with takes away from believing these characters and their situations.

Spacek was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and I wouldn’t be surprised if her scene with the tractor and the cow was what propelled her to a nomination, because just that short scenes says so much about her character and how much work she put into playing this role.

The story itself works well even if it probably came across as being more poignant 35 years ago than it does now.

The film does a nice job showing how the “system” will do all it can to pit neighbor against neighbor in it’s quest to dominant and rule these kind of people.

This comes across quite realistically which helps make this story even more enjoyable.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that is presented well. Spacek is great in the lead, but she is ill-paired with Gibson who doesn’t manage to come across as a realistic enough farmer.  Spacek was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and the scene with the tractor and the cow show how much work she put into this role.  The story itself was probably much more poignant when this was made 35 years ago, but it still works most of the way through. The way that the “system” tries to pit farmer against farmer is shown in a genuine fashion which helps make this film even more enjoyable.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Filmed in Gate City, Virginia, and Hawkins County (Church Hill, Surgoinsville, and Rogersville), Tennessee. Much of the movie was filmed on four hundred forty acres of the Hawkins County land, purchased by Universal Studios by the Holston River in Tennessee. It was cleared, and turned into working farms in four weeks. The production used a real river, regulated for flood scenes, with a dam that was slated for repair. The dam was fixed, and altered, with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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One thought on “The River (1984)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1984 | MovieRob

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