Thursday, March 10, 2011

The River.................................Does It Hold Up?

The River

This is a film from back in 1984 when Sissy Spacek was billed before Mel Gibson.  A simpler time when we were all focused on Mel's dreamy blue eyes and manly "ass-ets" (please forgive me) and not so much on the horrid things that proceed from him mouth.

This is a tale of the Garvy family as they are fighting to keep their farm and their way of life when everything seems stacked against them.  It is an American drama of one man fighting the system, the elements, and his own fatigue. In the end, he triumphs.  At least for the time being.

Does it hold up?

Now introducing my new feature.  Sometimes I like to go back and watch films that I enjoyed in the past and see if they hold up.  This one was a favorite of mine when I was 17(ish).  I lived down the block from something that was brand new, a video store.  I would walk  there and rent this VHS every few weeks. I loved it with all my heart but I have not seen it in probably twenty years.  So, does it hold up?  Yes and no.  I don't love it as much as I did then but I still like it.  And young Mel.  Whew. Yeah.  In the end I think my 17 year old self was highly influenced by the Mel factor.  The scene pictured below made my 17 year old heart sing.  Even so, I have to say it is a pretty good film and my teen self was showing the seedlings of good taste.

What to know before viewing?

1) Hats off to farmers everywhere.  If it is half as hard as this film portrays it, I don't know how you do it.

2) If "Evan is awesome!!!!!" ever shows up on this blog in a random spot, I have been hacked by a certain person in my household. Just sayin'.

3) Sissy Spacek lives up the road a piece from me and I once saw her in the airport.  She was every bit a cute in person as she is on film.  I didn't realize it was her until after she was gone because I was thinking she was a customer at the bank I worked at at the time.  That is probably all to the good anyway because I would likely have acted the fool had I known it was her.

What about the kids?

PG-13 is on target.  The stress level is high and there is a semi-nude scenes.

Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing and here.

Three and a Half Stars- "I Liked it" plus


  1. I read your blog faithfully, even though many of the reviews like this one are just a tease. Maybe some day we can get something like Netflix outside the U.S. Meanwhile I am making note of movies to find in the video store next time we are north of the border. Thanks for the hints!

  2. Thanks Jamie Jo. That encourages me. The started a Netflix in Canada so maybe where you are is next.

  3. I like your idea of going back to oldies to see if it holds up. I remember watching this on VHS and enjoying it too - boy Mel was dreamy. Hubby and I watched a Fish Called Wanda recently - we didn't think it held up *at all* and had to stop watching it. A mixture of a bathroom and a bedroom farse that I didn't remember being nearly so bothered by in my younger years.