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Konstantin Muravyov
Konstantin Muravyov

The River Wild(1994)

A Boston couple, Gail and Tom Hartman, are having marital problems, mostly due to Tom, an architect, spending so much time working. Gail, a history teacher and former river guide, is taking their son, Roarke, on a rafting trip down the Salmon River in Idaho, along with their dog, Maggie. Their daughter, Willa, is staying behind with Gail's parents in Idaho. Tom, who had remained in Boston, unexpectedly joins them at the last minute. As they are setting off, they meet three other rafters, Wade, Terry, and Frank, who appear to be friendly.

The River Wild(1994)


The Hartmans catch up with the trio during a day break, and notice that Frank is no longer with Wade and Terry. They explain that he hiked out after an argument. Unfortunately, he was their guide, and Wade and Terry lack any rafting experience. Gail offers to guide them down the rest of the river. Before getting back on the water, Maggie wanders off and becomes curious about something in the brush farther up the canyon. Tom fetches her before she uncovers it, and they return to the raft.

The Hartmans are forced down the river at gunpoint before setting up camp for the night. During the night, Tom tries and fails to wrestle the gun away from Terry. Tom runs into the river with Wade chasing him, but he escapes. Wade lies, telling Gail and Roarke that Tom is dead. The next day they run into Johnny, who knows that Gail intends to run the Gauntlet, and warns her not to try. Wade shoots him and throws his body into the rapids.

Principal photography began on August 4, 1993. Many of the film's whitewater scenes were filmed on the Kootenai River.[3] Other scenes were filmed on the Ruby Horsethief section of the Colorado River, the Rogue River in Southern Oregon, and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The locations necessitated specialized whitewater river professionals to perform the river stunts and provide the needed safety for Streep and other cast members.[3] Streep did several of her own stunts in the film on the milder river sections. The major whitewater stunts were performed by expert professional river guide Kelley Kalafatich who was hired as Streep's stunt double for the movie.[3]

There was a scare at the end of one day of filming when Hanson asked Streep to shoot one more scene, to which she objected because of her exhaustion. However, she decided to attempt it, and weak from fatigue, was swept off the raft into the river and was in danger of drowning; she did not drown because of her personal flotation device and the river rescue team. Afterwards she said to Hanson, "In the future, when I say I can't do something, I think you should believe me," to which he agreed.[4]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times also said the best elements of the film were its cinematography, which he described as "great looking", and the performances of Bacon and Streep; he described the latter as "putting a lot of humor and intelligence into her character".[13] However, Ebert identified serious flaws in the strength of the plot, remarking that, "movies like this are so predictable in their overall stories that they win or lose with their details...The River Wild was constructed from so many ideas, characters and situations recycled from other movies that all the way down the river I kept thinking: Been there".[13] He emphasized the lack of credibility in the storyline and sheer impossibility of some scenes, particularly involving Strathairn as he outruns the pace of the river, and his scenes with the cliff and his Swiss Army knife.[13]

The movie stars Meryl Streep as a former Montana river guide who wants to take her family back home for a white water rafting expedition. Her husband (David Strathairn) is reluctant; he's a workaholic who has seriously alienated his young son by making it obvious he prefers his office to his home. But at the last minute dad does join the family and its faithful dog Maggie, for the long-awaited vacation.

Movies like this are so predictable in their overall stories that they win or lose with their details. Among the best elements of "The River Wild" are the performances by Bacon, as the charming but sinister bad guy, and Streep, who puts a lot of humor and intelligence into her character. Robert Elswit's cinematography is greatlooking; people are going to want to know where this river is, so they can raft it.

And what about the sequences in which Strathairn cuts crosscountry, climbing mountains, fording rivers, walking faster than the river flows? Impossible, but he does it. At one point, in a scene so ludicrous I wanted to laugh aloud, he even starts a fire to send smoke signals to his wife. At another point, he clings to the side of a cliff, while we ask ourselves what earthly reason he had for climbing it. And he works wonders with his handy Swiss Army knife.

The climax is the running of the Gauntlet, which is well-photographed but so much of a preordained set piece it's hardly worth the bother. By the end of the film we haven't been surprised by much of anything, and the characters have only been briefly freed from the requirements of the plot. "The River Wild" was constructed from so many ideas, characters and situations recycled from other movies that all the way down the river I kept thinking: Been there.

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.

In the opening The River Wild scene (spoiler alert!), we are introduced to Gail and Tom Hartman (Meryl Streep and David Strathairn), a married couple that hails from Boston. Gail, an experienced river guide, plans a rafting trip in Idaho, taking along their son Roarke and their dog Maggie. At the last minute, Tom decides to surprise Gail, Roarke, and Maggie by showing up in Idaho prepared to join them on their rafting trip. As the family begins their journey, they are joined by three other rafters named Wade (Kevin Bacon), Terry (John C. Reilly), and Frank (William Lucking.)

During a break, the Hartmans meet the other rafters again and take note that Frank is not with Wade and Terry any longer. The other rafters share that an argument took place, and Frank decided to leave. Since Frank was the tour guide for the trio, Gail tells them she will assist them with finding their way to the end of the river.

Following a full day on the river, the group stops to prepare a camp for the evening. Wade is acting unusually, and Gail and Tom become suspicious of him. The couple decides that they should separate from Wade and Terry and continue on their own. Their plans are changed when Wade and Terry ask Roarke to join them and head off ahead of the others with Roarke on board. Wade shows Roarke that he has a gun with him. When the group stops for a rest, Gail and Tom try to get Roarke onto their own raft and to head out ahead of Wade and Terry. Wade notices their efforts and points the gun at Tom. Tom and Wade struggle and Wade attempts to shoot Maggie.

Wade and Terry insist the Hartmans take them down the river by keeping them at gunpoint. That night, Tom attempts to get the gun from Terry. He takes off into the river, and Wade runs after him to try to catch him. Tom gets away. Upon returning to camp, Wade informs Gail and Roarke that Tom died.

Though you may never know the exact spot where this scene was filmed, you can certainly make the trip here and put your imagination to the test. You will find the Kootenai River from Libby just off Highway 2. Direct access to the river is located beside a house. From here, you will need to continue along this road for a mile to find a place where you can leave your vehicle and explore the river grounds on foot. A trail leads from the parking area to the river itself.

Did I mention this is a 90s action / thriller about Meryl Streep as a former river guide who's forced to navigate whitewater rapids by auction thieves played by Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly? Did I also mention she's fierce as all get out? Solid sordid family in peril yarn for families to enjoy circa the height of mall madness Lifetime movie mania.

Also on the river are Wade (Kevin Bacon) and Terry (John C. Reilly), a pair of inept rafters who have supposedly lost their guide. Gail, not wanting to strand them five days from civilization, agrees to let them join her party. Along the trip downstream, as both parents' distrust of the strangers grows, Roarke becomes fascinated by his new friends, especially when Wade shows him a loaded gun. From that point, the story moves in a sinister direction, with hostages being taken and lives threatened.

Streep and David Strathairn play an unhappily married couple who take their 10-year-old son (Joseph Mazzello) on a rafting trip in the sun-dappled Northwest. Along the way, they bump into a pair of leering nogoodniks (Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly) who end up stranded downriver. Because Streep used to be a professional guide, she agrees to let them travel with her family until they reach safety (big mistake).

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - There are a lot of edge-of-your-seat scenes of a raft going through river rapids. Two men are shot, and another is shot at, and he falls from a cliff into a river. There are a few fist fights resulting in bloody faces. There are also a couple of scenes where the weapon of choice is a paddle. A man slaps a boy hard across the face, and a dog is shot at.

The River Wild (1994) (movie): Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river. Discover the latest Discussions, Reviews, Quotes, Theories, Explanations and Analysis of The River Wild (1994) below

Streep plays Gail, a 30-ish mother who lives in Boston with her architect husband and school-age children. While she's a regular city woman, she enjoys nothing more than an occasional sojourn in the Montana wilderness, where she grew up and had her first job as a river-rafting guide. 041b061a72


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