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A River Runs Through It Details


Robert Redford's lyrical direction sets the tone for this evocative adaptation of author Norman MacLean's memoir of his idyllic Montana youth. The MacLean family is presided over by the strict but encouraging Rev. MacLean (Tom Skerritt) and his loving wife (Brenda Blethyn). Craig Sheffer stars as the young Norman, the older son in his family, who takes his school work and writing a bit too seriously for Paul (Brad Pitt), the impetuous younger son, to take much stock in. Paul would rather have a good time, drink and play cards than get involved with academic study. Where Norman wants to be a college literature professor, Paul would prefer to stay in Montana all his life and wrangle some kind of job writing for a local newspaper. But, ironically, Paul is the better fly fisherman and in this way attains a sense of perfection. The film also details the MacLean boys' involvement with a colorful group of town's people -- including a young Indian woman Paul decides to date and the defiant Jessie (Emily Lloyd), whom Norman later marries. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

  • Release date:September 13, 1992


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Mark Isham Best Score 1992 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Richard Friedenberg Best Adapted Screenplay 1992 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Robert Redford Best Director 1992 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Philippe Rousselot Best Cinematography 1992 Winner
American Society of Cinematographers Philippe Rousselot Best Cinematography 1992 Nominee


Craig Sheffer
as Norman Maclean
Brad Pitt
as Paul Maclean
Tom Skerritt
as Reverend MacLean
Brenda Blethyn
as Mrs. Maclean
Emily Lloyd
as Jessie Burns
Edie McClurg
as Mrs. Burns
Stephen Shellen
as Neal Burns
Nicole Burdette
as Mabel
Susan Traylor
as Rawhide
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
as Young Norman
Vann Gravage
as Young Paul
Kathy Scharler
as Waitress at Speakeasy
Rob Cox
as Conroy
Jess Schwidde
as Mrs. Sweeney
Arnold Richardson
as Old Norman
Jim Dunkin
as Speakeasy Bartender
Prudence Johnson
as Pavilion Singer
Byron Dingman
as Speakeasy Patron
Jack Kroll
as Reporter
Martina Kreidl
as Secretary at Newspaper
Chuck Tweed
as Drunk in Jail
Hawk Forssell
as Bouncer at Speakeasy
Anne Merrem
as Hooker at Lolo
Jacob Snyder
as Piano Player
Michael Cudlitz
as Chub
Tracy Mayfield
as Bouncer at Lolo
Don Jeffery
as Black Jack
Caleb Shiff
as Young John
Fred Oakland
as Mr. Burns
Rex Kendall
as Reporter
David Creamer
as Ken Burns
MacIntyre Dixon
as Police Sergeant
Chuck Adamson
as Harry the Editor
William Hootkins
as Murphy
Robert Redford
as Narration
Lincoln Quesenberry
as Drunk in Alley
Buck Simmonds
as Humph
Madonna Reubens
as Aunt Sally
Cecily Johnson
as Speakeasy Patron
Margot Kiser
as Sal


Robert Redford
Robert Redford
Patrick Markey
William Hjortsberg
Richard Friedenberg
Philippe Rousselot
Mark Isham
Composer (Music Score)
Lynzee Klingman
Jon Hutman
Production Designer
Walter Paul Martishius
Art Director
Barbara Maltby
Jake Eberts
Executive Producer
Gretchen Rau
Set Designer
Bernie Pollack
Costume Designer
Kathy O'Rear
Costume Designer
Elisabeth Leustig
Norman Maclean
Short Story Author