A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT centers on two brothers, their father and the river that shapes their lives. Set in Montana between 1910 and 1935, the story uses fly-fishing as a metaphor for science, sport, religion, art, and a quest for the grace that they all share. Norman and Paul Maclean are devoted to each other and to their parents, yet the tough stoicism that has been bred into them by their stern father, the Reverend Maclean (Tom Skerritt) and by the rough land has made it difficult for them to seek, accept, or offer help when needed, though Paul is in need of help. On the river, however, teaching his sons how to cast the line, to read the water, to respect the fish, the reverend initiates the boys into a discipline that links them to nature, beauty, art, and, irrevocably, to each other.
Like Robert Redford’s Oscar-winning directorial debut, ORDINARY PEOPLE, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT deals with a family whose members are unable to help or communicate with one another. In RIVER, however, Redford has created a work that ties religion, family and fishing together in an unusual and intelligent manner. However, there are very brief scenes of drinking and gambling and partial nudity.
(L, M, NN, S, B, C) approx. 5 obscenities & 3 profanities; brief scenes of gambling and drinking; partial male nudity; implied fornication; and, biblical character of minister father and Protestant work ethic symbolized in fly-fishing.