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      The River

      Released Sep 10, 1951 1h 38m Drama List
      92% Tomatometer 25 Reviews 79% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings In West Bengal, both Harriet, the daughter of a jute mill owner, and her best friend, Valerie, become captivated by dashing visitor Capt. John, who ignores them for sultry Melanie. However, all find that their lives are shaken up after Harriet's brother is involved in a tragedy. Read More Read Less

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      The River

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      The River

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      Critics Consensus

      Jean Renoir's first film shot in color takes full advantage of its broadened palette, yielding a visually virtuosic coming of age tale filled with moving performances and vibrant hues.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Keith Phipps The Dissolve It emphasizes Technicolor's vibrancy, but it's also notable for the way it accentuates muted tones, like the clay bricks and the sand by the riverbanks. Rated: 4.5/5 Apr 23, 2015 Full Review Dave Kehr Chicago Reader Jean Renoir's 1951 masterpiece, his first film in color. Oct 24, 2007 Full Review David Parkinson Empire Magazine Gloriously photographed and providing perceptive insights into contrasting cultures, this melodrama flows with the majesty of the Ganges. But its attitudes to race and gender now sit as uncomfortably as some of the performances. Rated: 3/5 Dec 30, 2006 Full Review B.R. Crisler Christian Science Monitor On the whole, the casual narrative technique of its adapters is more interesting than either its story content or its characters. And its picturesque background... is more interesting still. Aug 16, 2022 Full Review Nicholas Bell IONCINEMA.com The River is indeed sumptuously photographed. But its rendering, a visually evocative portrayal of the circle of life as evidenced by the experiences of three young women, is often too simplistic in other regards. Rated: 3/5 Oct 28, 2020 Full Review James Kendrick Q Network Film Desk a sumptuous visual feast that foregoes narrative drive for the simple beauties of lived existence on the banks of the Ganges River Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 22, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      dave s Shot in stunning Technicolor and set in India, Jean Renoir's The River tells the story of two young British sisters and a local woman who fall in love with an American soldier, vying for his attention as life goes on around them on the banks of the Ganges. It is beautiful to look at and the general theme, the constant flow of the river mirroring the never-ending cycle of life, is of interest, but you can't help but feel that the film is unable to make up its mind whether it wants to be a travelogue or a coming-of-age romance, marred by the often unnecessary and always didactic voiceover narration. It's apparently one of Martin Scorsese's favorite films, so who's to argue with the master, but it feels like it could have been so much more. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member One of the most beautiful films of all time; simple and intimate, moving and fascinating, produced with the most loving touch I've ever witnessed in a movie. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review andres s Hwoo! Damn that guy is going ham on the tabla during the beginning credits! Beautiful intro credits with the use of rice flower to create all the calligraphy. You can tell this movie was made with a love and admiration for the country of India and all it's beautiful people and culture. A very charming, heartfelt, tender and cozy movie. An easy watch. The technicolor really radiates throughout the movie. It's gorgeous. Indian culture is so interesting and enlightening, even though their countries health standards aren't the cleanest. The technicolor looks amazing and the music is righteous. These locations in India are really pretty. I wish to one day visit. That's the thing with a lot of older movies is that they still have traditions that are very old fashioned that I can't really relate to. Nonetheless, it's still interesting to see how things were done back in an older time. Courtship and all that. That dance that Melanie does as the goddess was so entrancing to watch. Interesting love triangle between the three girls and the captain. Woah, that took a dark turn lol. The little boy died. Well, that's why you don't play around with cobra snakes. Boys will be boys I guess. Going out, seeking adventure and danger. I love that speech that Melanie's dad gives right after the boys funeral. It's a very honest and cynical look but also a hopeful and enlightening one. Interesting how the only boy in the family was the one who died. There's some kind of symbology there. The way Renoir presents the cycle of life in this movie makes it very easy to wrap your head around. People die and are born again both in the way physically but also spiritually. An indulging look at Indian culture and all the beauty the country has to offer that satisfied my appetite. Some of the acting didn't really hit the mark, it felt like some actors were kind of lukewarm but I guess it adds to the charm of the movie. I love how family-oriented and human it feels. The river I think symbolizes the journey from adolescence into adulthood and that first feeling of love that we all experience. It's all those experiences that we go through while flowing through the river in which we learn that makes us wiser, stronger and older. Renoir has this way of presenting his films in a very magical way. It's very unique. Cinematically beautiful and philosophically enlightening. I would enjoy watching this movie again. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member It was beautiful! Its an absolutely delightful film, really hypnotic in its rhythm and in its love for India. Its old so some gender roles are out of date but its wonderful. Remember its slow but that's the hypnotic part. Give it the time it needs. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review lariste l Exceptionally beautiful film that says, gently, and meaningfully - NOT MUCH. It's supposed to be a family drama, coming of age story and romantic "struggle", but the real star is the cinematographer and directors exceptional eye for composition, framing and editing. The images in this film are outstanding throughout, but the story is essentially about a teenage girl's fixation with an older, but still attractive man and her jealousy over his relationship. Movie needs some dramatic story beats at the end to reward the viewer, otherwise this cinema classic begins to feel like an extended series of outstanding location shots, ancient ruins, artful compositions without narrative. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Incrediably BORING! For those fans of old English stories where nothing happens and that, only slowly! Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The River

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis In West Bengal, both Harriet, the daughter of a jute mill owner, and her best friend, Valerie, become captivated by dashing visitor Capt. John, who ignores them for sultry Melanie. However, all find that their lives are shaken up after Harriet's brother is involved in a tragedy.
      Director
      Jean Renoir
      Producer
      Kenneth McEldownery
      Production Co
      Oriental International Films
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Sep 10, 1951, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 23, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 38m
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