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The River (Criterion Collection) (1951)

Cast: Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields, more...
Director: Jean Renoir
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, India, Classic Drama, Classic Drama, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 99 min.
Subtitles: English
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Synopsis
The River must be seen in its original Technicolor; it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine anyone fully enjoying this wonderful film while watching a black-and-white TV print. Adapted by director Jean Renoir and Rumer Godden from Godden's own novel, the film is set on the banks of West Bengal. The central character is teenaged British girl Harriet (Patricia Walters), the offspring of a jute-mill owner (Esmond Knight) and his wife (Nora Swinburne). Harriet and her best friend Valerie (Adrienne Corri) harbor a crush for a dashing visitor named Captain John (Thomas E. Breen), who in turn is preoccupied with the hauntingly beautiful Indian girl Melanie (Radha Shri Ram). This languid state of affairs is shaken up by unexpected tragedy involving Harriet's impulsive brother (Richard Foster). The real star of the proceedings is the titular river, exquisitely color-photographed by Claude Renoir (Jean's nephew) and his Indian assistant Ramanda Sen Gupta. The apotheosis of Jean Renoir's lifelong fascination with India, The River served as a launching pad for the directorial career of Satyajit Ray, who met and befriended Renoir during the shooting of this film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Simply Breathtaking & Uniquely Refreshing by randomcha February 22, 2007 - 7:11 AM PST
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1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Absolutely one of the most gorgeous color films ever made, and presented here in a wonderful transfer by Criterion (of course). It's a deceptively simple, languid tale that's completely unconventional, from the drifting storyline with its integration of music(and even dance) to the casting of nonactors in crucial roles. Don't miss the Scorsese interview, which is among the bonus features. It's easy to watch "Kundun" and see how "The River" was a key influence.




GreenCine Member Rating
12345678910

(Average 7.24)
59 Votes
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