[box cover]

A River Runs Through It: Deluxe Edition

Robert Redford's cinematic adaptation of Norman Maclean's bestselling memoir, A River Runs Through It (1992) has a heart as big as the Montana sky under which it is set. It's the story of the Maclean brothers, older, sensible Norman (Craig Sheffer) and younger, charismatic Paul (Brad Pitt), who grow up at the turn of the 20th century under the stern auspices of their Presbyterian minister father (Tom Skerritt), who believes in God, hard work, and fly-fishing. However, in adulthood the brothers grow apart, as Norman leaves Montana to attend college at Dartmouth, while Paul takes up a newspaper job at home. However, neither loses sight of the family ties that bind them together, and when Norman returns home from back east, he's granted a new opportunity to appreciate the grandeur of the Montana wilderness and the sheer artistry of his brother's fly-fishing. Nonetheless, all is not as serene as a Rocky Mountain snowcap — Norman falls hard for local beauty Jessie Burns (Emily Lloyd), only to get stuck with entertaining her oafish brother Stephen (Neal Burns), who's visiting from out of town. Paul lends a hand in the matter, although he is not above raising a little trouble on his own, in particular when it comes to visiting "white-only" bars with his Indian girlfriend. A River Runs Through It carries a sentimental tone, which is well matched by Philippe Rousselot's astonishing cinematography, capturing in colors and landscapes the same feeling of wistfulness Redford generates with his skilled direction. The Montana of the film is the sort of place where time exists solely for fishing — and in the hands of the right person, a rod and reel become tools of artistic expression, on par with a painter's watercolors. Redford constructs a lovely film full of visual beauty and an almost overwhelming amount of spirit, thanks to the tremendous performances of the cast. Brad Pitt earns the feature position on the DVD boxcover, but at this time his star was still on the rise — the film offers a wonderful opportunity to see him at work on the screen before his celebrity began competing with his talent for attention. Sony Home Entertainment's "Deluxe Edition" DVD release of A River Runs Through It upgrades the previous DVD edition with a brand-new anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) — the film looks virtually pristine, with barely any hint of collateral wear, while the audio is rich and clear on a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Supplements remain limited, with just filmographies and trailers for other Sony titles on DVD. New to the package is a full-color "Movie Scrapbook," with additional cast and crew details. Keep-case with paperboard slipcase.
—Gregory P. Dorr/JJB



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