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The River
(1984)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Herbert W. Spencer

Notable Solos by:
Warren Luening
Tommy Tedesco
James Walker
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but completely out of print and difficult to find.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have grown weary of John Williams' space operas and high adventure style of the 1980's and seek a change of pace to one of the composer's most heartfelt and organic works of pure Americana.

Avoid it... if you have absolutely no tolerance for the moderate use of contemporary rhythms and percussion in parts of the score, for The River is somewhat dated in these regards.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,551
WRITTEN 8/13/09
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Williams
Williams
The River: (John Williams) There was a flurry of films in the early 1980's that dealt with dramatic representations of the hardship of the American farmer, and largely because The River arrived last in this series in 1984, audiences weren't particularly sympathetic to it. The quality of the film, despite poor critical response, is quite decent, setting aside the awkwardness of Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson as the leading couple fighting to save their farm from both a regularly flooding river and a hydroelectric developer played brilliantly by Scott Glenn. Director Mark Rydell once again turns his attention on the mundane but important aspects of rural America in The River, tackling the subject of farming from both the perspectives of money and natural disaster. Gibson, while not known widely at the time, has always remained the weak link in an otherwise precise depiction of contemporary Alabama lifestyles. Helping counter his miscasting is John Williams, who was once again inspired by Rydell to convey a convincing sense of Americana that few modern composers could accomplish. Williams' work for Rydell had included The Reivers and The Cowboys, and while The River obviously exists in a different generation and addressed more realistic, everyday subject matter for many audiences, the composer does not miss the chance to emphasize the farmland along with the people. The success of The River as a score is due to Williams' ability to capture the pastoral elements of the landscape and a simple lifestyle in both the massive scope of expansive melodrama that listeners have come to expect from him and, more importantly, in the more confined atmosphere of personal, heartfelt struggles. Throughout the picture, Williams' score offsets the film's ominous storm clouds with an upbeat spirit of perseverance and respect for the land. It is as organic in texture as the composer has perhaps ever been.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
121 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.16 Stars
***** 21 5 Stars
**** 32 4 Stars
*** 32 3 Stars
** 18 2 Stars
* 18 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Masterpiece
Max - July 30, 2010, at 11:45 a.m.
1 comment  (870 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 37:05
1. The River (4:30)
2. Growing Up (2:53)
3. The Pony Ride (3:16)
4. Love Theme From The River (4:54)
5. The Ancestral Home (4:31)
6. Rain Clouds Gather (3:07)
7. From Farm to Factory (2:44)
8. Back From Town (3:40)
9. Tractor Scene (2:18)
10. A Family Meeting (2:39)
11. Young Friends Farewell (2:39)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a short note about the score and film.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The River are Copyright © 1991, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/13/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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