A River Runs 15 Years (with Suckers!)
In 2007, I wrote a brief piece looking back at the production of A River Runs Through It (watch It on-line). It was the 15th anniversary of the film’s release and I guess I was feeling a bit nostalgic.
Anyway, the Trout Underground linked to it, and a bunch of traffic flowed to my (then) fledgling blog. When I completely re-built the blog in late 2008, the post vanished, leaving the link at the Underground as a dead-end. So I figured that I would re-post the post, with a bit of minor modification.
If you’ve had enough of River, feel free to skip this little remembrance and wait for something more relevant. If you’d like a bit of a story about jail-breaking suckers, read on…
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It’s hard to believe that so many Montana summers have passed since A River Runs Through It was released. The premiere in Bozeman was fairly low-key as far as premieres go, but the Ellen on Main Street had the red carpet out. Who knew on that night in 1992 the changes that “the movie” would bring to fly fishing?
The film went on to do reasonably well commercially (in terms of cost-to-return ratio), and it garnered a Best Cinematography Oscar for Philippe Rousselot, as well a Best Director Golden Globe Nomination for Robert Redford. In addition, Dennis Aig’s “making of” video took top honors (a Gold Hugo) at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Waiting (and waiting) on the set (i.e. the Gallatin River). Bunyan Bug anyone?
The production of River certainly supplied fodder for more than a few stories, both of film and fishing. I have my own collection of tales from the set, some of which are a good deal less glamorous than others. One of my more “interesting” moments came when I was transporting a styrofoam cooler full of suckers in the back of a rented sedan.
At one point in the journey, the suckers managed to get the lid off and then leaped callously into the backseat. I can only imagine what people thought when they saw me pulled over on the side of I-90, doors flung open, scrambling madly as I attempted to wrangle, de-fuzz, and re-cooler my charges. I made it and so did the fish, but I don’t think the rental company was amused.
A typical River Runs moment — just add a cooler full of suckers.
I still run into a few of my industry contacts from the film now and then, as well as my friends from the “fish crew,” such as John Bailey (who owns Dan Bailey’s), John Dietsch (now running Hook.tv), and Jerry Siem (“Dream Team” rod designer at Sage). I still watch the movie, too, and when I do I think back to those brilliant summer days, and how a river ran through the lives of everyone who worked so hard to tell Norman’s poignant story.