Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1992. Allied Filmmakers, Wildwood Enterprises. Screenplay by Richard Friedenberg, based on the story by Norman Maclean. Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot. Produced by Patrick Markey, Amalia Mato, Robert Redford. Music by Mark Isham. Production Design by Jon Hutman. Costume Design by Kathy O’Rear, Bernie Pollack. Film Editing by Robert Estrin, Lynzee Klingman. Academy Awards 1992. Golden Globe Awards 1992.
Poetic and touching, this is a good film for those who love movies about fly fishing. All five of you. For the rest, it’s a fantastic drama about two Montana brothers in the 1920s (Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt) who experience family life and growing pains while also being taught to express their joy for life and rein in their frustrations through the sport that their father coaches them in. The acting by all is excellent, including the two young men in the leads and their parents played by Tom Skerritt and Brenda Blethyn, but what really makes it work is Robert Redford’s beautifully sensitive direction, which brings to life Norman McLean’s tragic autobiography without any maudlin sentimentality. Fly fishing actually became so popular after this film was released that overcrowded riverbanks gave way to serious injuries.