The River
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Three teenage girls are living in Bengali (India) near a big river: Harriet is the oldest child of a big family of English settlers. Valerie is the unique daughter of an American industrialist. Melanie has an American father and an Indian mother. One day, a man arrives. He will be the first love of the three girls.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Jean Renoir's 1951 masterpiece, his first film in color."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Renoir fashioned what might be his sweetest movie about family and one of the post-war years' most serene cinematic statements."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"It's a beautifully observed rite-of-passage and culture-clash story."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Renoir's location work in India and his semi-documentary excursions look great, juxtaposed as they are with his bold fantasy sequences evoking India's spiritual life."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The River is a sumptuous visual feast, yet another example ... of Renoir's amazing ability at using his camera as a paintbrush."
‑ Bill Gibron,
"Withal, the illustrations of the country are beautiful beyond words-the serenity of the river, the power of boatmen sweeping its stream, the bazaars full of color and movement, [and] the dazzling brilliance of festivals."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"a delicate tapestry of images that evoke a different way of life, of thinking, and of relating to the world"
‑ Jay Antani, Cinema Writer
"Gloriously photographed and providing perceptive insights into contrasting cultures, this melodrama flows with the majesty of the Ganges. But its attitudes to race and gender now sit as uncomfortably as some of the performances."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"...the plot is only the bread on which Renoir layers his meditations on life's cyclical flow from birth to death and the changes in between."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"So beautifully innocent and innocently beautiful that its peaceful wisdom transcends reality."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"As beautiful as it is moving."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"Sumptuous visual treat."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Here India seemed to be portrayed as if in a 1950s travelogue."
‑ , Sight and Sound
"One of the greatest motion pictures ever made."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Jean Renoir has preserved the spirit of Mother India as well as any western filmmaker"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for The River on Rotten Tomatoes