A Forgotten Brad Pitt Movie Is Only On Netflix For A Few More Days

By Vic Medina | 1 month ago

brad pitt

Brad Pitt has acted in over 80 films in his career, but one of his often-overlooked movies from the 1990s is about to leave two major streaming services. If you’re a fan of the actor, you only have a few more days to catch this forgotten gem, that has some pretty significant star power behind it.

A River Runs Through It, released in 1992 by Columbia Pictures, is directed by Robert Redford and was the first major hit for Brad Pitt after Thelma & Louise. Even though he is a Hollywood legend, Redford often shies away from traditional big-budget films and Hollywood blockbusters. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and his recent appearances as Alexander Pierce in Marvel films not withstanding, many of Redford’s films are period pieces that explore the uniqueness of America’s past, and are often character studies devoid of explosions and CGI. That means many of his films, like River, are often overlooked at the box office, but streaming allows film fans to find many of his gems from a career that has spanned seven decades. Interestingly, even though Redford serves as the film’s narrator, he is not credited in the cast list.

brad pitt

Although it is has the star power of Brad Pitt and Robert Redford behind it, it isn’t a permanent staple on streaming services. In fact, it is due to be removed from the two major streaming services it is currently on: Netflix and Tubi. March 31 is the last day to watch the film on either service, so act quickly!

Based on a semi-autobiographical novella by award-winning author Norman Maclean (who died two years before the film released), the film tells the story of the Maclean brothers: Paul (Brad Pitt) and Norman (Craig Sheffer). The brothers live a simple life in rural 1910s Missoula, Montana, most of which is spent fly-fishing. Paul’s minister father (Tom Skerritt) imparts a love of old-style fly-fishing to his sons, which they practice on the nearby Blackfoot River. When Norman leaves for college, Paul is left behind to cause headaches for his long-suffering parents, including his mother (Brenda Blethyn). Upon his return, the brothers take up fishing once again, and take the time to reassess their lives.

The film, though well-received by critics, was only a modest hit at the box office, earning over $43 million on a $12 million budget. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning for Best Cinematography (Philippe Rousselot). It most notably opened the door for Brad Pitt to make more films, as he would be cast in Kalifornia, Interview with the Vampire, and Legends of the Fall immediately after it release. It has grown in regard in the years since, as more movie fans discover it on Blu-ray and streaming services. Brad Pitt has gone on to films like Fight Club and Ocean’s 11.

brad pitt

It has often been argued that the real star of A River Runs Through It is not Brad Pitt, but rather the scenery, particularly the rivers where the many fishing scenes take place. The movie was filmed completely on location in Wyoming and Montana in the summer and fall of 1991. Those locations account for the gorgeous, timeless scenery, particularly Granite Falls in Wyoming, the backdrop for one of the film’s signature scenes.

According to a 2019 story in The Oregonian, the film sparked a spike in fly-fishing equipment sales, up 60% the year it was released in 1992, and another 60% jump in 1993. Home video and word of mouth continues to spark an interest in both fly-fishing and in the locations used in the film, primarily Livingston, Bozeman, and Big Timber, all in Montana. Amateur fishermen and professionals flock to the rivers featured in the film: the upper Yellowstone, the Gallatin, and the Boulder rivers, where they can cast a line in the same spot Brad Pitt did (he actually spent a month training to fly-fish for the film). Outdoor enthusiasts even visit the Blackfoot River, which is the river the story is set in, although the movie never actually filmed on it.

The film’s cast is also notable, and not just for Brad Pitt. Tom Skerritt is likely recognizable for his roles in classics like Alien and Top Gun. Brenda Blethyn would go on to be nominated for two acting Academy Awards: as Best Actress in 1996’s Secrets and Lies and for Best Supporting Actress in 1998’s Little Voice. The film also marks the feature debut for Michael Cudlitz, who would go on to appear in the shows Band of Brothers, Southland, The Walking Dead (as Abraham), and Clarice. It’s also the debut film for a young Joseph Gordon Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises).