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The River

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Original title
Le fleuve (The River)
Running time
99 min.
France France
Rumer Godden, Jean Renoir (Novel: Rumer Godden)
M.A. Partha Sarathy
Claude Renoir
Co-production France-India-United States; Oriental International Film
Drama. Romance | Romantic Drama. Colonialism
Movie Groups
Rumer Godden Adaptations
Synopsis / Plot
Harriet (Patricia Walters) is a pensive, awkward, and fanciful adolescent growing up in Bengal near the banks of the river. The eldest child of a jute factory manager (Esmond Knight), she spends most of her days writing poetry in her diary and observing life pass by over the garden walls with her attractive and self-confident friend, Valerie (Adrienne Corri), and her levelheaded, yet superstitious governess, Nan (Suprova Mukerjee). One day, the girls witness the arrival of an intriguing young man at the home of their neighbor, Mr. John (Arthur Shields), and decide to send a formal invitation to celebrate the Hindu festival of lights as an excuse to meet him. Mr. John is a humble, affable widower whose daughter Melanie (Radha) has recently graduated from a Western school. Mr. John, an Anglo-Indian, was married to a Hindu woman, and consequently, Melanie was born without caste. Now an adult, Melanie struggles to reconcile her identity as she finds herself on the periphery of both cultures, but belonging to neither.
1951: Venice Film Festival: International Award
1951: New York Film Critics Circle: Nominated for Best Film
1951: National Board of Review: Top Best Foreign Film
1952: BAFTA Awards: Nominated for Best Film and British Film
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