Based on a real life incident, this disturbing drama serves as a seminal study of disillusioned and alienated youth. Set in a small rural town, the local clique of slacker teens is pulled apart when Samson (Daniel Roebuck) kills his girlfriend on the banks of the river and then callously shows off the dead body to his friends. The teens are so numb and ambivalent to the reality of their situation that they remain relatively unphased by the murder of one of their own. Crispin Glover is brilliant as the drugged out paranoid, Layne, who sympathizes with the killer, and plots to hide him at the house of an eccentric recluse (Dennis Hopper), who is rumored to have comitted a similar crime in the 1960s. Keanu Reeves and Ione Skye co-star as Matt and Clarissa, two friends who are drawn together in their realization that something is horribly wrong. In this startling portrait of a morally void society, director Tim Hunter creates a remarkable world of dysfunction and dead-end lives that is haunting in its accuracy.
Daniel Roebuck - American Supporting Actor
Tim Hunter - American director, writer: TEX/CARNIVALE TV series
Keanu Reeves - American Actor, MATRIX (1999)
Dennis Hopper - American actor/director
Ione Skye - Actress
Ione Skye Leitch - Actress
Crispin Glover - American Actor, THE RIVER'S EDGE (1986), BACK TO THE FUTURE
Crispin Hellion Glover - American Actor, THE RIVER'S EDGE (1986), BACK TO THE FUTURE
A chilling and visually arresting drama that centers on a close-knit group of slacker teenagers who discover that one of their own has killed his girlfriend. Emotionally unprepared and ambivalent, they must struggle between friendship and responsibility before deciding to report the murder. Based on a real-life incident, this darkly disturbing portrait of amoral teens lost in a small town with no escape became an instant cult-classic. The excellent ensemble cast features Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper, Ione Skye, and Keanu Reeves.
Screened at the World Film Festival in Montreal, Canada in August, 1986. Theatrical release in New York City: May 8, 1987. RIVER'S EDGE is based on a real life incident that occurred in Milpitas, California, in 1981. Screenwriter Neal Jiminez wrote the screenplay for RIVER'S EDGE in 1981, but could not get financing for the project until 1987. Additional cast: Josh Richman (Tony), Constance Forslund and Danyi Deats. Additional credits: Richard Hanley (assistant director). Co-produced by Palace. Color by Metrocolor. The film was primarily inspired by a real-life incident that took place in Milpitas, California in 1981.
"...Hunter has an extraordinarily clear understanding of teenage characters....Acted with utter conviction by a fine and largely unknown young cast..." - 05/08/1987 New York Times, p.C28
"...Technically, [the film] is first-rate starting with the well-designed credit titles and continuing via the superior photography...[With a] fine music score..." - 09/03/1986 Variety
"...When it's great -- as in Dennis Hopper's scenes -- passion boils over the edges....There's a lot of low-key poetry and nicely casual tension in Hunter's direction and in Frederick Elmes' cinematography..." - 05/08/1987 Los Angeles Times, p.C20
"...Keanu Reeves is excellent....The movie has some of the creepy feel of Hopper's BLUE VELVET..." - 01/26/2001 USA Today, p.6E
"[D]isconcertingly entertaining .The unsettling discordance is what keeps the film so strangely alive." - 11/01/2004 Uncut, p.160