The River Rat
The River Rat is a 1984 independent family film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Martha Plimpton (in her second film and first starring role). Filmed in Kentucky, it is set on the banks of the Mississippi River. Plimpton portrays a young teenage daughter who meets her father (Jones), an ex-con just released from prison, for the first time. The two slowly forge a relationship as they rebuild a boat named "The River Rat." But the father cannot escape his criminal past as he is blackmailed by the prison psychiatrist (Brian Dennehy), who believes he knows the location of a large amount of cash stolen before imprisonment.
Father and daughter take "The River Rat" on a picturesque trip down the Mississippi River to Memphis, Tennessee in an effort to find the money and elude the prison doctor. Along the way, they learn about each other's lives and create a family bond.
The film was written and directed by Thomas Rickman, who had been nominated for an Academy Award in 1980 for his screenplay to Coal Miner's Daughter, also starring Tommy Lee Jones. The film was produced by Bob Larson (Coal Miner's Daughter Executive Producer) and Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter Director) served as Executive Producer. The film was a Larson/Rickman Production in Association with the Sundance Institute.
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