The River Why (film)

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The River Why
The River Why FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Matthew Leutwyler
Produced by Kristi Denton Cohen
Written by Thomas A. Cohen
John Jay Osborn, Jr.
Based on The River Why 
by David James Duncan
Starring Zach Gilford
Amber Heard
Kathleen Quinlan
Dallas Roberts
William Devane
William Hurt
Cinematography Karsten Gopinath
Release dates
  • April 2010 (2010-04) (Newport Beach)
Country United States
Language English

The River Why is a 2010 American independent drama film directed by Matthew Leutwyler. It is an adaptation of the 1983 Sierra Club novel of the same name by David James Duncan[1] and stars Zach Gilford, William Hurt and Amber Heard. Showtime broadcast the film in August 2011[2] and was later screened[3] in the United States as benefit for fish and river conservation groups. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 8, 2011.[4] The film won the award for Best Cinematography at the Ashland Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best film at The Naples International Film Festival.


The River Why is an adaptation of the 1983 Sierra Club novel by David James Duncan. The coming-of-age tale centers on a young man named Augustine "Gus" Orviston (Zach Gilford) and his quest for an elusive rainbow trout, which is a metaphor for the man's internal search for self-knowledge. Amber Heard plays his love interest, a tomboy fly-fisher named Eddy.


Actor Role
Zach Gilford Gus Orviston
Amber Heard Eddy
William Hurt Gus's Father
Dallas Roberts Titus
Kathleen Quinlan Ma
Brendan Robinson Kernie
Nikki DeLoach Young Ma
William Devane Dutch Hines
Gattlin Griffith Bill Bob
Robert Zorn Fly Shop Owner
Breanna Aleigh Grimes Marlene


Since April 30, 2008, the film rights to The River Why have become the subject of a lawsuit by novelist Duncan, alleging copyright infringement among other issues.[5][6] The lawsuit was settled and the case dismissed in November 2008.[citation needed]

In June 2008, actors William Hurt and Amber Heard joined the cast; filming began in Portland, Oregon in July 2008.[1]


External links[edit]