The River Rat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the river in Suffolk, England, see River Rat.
The River Rat
River rat poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Thomas Rickman
Produced by Michael Apted
Bob Larson
Written by Thomas Rickman
Release date
Country United States
Language English

The River Rat is a 1984 independent family film directed by Thomas Rickman and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Martha Plimpton.[1] Filmed on location in Kentucky, on the banks of the Mississippi River.


Plimpton portrays a teenager who meets her father (Jones), just released from prison, for the first time. The two slowly forge a relationship as they rebuild a boat named "The River Rat." The father cannot escape his criminal past, being 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 ride "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 and grow closer.


The film was written and directed by Thomas Rickman, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 1980 for his screenplay of Coal Miner's Daughter, also starring Tommy Lee Jones. The film was produced by Bob Larson (executive producer of Coal Miner's Daughter) and Michael Apted (who directed Coal Miner's Daughter) served as executive producer. The film was a Larson/Rickman Production in association with the Sundance Institute. The original music was composed by Mike Post.


External links[edit]