The River

Renoir’s film, late in his filmmaking career, sees the master working in color for the first time. The story follows a well-to-do British family living on the banks of the Ganges River. Teenager Harriet (Patricia Walters) and her sisters are brought up in an environment that melds the philosophies of East and West in equal measure. When a British military captain (Thomas Breen) moves in with his cousin next door, Harriet and her sisters are all smitten. As the captain’s attentions move elsewhere, Harriet is forced to take extreme measures. A beautifully photographed and deeply felt examination of coming of age in a colonial environment, The River portrays a world in which there is no perceptible way out of one’s immediate troubles.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Jean Renoir

The Grand Illusion

A humanistic, sensitive masterpiece nearly unparalleled in cinema history, Renoir’s WWI drama concerns the trials and tribulations of a group of French POWs under German imprisonment. Most of the group are working-class, led by Lieutenant Maréchal (an unforgettable Jean Gabin); they scheme and plot—sometimes to the point of revolt—to escape the prison camp, meanwhile reveling