2 nite here at Valley Village, we’re showing THE RIVER (1984) Mel Gibson’s 1st USA film, set in the northeastern Tennessee Valley. A commercial-feed corn-growing farm family (husband: Gibson; wife: Sissy Spacek) struggle agaisnt rain, storms, and bank foreclosure. Fellow farmers scab in a steelmill to survive until the workers win, so the farmers have to leave the mill ignominiously, walking between a gauntlet of factory workers, getting spat upon. The ban’s attempt at bulldozig his farmhouse is defeated by his neighbors who support him. He brings in a bumper crop of feed-corn. & pays the bank off. This is not Elvis Presley’s urban Memphis TBN (where his dad owned a paint-store.) Gibson is flinty & real, even tho young.

Bill Costley