Wednesday, January 17, 2018

River Runs Through It

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I don't know why but I've found my mind wandering to River Phoenix a lot this week. Can you believe he'd be two years short of 50 right now if he was still alive? It's hard to picture - this Halloween will mark the 25th anniversary of his death and he remains so young in the mind's eye. Maybe I should do a series on his movies later this year - it wouldn't be a huge task to undertake given how criminally short his career turned out to be. 
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What are your favorites? I know the right answers are the dramas where he fiddled with the sadness in his eyes but I really adore his bit as Young Indy in the third Indiana Jones movie the most, I think. It's so light and fun and atypical for him at that time -- that opening sequence is just movie magic.


8 comments:

joel65913 said...

Hands down my favorite is Running on Empty where as you said he fiddled with the sadness in his eyes all the way through but he's just brilliant in it as is Christine Lahti as his mother (as well as that killer one scene wonder that Stephen Hill delivers as Christine's dad).

But I also love him as Young Indy in The Last Crusade. A tragic waste.

Michael Lewis said...

Stand by Me is one of my all time favorite movies. He was amazing in My Own Private Idaho. And though I haven't seen it in years, I remember really liking I Love You to Death.

Scott said...

While my favorite is My Own Private Idaho, I think I'm with you in that I probably more often enjoyed him in more light-hearted roles (Indiana Jones, Jimmy Reardon, Sneakers, Explorers) than in the dramas he's famous for.

Anonymous said...

Running on my Empty is my fav. I still cry at the end when the James Taylor song plays and his family drive around him in circles before they disappear in the distance. If he were alive and still acting, I wonder what type of roles he would be taking. What a loss :-(

Carl said...

Googled Running on Empty and found pictures of teenage RP in bed reading Oscar Wilde. This is definitely my kind of movie.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Running on Empty can be topped as far as River Phoenix is concerned, though My Own Private Idaho is a close second. The sadness and yearning in these two performances is beyond compare. Whichever you like, I do think we lost someone who had the potential to be one of my generation's best performers (he and I were born the same year).

William Donaldson said...

I agree that "Running On Empty" is amazing. I have to fight back tears just thinking about it and River Phoenix.

Aquinas1220 said...

He was great in The Mosquito Coast, but I'll always love him in "Stand By Me". After I saw him as young Indy, I always wished Spielberg had made a stand alone Young Indy movie with Phoenix