The River is a story of family courage and sacrifice. The setting for the story is an agrarian landscape beginning the slow march toward industrialization at the turn of the century. Tom Garvey (Mel Gibson) is a poor independent farmer battling to make his less prosperous farm function in a hostile environment. Mae (Sissy Spacek) is Tom's devoted but conflicted wife, who is forced to face a past lover John Wade (Scott Glenn), the man attempting to buy the farm for corporate interests to turn it into a flood plain. The River is a rallying cry for the small rural farmer to stand up to big agriculture to protect their rights. A cry to dig in and protect their small piece of the promise that is America. A must-see for any film buff who is a fan of small town American life, underdogs fighting corporate bullies, or Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek.