We take a look back at five striking anecdotes from this ode to nature by Robert Redford.
And in the middle flows a river tells the story of two brothers, Norman and Paul Maclean. The latter were raised at the beginning of the century under the sign of the Presbyterian religion and fly fishing, two disciplines of equal rigor which would shape their vision of the world.
1. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT MAKES HIS DEBUT
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young Norman in And in the middle runs a river. This is the second feature film for the comedian (after an appearance in the first Beethoven) whose talent was fully expressed through his role as a devilish-looking marginal teenager in Mysterious Skin in 2005. His Notoriety then accelerated according to his performances in films like 500 days together (2009), Inception (2010), 50/50 (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Looper (id.), Lincoln ( 2013) or Don Jon (id.).
2. ADAPTATION OF A NEW
And in the middle flows a river is adapted from the new semi-autobiographical The Sixth Day River written by Norman Maclean and first appeared in May 1976. Several producers wanted to take it to the cinema, but it was Robert Redford who managed to get the author’s agreement after having insisted for many years. This permission was granted, however, only on condition that Maclean could have a right to review Richard Friedenberg’s screenplay.
3. TRAINING FROM THE TOP OF A BUILDING
In an effort to be believable in his character, Brad Pitt trained in fly fishing for four weeks prior to filming. As, at that time, he was not near any river since he was in Los Angeles, the actor practiced this discipline from the top of a building.
4. PROTECTION OF TROUT
The trout used for the film’s purposes were raised in Montana and were kept in a specially ventilated and cooled tanker until they were used in front of Robert Redford’s camera. No hook was used and no drop of blood was shed by the fish. The Montana Humane Society was on hand during filming to make sure that no trout were mistreated.
5. REPLACEMENT OF THE COMPOSER
Elmer Bernstein composed the music for A River Flowing Through It, which was unsuitable for Robert Redford, who then called on Mark Isham to design another. In the theatrical version of the film, Isham was credited as a songwriter, but in the DVD and video versions, Bernstein appeared in the credits.
See all the filming secrets of “And in the middle runs a river”