More Than Five River Movie Villains


Rivers are often enemies in movies.  Below are 5 of the better ones.

  1.  Chinatown.  Rotten Tomatoes calls this film a “noir classic” and it is.  Its hateful villain is Noah Cross, the rich and powerful head of LA’s water department who justifies all human behavior including incest.  Noah, played by John Huston in a juicy, late career performance, uses his position to destroy water tanks and worse while bringing water from distant rivers to Los Angeles to get even wealthier.  He is one nasty villain!
  2. The Bridge on the River Kwai.  Brits in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II build a bridge over a strategic river that leads to the deaths of thousands.  Based on an actual incident, this movie won the Best Picture Academy Award in 1958.   The bridge was in Burma but the movie was shot in what is now Sir Lanka.  Wikipedia correctly calls Colonel Saito played by Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa “an honorable villain.”  An international star who made about 80 movies, Hayakawa was nominated for his performance in this film but did not win.
  3. Into the Wild.  Based on a true story written by Jon Krakauer in one of his first literary successes,  Into the Wild tells about Chris McCandless, a privileged young man who gives away all of his possessions and tries to survive an Alaskan winter in an old bus.  He is alone.   The villain is the Teklanika River.  Chris decided to return to society, but this river, now thawing and flowing dangerously, prevents this.
  4. Sully.  Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was a national hero in a film directed by Clint Eastwood.  He was the pilot who made an emergency landing in the Hudson River and was able to save the lives of all 155 passengers.  This tale has 3 villains–the US Government, winter, and a flock of birds.   The National Transportation Safety Board claimed pilot error and the crash caused by birds happened in January.
  5.  Against the Current.  This movie also starred the Hudson River.  Fewer people saw it because this fine film went direct to video when released in 2009.  Its hero loses his wife in a birthing tragedy, the villain, and 5 years later he decides to swim down the Hudson River from Upstate New York to New York City.  Its grim but excellent.  One of its genuine pleasures is a late career performance by Mary Tyler Moore.DSC02967


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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