The movie Red River (Les amants de Rivière-Rouge) is a French film directed by Yves Boisset, with Christophe Malavoy in the lead role of Monge and Eric Schweig in the secondary role of Napoleon. The film was acclaimed in Europe when it was released in 1996.
The adventurer Monge and his Métis friend Napoleon stop at Red River to sell their horses. Captivated by a farm girl, Hannah (Claudia Koll), Monge decided to settle there. Napoleon did not understand that the love of a woman can compromise their friendship. A violent fight broke out, and Napoleon left alone to the mountains. But years later, Napoleon returns to Red River and Hannah falls in love with him. The young woman being pregnant, Hannah and Napoleon run away. Furious, Monge goes in search of Hannah and Napoleon throughout the Rocky Mountains. When he finally finds them after many months, a surprise was awaiting for him…
This romantic story, shot in the same landscape as the movie Legends of the Fall, has several timeouts (the length of the film is 3 hours) and the chemistry between the actors seem difficult sometimes, probably because during the shooting, some declaim their lines in English and others in French. There are however some exciting scenes, like the one where Eric Schweig is fighting against a bear, the famous «Bart the Bear» (an Alaskan Kodiak bear appearing in several films).
Eric’s interpretation of Napoleon is honest, although he revealed in an interview for Mohican Press he did not really likes this movie, especially the scene where Napoleon is killed by Monge, adding that “it’s the most horrible death scene that I’ve ever done.” During the shooting of the film in 1996, Eric Schweig still sported his characteristic long hair and, despite overweight, was still as much photogenic on screen.
Between his two films released in 1996 (Red River and Dead Man’s Walk) and his wonderful interpretation of Pike Dexter in the film Big Eden in 2000, Eric Schweig experienced the longest break in his film career (4 years).
Director: Yves Boisset
Writer: Michel Leviant
Stars: Christophe Malavoy, Eric Schweig, Claudia Koll