Turn the River
  • Book Store Admin
  • DVD's
  • Comments Off on Turn the River

Turn the River is a 2007 drama film written and directed by Chris Eigeman. It stars Famke Janssen, Jaymie Dornan, Rip Torn, Matt Ross, Lois Smith, Marin Hinkle, Terry Kinney, Jordan Bridges, and Ari Graynor. The film debuted at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 17, 2007.


Turn the River stars Famke Janssen as Kailey Sullivan, a woman rough around the edges and schooled in hard knocks. Divorced from her son s father and without visitation rights, she and her son write letters to each other and meet surreptitiously.

Kailey learns that her son, Gulley, is being abused by his father and is being bullied in school. She decides that the best thing for her and her child would be to leave the country and start a new life in Canada. She puts a plan into motion to organize fake passports and papers, which require that she raise a fair amount of money.

Kailey starts off by using her exceptional skills at pool to win small bets. After a nasty encounter with a player unhappy at losing, Kailey reveals to her friend Teddy Quinette that she met her ex-husband, David, while she was running an illegal card game room. David left his studies in a seminary to marry a then pregnant Kailey. David s mother, staunchly religious and unhappy at this turn of events, reported Kailey s illegal activities and then struck a deal with her to make her life easier in return for Kailey getting a divorce and giving away custody of Gulley. With Teddy s help, Kailey begins to organise high-stakes games against skilled players at the pool bar Teddy owns. Kailey eventually collects enough money and prepares to flee with her son in tow. On the morning of departure, she drops by David s house to speak to him for the first time in eleven years. She tells him that she is leaving with Gulley and that he will be better off with her. Kailey then handcuffs David inside the house with the aid of a replica handgun. David s wife returns to find him, and they call the police.

After driving to the Canada–US border, Kailey and Gulley have only to catch an early morning bus over the border. The police manage to track them down before they can leave, and Kailey is shot by police who believed her to be reaching for a firearm in her bag. It is left to the viewer to decide if she died or not. The movie ends with a flashback of Gulley walking to Quinette s pool bar for the first time to receive a postcard from his mother.


  • Famke Janssen as Kailey Sullivan
  • Jaymie Dornan as Gulley
  • Rip Torn as Teddy Quinette
  • Matt Ross as David
  • Lois Smith as Abigail
  • Marin Hinkle as Ellen
  • Terry Kinney as Markus
  • Jordan Bridges as Brad
  • Ari Graynor as Charlotte
  • John Juback as Duncan
  • Tony Robles as Ralphie
  • Santo D Asaro as Scott
  • Zoe Lister Jones as Kat
  • Elizabeth Atkeson as Sally
  • Joseph Siravo as Warren


Entertainment website Variety offered the following analysis:

In casting a woman in a traditionally male role, Eigeman subtly shifts both genre and gender. His heroine adopts the iconography of the hustler movie but feminizes it: The image of a woman camping out on a pool table reads less as rugged than vulnerable. When Kailey gets beaten up, it s not for being a hustler but for being a woman, as male rage explodes on the barest pretext.

Critical reception

As of April 11, 2009, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 67% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 18 reviews.


Eigeman won the Zicherman Family Foundation Award For Best Screenwriter for its unflinching realism, pitch perfect dialogue and three-dimensional characters in a world that is so often given to stereotypes.

Janssen was awarded a Special Jury Best Actress Prize for her work in the film for a brave and touching portrayal of a woman fighting for her child and her life.

The film, Chris Eigeman and Ami Armstrong were nominated for Film Independent s John Cassavetes Award.


The music on the film s soundtrack is composed by Clogs.

Year 2007
ReleaseDate 2007-10-17
RuntimeMins 92
RuntimeStr 1h 32min
Plot A pool shark takes the ultimate gamble when she kidnaps her own son and flees her ex-husband.
Awards Awards, 3 wins & 1 nomination
Directors Chris Eigeman
Writers Chris Eigeman
Stars Famke Janssen, Jaymie Dornan, Rip Torn
Produced by Ami Armstrong,Chris Eigeman,Richard Fitzgerald,Peter Friedland,Gary Giudice,Catherine Kellner,Darby Parker,Douglas Schmidt
Music by Clogs
Cinematography by Hernán Otaño
Film Editing by Michael LaHaie
Casting By Todd Thaler
Production Design by Paola Ridolfi
Costume Design by Erika Munro
Makeup Department Brenda Bush Johannesen,Pamela May,Cynthia Waldeck
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Tyler Gamble,Ben Hoskins,Steve Shapiro,Joanna Shattuck,Yann Sobezynski
Art Department Erin Courtney,Joel Custer,Gina Freedman,Adrina Rose Garibian,Roxy Gillespie,Brian Goodwin,Brent Korson,Kate McCullough,Patrick McGowan,Colby Miller,Meg Vinson,Alexis Weiss
Sound Department Gioia Birkett-Foa,Sean Canada,Frank Enright,Anton Gold,Chen Harpaz,Hae Kyong Harpaz,Gin Ho Lee,Aileen Maquiraya,Melanie Reed,Keith Stanigar
Stunts Roy Farfel,Jodi Michelle Pynn,Derrick Simmons,Manny Siverio
Camera and Electrical Department Nat Aguilar,Rik Andino,Luis Armada,Terrance Aybar,Eric Branco,Thomas Cestare,Matthew Cryan,Ben Dailey,Jason De Jesus,Alejandro Dena,Corey Eisenstein,Charlie Foerschner,Patrick Garstin,Rick Gilbert,James Gray,Anna Rose Holmer,Nolan Jenkins,Bruce Jones,Daniel Lipski,Scott Maguire,Nadine Martinez,Christian May,Carole McClintock,James McEvoy,Larry McGinley,Laura Melillo,Ilya Osovets,Thomas Quaderer,Giovanni Ramos,Che Roacher,Jed I. Rosenberg,Sarah Semlear,Francis Spieldenner,Reza Tabrizi,Brandon Taylor,Alex P. Willson,Michael Yetter,Jacklyn Chi
Casting Department Jason Foulke,Philip Huffman,Edward Buddy Pease
Costume and Wardrobe Department Bonnie Breed,Jennifer C. Breed,Caryn Frankenfield,Chandra Telfer
Editorial Department Muzaffer Alhan,Michael Fallon,Brian Scott Gale,Shannon K. Hall,Benjamin Murray,Scot Olive,John Vladic
Location Management Risa Campana,Christopher Foreman,Margaret Koschik,Christopher Menges,Lucas Mumford,Alexander Norton,Darin J. Patterson,Stephen Popernik,Jayme Winston
Music Department Jenny Choi,Clogs,David Cossin,Aaron Dessner,Bryce Dessner,Rachael Elliot,Erik Friedlander,Thomas Kozumplik,Michael LaHaie,Padma Newsome,Luca Tarantino
Script and Continuity Department Andrew Cesana
Transportation Department Curtis Neil
Additional Crew Alvey,Steve Bizenov,Richard Burst-Lazarus,Ash Calder,Jose Castro,Vivian Chen,Mimi Clarke,Brett Marcus Coady,Madeline Djerejian,Robin Drysdale,Kate Edwards,Travis B. Fields,Sarah Berge Giarraffa,Peter Hagen,Grant Harrison,Matt Heckman,Laura Hordan,Ben Hoskins,Sarah E. Hughes,John Juback,Keri Langerman,Greg Lemonides,Licorice,Lisa Lucas,Matthew Luxenberg,Joe Monge,Barbara Pal,Robbin Park,Randy Pyo,Richard Reeves,Adam Ritholz,Garfield Rowe,Jeff Sanders,Larry Shore,Gladys Silvera,B.J. Steiner,Joe Teranella,Tony,Tony Trimarco,Shameel Vasquez,Lindsay Washick,Julia Wells,Shailla Quadra,Elena Shpak
Thanks Noah Baumbach,Boaty Boatwright,Jay Cocks,Michael Fallon,Josh Hamilton,Ralph Kelsey,Linda Larkin,Jennifer Jason Leigh,Lisa Loeb,Whit Stillman,Michael Unger,Suzanne Weinert
Genres Drama
Companies Bandora, Mr. Nice
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 5.8
ImDbRatingVotes 1844
MetacriticRating 55
Keywords family relationships,billiards,ex convict,canada,money