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Film, Video The river

About this Item


  • The river


  • Depression-era documentary which chronicles the exploration and exploitation of the Mississippi River from the Civil War through the 1920s.


  • Lorentz, Pare, direction, writing
  • Crosby, Floyd, 1899-1985, photography
  • Van Dyke, Willard, photography
  • Woodard, Stacy, photography
  • Nosler, Lloyd, 1900-1985, editing
  • Zochling, Leo, editing
  • Chalmers, Thomas, 1884-1966, narration
  • United States. Farm Security Administration
  • AFI/Sheerin (Robert M.) Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Museum of Modern Art Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Young (Robert) Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Farm Security Administration : Paramount Pictures, 1938.


  • -  Mississippi River
  • -  Soil erosion--Mississippi River Valley
  • -  Agriculture--Mississippi River Valley
  • -  Logging--Mississippi River Valley
  • -  Floods--Mississippi River
  • -  Flood control--Mississippi River
  • -  Tennessee Valley Authority


  • Documentary films
  • Sponsored films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  LP7702 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: Pare Lorenz; 29Oct37; LP7702.
  • -  Cinematography, Floyd Crosby, Willard Van Dyke, Stacy Woodard ; editing, Lloyd Nosler, Leo Zochling ; music, Virgil Thomson ; sound, Al Dillinger.
  • -  Narrator: Thomas Chalmers.
  • -  Non-viewing print is in poor condition. According to paperwork in M/B/RS Acquisition file (Young, Robert), the print originally belonged to editor, Lloyd Nosler; cannot confirm.
  • -  Summary from the Kentucky Historical Society website.
  • -  Theatrical projection print was acquired for LC's National Film Preservation Tour, featuring titles from the National Film Registry.
  • -  LC also holds a book entitled The river, by Pare Lorenz, with text taken verbatim from the film (LC catalog number 38027216).
  • -  This film was selected for the National Film Registry.
  • -  Not viewed.
  • -  Sources used: Internet movie database; Kentucky Historical Society website; American Studies Group at the University of Virginia website (Reaping the golden harvest: Pare Lorentz, poet and filmmaker).


  • viewing print 1 film reel (ca. 31 min., ca. 1,115 ft.) : sd., b&w, 16 mm.
  • theatrical projection print 2 film reels of 2 (ca. 31 min., ca. 2,790 ft.) : sd., b&w, 35 mm.
  • non-viewing print 1 film reel (ca. 31 min., ca. 1,115 ft.) : sd., b&w, 16 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FBC 8694 (viewing print)
  • FQC 3681-3682 (theatrical projection print)
  • FTB 1633 (non-viewing print)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2007640253

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Crosby, Floyd, Photography, Willard Van Dyke, Stacy Woodard, Thomas Chalmers, United States Farm Security Administration, Afi/Sheerin, Museum Of Modern Art Collection, and Young. The River. editeds by Nosler, Lloyd, Iting, and Zochling, Leoiting, , , directeds by Lorentz, Pareection, Writing United States: Farm Security Administration: Paramount Pictures, 1938. Video.

APA citation style:

Crosby, F., Van Dyke, W., Woodard, S., Chalmers, T., United States Farm Security Administration, Afi/Sheerin [...] Young, Nosler, L. & Zochling, L., eds. (1938) The River. Lorentz, P., dir United States: Farm Security Administration: Paramount Pictures. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Crosby, Floyd, Photography, et al. The River. ed by Nosler, Lloyd, Iting, and Zochling, Leoiting, , , dir by Lorentz, Pareection, Writing United States: Farm Security Administration: Paramount Pictures, 1938. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.