"There are things in the film that Birdlace does that if that were me, I'd be so embarrassed," says Phoenix. "But it's not me. It completely belongs to him. " Still, no matter what he does, Phoenix is hard to disguise. Folksinger Holly Near, who plays Rose's mother, observes: "If you had more young men like River than like Eddie Birdlace, you wouldn't have a Marine Corps."

                                                                  PREMIERE October 1991


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