Film Overview: Rider On The Rain (1970)

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A psychological thriller, Rider On The Rain teases with an incredible premise. However regardless of glorious performances and a compelling temper, the follow-through is barely middling.

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In a small French city, Mélancolie “Mellie” Mau (Marlène Jobert) is married to Tony (Gabriele Tinti), a often absent airplane navigator. Mellie and her mom Juliette (Annie Cordy) spot a creepy stranger on the town; he proceeds to rape Mellie in her home. However she recovers and kills her assailant with a shotgun blast and paddle blows to the pinnacle, then dumps his physique into the ocean at a secluded seashore. She tells nobody concerning the incident.

One other stranger named Harry Dobbs (Charles Bronson) arrives on the town the following day, and instantly accuses Mellie of homicide. He’s looking for the rapist’s small pink journey bag. Mellie denies killing anybody and any data of the bag. Harry is persistent and over a number of days stalks Mellie to strain her into confessing, however she demonstrates a robust capability to withstand.

It is uncommon for a movie to lose vitality when Charles Bronson makes his look, however by no fault of the actor, that is what occurs right here. For the primary half-hour and with Bronson nowhere to be seen, director René Clément introduces a moist and dreary French resort shrouded in rain with the winsome Mellie because the one brilliant spot, then delivers a scrumptious double shock with a brutal rape adopted shortly by Mellie’s devastating revenge. To this point, so electrically Hitchcockian, and as opening acts go, Rider On The Rain units a excessive bar.

However then Bronson’s Harry Dobbs arrives to hang-out Mellie, and he appears to know all of the solutions besides the vital ones. The Sébastien Japrisot script bogs down, providing riddles however dragging out the non-solutions to the purpose of irrelevance. Dobbs’ id, his curiosity within the rapist, what’s so vital concerning the pink journey bag, and the way any of this pertains to the suspicious quantities of money Tony brings again from his travels are all good questions ready too lengthy for sufficient explanations.

As a substitute Clément levels scene after repetitive scene of Dobbs pressuring Mellie to speak, his ways encompassing plying her with alcohol and flirting with outright abuse, whereas she doggedly sticks to her story of claiming nothing. Temporary flashbacks to a childhood trauma clarify Mellie’s willpower, however do nothing to advance the plot. The resolutions come tumbling out within the last 20 minutes, and these are a barely coherent mishmash of latest characters and occasions thrown haphazardly on the display, together with a second homicide twist extra coincidental than intelligent.

Marlène Jobert shines by the film’s good components and helps pull it by the tough patches, her Mellie a examine of outsized resilience in a petite bundle. Bronson is bodily dominant and emotionally confidant, however has little to do besides impose himself and smile arrogantly. Rider On The Rain begins with a thunderstorm, however ends with a irritating drizzle.

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