Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Overlooked Movies: Rider on the Rain

When I was a student at The University of Texas at Austin, the "art theater" was the Texas Theater, which was right across Guadalupe Street from the campus and a short walk from Parlin Hall, the English building.  So sometimes in the afternoons, I'd stroll over to see a foreign film or an American "art" film.  One that I saw there was Rider on the Rain.  

At the time I saw it, I was already a fan of Charles Bronson for his supporting roles in some of my favorite movies: The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen.  I was also aware that at least one U. S. actor (Clint Eastwood) had gone to Europe and become a star in the movies he made there.  I thought it would be interesting to see if the magic could work for Charles Bronson, even if the movie was from France instead of Italy and even if it was a contemporary thriller instead of a western.  

The short answer is that it worked just fine.  Bronson plays a mysterious investigator who shows up in a French town where a woman has killed a rapist who followed her home and attacked her.  Instead of reporting the death, she dumped the body into the sea. Bronson seems to know a lot about what she's done, and there's a lot of cat-and-mousing as he continues to investigate.  Lots of twists and turns, too.  For one thing when a body washes ashore, it turns out not to be the rapist.  

This isn't the usual Bronson action thriller.  The pacing is leisurely, and there's a lot of dialog, which Bronson handles just fine, thank you.  The photography is great, and the opening scenes in the rain are really something special.  For a number of years I thought of this movie every time I heard The Doors do "Riders on the Storm," but I had no idea that Morrison supposedly composed the song because of this film.  That's supposedly true, however, and the song captures the mood very well.  Check it out if you get a chance.


George said...

I've never seen RIDER ON THE RAIN but I'm look for it right now! Great review!

Todd Mason said...

The tweet being, almost inevitably, Crider on the "Storm"...and RIDER ON THE RAIN...have occasionally wondered how Bronson felt about his later career, other than wealthier.

Unknown said...

I wish I'd thought of that tweet.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen it either, George. Sounds worth watching.


jurinummelin said...

I've seen it and liked it quite a bit. I thought I'd posted about it on my Pulpetti blog, but can't seem to find it. It's written by Sebastien Japrisot, which is a recommendation.