- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 41 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: March 23, 2009
- Originally Released: 1969
- Label: Warner Archives Collection
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2010
"Coppola's film is undeniably European in feel, with its slippery editing and layered use of sound."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Unsure of herself, two months pregnant and feeling trapped, Natalie Ravenna leaves her sleeping husband a note and drives away from her Long Island home one rainy morning to find herself. Natalie is the heroine of Francis Ford Coppola's intensely moving The Rain People. Ahead of its time from both filmmaking and feminist points of view, the film took Coppola and his eight-vehicle crew through 18 sattes, lending this poignant tale a realistic rootless tone.
On board were three actors who brought a searing truth to the project: Shirley Knight as Natalie and future stars of The Godfather James Caan and Robert Duvall as the lonely men who bring tenderness and tragedy Natalie's way. What they and Coppola brought our way is a movie that still touches us a generation later.
THE RAIN PEOPLE is Francis Ford Coppola's character study of a Long Island pregnant housewife who writes a goodbye note to her sleeping husband and runs away. Natalie (Shirley Knight) feels like her life is not her own now that she's a wife and soon-to-be mother. She drives west, where she picks up a hitchiking college football player. Killer Kilgannon (James Caan), who suffered brain damage on the field, has been given $1,000 in cash by his college and told to leave. The two travel together, and slowly Natalie realizes that Killer has no place to go and no one to help him. After she finds him a job working for a sadistic rancher (Tom Aldredge), Natalie speeds guiltily away only to be pulled over by a motorcycle cop, Gordon (Robert Duvall). Killer and Natalie are reunited briefly until she leaves for a date with Gordon, whose own miseries quickly surface. THE RAIN PEOPLE was notable for being the first time Coppola worked with some of the cast and crew who would become Zoetrope regulars: actors James Caan and Robert Duvall, editor Barry Malkin, sound engineer Walter Murch, and producer Mona Skager.
Francis Ford Coppola directed this poignant 1969 movie about the liberation of a stifled American housewife. Natalie (Shirley Knight), a pregnant Long Island woman, tires of the hassles of married life and abruptly runs away from her home and husband. On the road she picks up a hitchhiker, Killer (James Caan), a brain-injured college football player, and becomes unintentionally involved in his problems. On the phone to her husband, Natalie discloses her feelings of incompetence and indifference about being a suburban housewife. Robert Duvall is the bullying motorcycle cop whom Natalie becomes attracted to.
Essential Cinema |
Mental Illness |
Road Movies |
- Theatrical release: August 27, 1969.
- The crew of THE RAIN PEOPLE shot the film in four months across a dozen states and improvised with existing locations, such as the Armed Forces Day parade in Tennessee that Coppola uses as a backdrop in one scene.
- George Lucas directed a documentary, FILMMAKER: A DIARY BY GEORGE LUCAS, about the making of THE RAIN PEOPLE.
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