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directed by Francis Ford Coppola
USA 1969

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 states, 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.

***

Coppola's fourth feature, a fascinating early road movie made entirely on location with a minimal crew and a constantly evolving script. Never very popular by comparison with Easy Rider probably because it suggested that dropping out was mere escapism, it has far greater depth and complexity to its curious admixture of feminist tract and pure thriller. Knight is outstanding (in a superb cast) as the pregnant woman who runs away in quest of the identity she feels she has lost as a Long Island housewife, and finds herself increasingly tangled in the snares of responsibility through her encounters with a football player left mindless by an accident (Caan) and a darkly amorous traffic cop (Duvall). Symbolism rumbles beneath the characterisations (Caan as the baby she is running from and with, Duvall as the sexuality and domination she is trying to deny) but it is never facile; and the rhythms of the road movie (leading through wonderfully bizarre locations to a resonantly melodramatic finale) confirm that Coppola's prime talent lies in choreographing movement.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 27th, 1969

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:24
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: June 22nd, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People comes to DVD via the, modest, Warner Archive. We see a familiar Coppola theme - familial alienation. It takes place in a desperate road picture with indelible performances from Knight, Caan and Duvall. This is filled with overt hints of future greatness. I was fascinated.

It's standard single-layered and interlaced in the 1.78:1, anamorphic,  aspect ratio and looks very good. This is transferred under the Warner's 'old label' "Archive" blue-background case and the image is reasonable if lacking any progressive or HD strengths. It is only acceptable with some SD softness and reasonable colors and some surprising detail. The disc supports the film although we can always hope it gets a superior rendering at some point in the future.

The mono dialogue is audible but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. There are no supplements although it begs for discussion from the stars or director. I can only imagine a commentary.

Hopefully my complaints don't dissuade you from seeing the film. I found The Rain People very worthwhile, and the fact that it is Coppola adds another layer. I found there is enough value here to warrant a purchase.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menu
 

 


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  Combing - interlaced transfer

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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