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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The beauty of film is that it captures a moment in time. "Black Rainbow" is such a film. Released in 1986 (nearly 20 years ago), this novel approach to psychic powers (a Medium) is just what the new Millennium ordered. Despite its frightful moments of peering into the future, it is refreshing to know that the same year my son was born, that this film was fresh and new like him. One part of the script says it all. "Why do serious things have to become entertainment?" Powerful! You will have to watch the film to understand.

The cast is superb. Rosanna Arquette is the medium. Her beauty is captured in a new light. Her mysterious aura sends chills and thrills down your spine all at once. What a hypnotic smile and dreamy eyes. Her father is portrayed by film legend Jason Robards. Upstart actor (at that time) Tom Hulce plays the agnostic reporter.

This film has a lot to offer even though its been on the shelves for nearly two decades.

In the thriller category (though dated) it receives a solid 5. The highlights in this film is are when Rosanna is on stage. As her followers flock to the church to witness her out-of-this-world gifts, she is convincing and sincere. A must see (even a rental) for psycho thriller fans. Good job Rosanna, Jason and Tom!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Saying that Black Rainbow is one of its director's best films doesn't sound much of a compliment when you're talking about a man whose resume includes Morons From Outer Space and not one but two Clive Owen stinkers even if it is true. Mike Hodges' reputation these days rests solely on a gangster movie he made 35 years ago, and the fact that his subsequent efforts have either been too clinical to work (The Terminal Man), too flawed to completely satisfy (Pulp), outright awful (A Prayer for the Dying) or saw him fired early in production (Damien: Omen II) has done little to deter labelling him as a one-hit wonder. True to his run of luck, this neat little supernatural thriller was barely released, going straight to cable in the US and getting caught up in a distribution scandal in the UK, where Palace tried to get copies into video stores (selling it as virtual soft porn, believe it or not!) before the film even opened theatrically.

It's that old chestnut, the medium who sees too much - in this case getting messages from dead people who haven't died yet - and puts her life in danger, but it's rarely been done this well. Starting off as a sort of Emily Gantry as written by Eugene O'Neill (with Jason Robards playing another of his drunken pater familiases), it offers Rosanna Arquette her best role, and she certainly rises to the challenge. The premonition scenes carry a real frisson, there are neat humanising touches (the hitman for once has a family life and can't get a decent seat on an airplane) and Hodges' dialog is surprisingly good. But what really caries it is the characterization: these are all believably damaged people clinging onto any tenuous hope they can find, be it religion or the bottle, to prevent taking a good look at themselves - as one bereaved character puts it, "Maybe if we weren't so bothered about the hereafter we'd pay more attention to the here and now."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
This is undoubtedly the greatest movie of its genre and Rosanna Aruqette shines with mystery and an aura that is realistic beyond your wildest imaginations. She is so convincing that she had me believing she was the character instead of a wonderful actress who makes movies. And Jason Robards was outstanding portraying her drunken father with guilt feelings about his dead wife and mother to Rosanna. STORY, PLOT, ACTING, COSTUME, EVERYTHING=PERFECT!
Of all the movies that I feel must be owned, I could not live without this one! I would have given it 6 stars rating but they don't offer it on Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2009
Format: DVD
I found this movie used at a flea market for $1.00 and figured "what the heck". The old adage "One man's trash is another man's treasure" applies perfectly. Black Rainbow is a well made, well acted, and attention holding flick dealing with a seemingly scamming medium{Rosanna Arquette} who really does get accurate futuristic visions from time to time which are pooh-poohed by her alcoholic degenerate gambling father played by Jason Robards. Tom Hulce portrays a skeptical reporter who is investigating a murder which was apparently forecast in one of the medium's visions. What ensues is a riveting drama which includes more prognistications and a hired hit man who actually was the perpetrator of the original murder and fears that the medium would recognize him from her vision. I consider this movie to be a "keeper" and it comes with my highest recommendations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
First let me say that this disc is far from being a great transfer. This is pan and scan, the print is somewhat damaged. However the sound is really pretty good. At the price, who can complain. Now, the movie: I am exploring the work of Mike Hodges, and this like the others I've seen is an interesting film. Rosanna Arquette is very good. Jason Robards is good, but he's repeating a role he played many times. Tom Hulce shows that Amadeus may have been a fluke in which he was very well directed. But the story is interesting and the the bones are there for a better movie. This is really a British movie about people in the US. The different viewpoint is always facinating.

Great cinema? No way. Worth a rainy night's viewing? For sure. And worth some study if you're a film buff.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2010
Format: DVD
Black Rainbow is a very well-made psychological thriller with fine performances; however, the quality of the DVD picture is rather poor, hence my two-star rating. This film deserves a high-quality film-to-DVD transfer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
Format: DVD
Anchor Bay released the DVD in widescreen format in the UK. Here, again, we are stuck with the full frame version. It sucks. Great cast, good plot, good movie. But it still sucks. No subtitles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Martha (Rosanna Arquette) is a fake medium. Her dad Walter(Jason Robards) acts as her manager. Walter likes his drink and Martha likes hotel clerks. They travel to small congregations putting on a show. During one of the shows, Martha starts to get real contacts except the person isn't dead...yet. Things flare up as Martha predicts more and more deaths. My main problem with the film is that they should have ran with this more, i.e. added one or two more shows before the ending. Tom Hulce plays a skeptical reporter following Martha around. Good acting, good drama.

F-bomb, brief sex, brief nudity (Rosanna Arquette)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2009
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
The movie was filmed in Charlotte, Nc in 1989. I have never watched the whole movie. I never heard of it making it to the theathers and don't know why it didn't. I heard it flopped, some above seem to like it. I bought it for my daughter because her mother who passed away in 2002 is an extra in several parts of the film. One really close up full face wearing a big hat. Our Children & Grand Children miss you Lavette.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2008
Format: DVD
This movie is very interesting. A mysterious story about a fake medium that deceives people (compeled by the father). Suddenly strangelly she begins to listen to spirits and see the future in true. Rosanna's character is pretty mysterious, sensually shy, she is conflicted with her father. Fantastic and intriguer!!! Great ending.
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