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The Rain People

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Shirley Knight James Caan
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BMQN1U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,982 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rain People" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
A brilliant character study of a pregnant woman who runs out on her husband and hits the road with no destination in mind. Years ahead of its time with its feminist viewpoint, this early Coppola film is sadly one of his least viewed. Shirley Knight is excellent as the troubled woman and James Caan is perfect as killer, a brain damaged ex-football player who Knight ends up befriending. The Rain People is a good example of 70's cinema when characters mattered more than special effects or action-packed plots.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie isn't without its faults -- find me one that isn't -- but as one of the earliest movies about a woman taking her life into her own hands, it stands as one of the all-time greats. Compare this to the much better known "Thelma and Louise," in which two women, merely bored, take off on their own and wreak a path of destruction for no other purpose than to prove they can. By contrast, Shirley Knight's character is suffering real and believable angst for a concrete purpose, and actually does something about it. Even minor characters are three-dimensional, and it's interesting to see James Caan and Robert Duvall before they settle into the predictable stock roles that continue to dominate their careers. Watch the credits closely -- this was one of George Lucas' first movies.
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Format: DVD-R
Three years before THE GODFATHER (1972) was released, director Francis Ford Coppola and actors James Caan and Robert Duvall worked together on THE RAIN PEOPLE. Scripted by Coppola, this movie combines feminism with elements of John Steinbeck's 1937 novella, OF MICE AND MEN.

According to Jimmy 'Killer' Kilgannon, "rain people" are normal-sized folks who are made of raindrops; when they cry themselves out, the rain people disappear.

SYNOPSIS--
Natalie Ravenna (Knight) is pregnant and panicked. Feeling trapped, Nat flees her Long Island marriage to Vinny (Modica--voice only) and hits the road to points unknown. She picks up an attractive young crewcut-topped hitchhiker. 'Killer' Kilgannon (Caan) played varsity football until a severe head injury left him brain-disabled. Killer remained at the college, raking leaves for them until he was given $1000 and told to go away.

Feeling sympathy for this sweet but simple-minded fellow, Natalie offers a ride to West Virginia, where Killer believes his ex-girlfriend's dad has a drive-in theater job waiting for him. When they arrive unannounced, Ellen (Crews) tells her father not to hire Killer and she rudely demands that he and Nat leave.

Natalie abandons Killer in Chattanooga, but has second thoughts. Continuing west, they stop at a small Nebraska town, where Nat finds a utility job for Killer at a reptile zoo. His new employer, Mr. Alfred (Aldredge) convinces the young man to hand over all his cash for safekeeping.
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Format: DVD-R
1969 was the year of the road film, no small part due to Easy Rider. Rain People is one of the best of these.

Pregnent Natalie leaves her husband in New York and picks up a hitch-hicker. Killer, James Caan, is a ex-football player who has a brain injury. Despite several attempts to find him a job and board on the road, Killer is a lost soul--a man-child with no purpose. Natalie, unwittingly, becomes his care taker. Natalie is running scared, however, and is conflicted about her role.

This is absolutley a charactor driven film. The plot is simple and would be mondane if it not for the interaction between the charactors. Watching how Killer connects himself to Natale and how she wants to let him go but can't makes a fascinating dynamic. He wants to find a place to belong but knows he can't. She wants to be free, but does not have the heart to abandon him. This conflict is the thread that makes the film work.

Unlike Easy Rider or even Five Easy Pieces, Rain People is not a bohemian journey. These people are running scared, not looking to find themselves. The road is not a charactor as in many of this period's films. Rain People has little to do with what was happening in 1969. It just happened to be made that year.

Francis Ford Coppola filmed Rain People with a small scope: lots of close ups, lots of long scenes in the car, and dialouge which has the intimacy of real conversation. The flims late 60s, up close cinamatic style almost gives the feel of watching a documentry, and one that puts you in the car with these two decent but sad drifters.

Excellent work
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Format: DVD-R Verified Purchase
An immature woman (Shirley Knight) learns she's pregnant and runs away from her husband. She doesn't even know why she does it. She drives around, picks up a hitchhiker (James Caan) who's been injured in a high school football game, resulting in brain injury. The school pays him off to go away. He has nowhere to go and no one to care for him. So the two have adventures which are not that interesting, partly because the woman is not likable so I didn't care what happened to her if anything ever did. Robert Duvall plays a cop who falls for her at the time he's ticketing her for speeding. He's screwed up, too, and takes her away from the kid she's traveling with (and had tried to seduce) and there's an uncomfortable scene between the two of them in his trailer. He's great but then he always is. Francis Ford Coppola directed this when he was quite young so it's worth a look just for that reason.
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