Saturday, October 11, 2008
cinema obscura: René Clement's "Le Passager de la Pluie"/"Rider on the Rain" (1969)
The Charles Bronson film, "Rider on the Rain," is hardly remembered these days. But even less known is its original French version, "Le Passager de la Pluie."
When director René Clement and Bronson got together in 1969 to film a disturbing thriller about rape, they elected to film each scene twice -- first in French (with Bronson speaking French) and then in English. The film is "Le Passager de la Pluie"/"Rider on the Rain." Both versions were released in the United states - the French version in New York and the English-language version, well, everywhere else.
Today, only the English language version prevails. The French is even difficult to find in France. So why doesn't some resourceful DVD genius put out a two-disc version of the film with both languages represented?
Certainly René Clement - who also directed "Forbidden Games" and "Plein Soleil" ("Purple Noon"), among other French-language classics - deserves it.
BTW, the script was written by Sebastien Japrisot, one of the great French mystery writers.
Cinema Obscura is a recurring feature of The Passionate Moviegoer, devoted to those films that have been largely forgotten. Suggestions welcome.
(Artwork: Posters for the respective French and American releases of "Le Passager de la Pluie"/"Rider on the Rain," distributed in America by AVCO-Embassy)
Posted by joe baltake at 3:20 PM