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CHARLES BRONSON IN THE FRENCH THRILLER 'RIDER ON THE RAIN'

Kino Lorber inside cover Year: 1970 Rates: ***

The reversible Kino Lorber Blu Ray cover(s) for RIDER ON THE RAIN has one image of a shirtless and muscular Charles Bronson torturing ingenue Marlène Jobert at gun point; on the other side they look contented, even love-struck: And while both are misleading, Bronson's Col. Harry Dobbs does play rough trying to get Jobert's victimized Mellie to explain everything...

And it's that everything Dobbs is after in this cat and and mouse thriller that takes a little while to get going... despite the most memorable scenes involving creepy RIDER Marc Mazza occurring early on... supposedly the inspiration for The Doors' Riders on the Storm, this killer's brain is squirming from a banal decision to... after raping the girl... remain in her and her boring French husband's basement... 

The husband making Jobert and Bronson's chemistry that much better, but still far from great, which a movie about mind games needed in order for the complications to matter, on either side... Although by the end, Bronson's muscular anti-hero (from snoop to interrogator to bodyguard) makes more sense, and with Jill Ireland given a bit role as a gossipy shop-girl, anyone would have fared better opposite Bronson (even a tough prostitute in an intense 11th hour scene)... But in what's basically a French art-film there needed an artsy-looking French girl, which Jobert definitely is. Yet what she's hiding... throughout a noisy/monotonous soundtrack... feels more misplaced, and all Bronson's searching (calling her "Love Love" sounding like "Blah Blah") is in vain... Making the creative direction by René Clément the best thing about RIDER, where each shot either means something or seems meant to.

Kino front cover RIDER ON THE RAIN
Marlene Jobert and Charles Bronson in RIDER ON THE RAIN
Marlene Jobert and Marc Mazza in RIDER ON THE RAIN
Jill Ireland in RIDER ON THE RAIN

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