RIDER ON THE RAIN (LE PASSAGER DE LA PLUIE) (director: René Clément; screenwriters: Lorenzo Ventavoli/Sébastien Japrisot; cinematographer: Andreas Winding; editor: Françoise Javet; music:  Francis Lai; cast: Charles Bronson (Col. Harry Dobbs), Jill Ireland (Nicole), Marlene Jobert (Melancholia, éllie), Annie Cordy (Juliette), Jean Gaven (Inspector Toussaint), Marc Mazza (The Stranger), Jean Piat (M. Armand), Gabrielle Tinti (Tony Mau), Ellen Bahl (Madeline Legauff), Marika Green (Hostess at Tania's); Runtime: 115; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Serge Silberman; Avco Embassy; 1970-France/Italy--in English)

"Spellbinding Hitchcock-type of psychological murder thriller."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

René Clément ("Purple Noon"/"Forbidden Games"/"Is Paris Burning") directs this spellbinding Hitchcock-type of psychological murder thriller. It's written by Lorenzo Ventavoli and Sébastien Japrisot.

Méllie (Marlene Jobert) is being followed in the rain by a stranger in a deserted off-season South of France seaside town. Her jealous macho airline navigator husband (Gabrielle Tinti ) is back home in his native Italy. It results in the stranger raping Méllie. After the attack she discovers the rapist hiding in her basement and kills him with her shotgun and gets rid of the corpse by dumping it in the ocean. The next day at a wedding, the gruff US Army colonel Harry Dobbs (Charles Bronson), an enigmatic figure, appears and mentions he's searching for an escaped serial rapist from a military stockade in Germany. Though he suspects she was raped, even as she remains silent. It seems the rapist was carrying wads of American money, which he believes she stole.

Later when the dead body washes ashore, it brings about further complications that draws Dobbs even closer to the vulnerable sad victim.

Rider in the Rain, a popular film in France, won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

REVIEWED ON 2/8/2015       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"