Saturday, March 9, 2019

Sorry, no Fab Five Freddy here

A movie that started showing up on FXM recently is Rapture. It's going to be on FXM again tomorrow morning at 7:05 AM.

Patricia Gozzi plays Agnès, a teenaged French girl living in Brittany with her widowed father Frederick (Melvyn Douglas). We first see that there might be something wrong with her when Dad brings her to a weding reception and she's not able to handle herself appropriately. Dad takes her back to their isolated place on the Breton coast, where the two live with housekeeper Karen (Gunnel Lindblom). Immature Agnès still likes to play with dolls, and wants to build a scarecrow out of some old clothes up in the attic, somethind Dad doesn't want at all.

This life continues until, one day, they witness a van overturn on the road on the hill below, with several people coming out running and some gendarmes chasing behind. Obviously these are escaped criminals. One of them, Joseph (Dean Stockwell), hides out on Frederick's property, and even uses the old clothes from the scarecrow to change into. This leads Agnès to believe that the scarecrow has come to life -- apparently her problems are more than they seem to be.

Dad turns out to be a retired judge, working on a book suggesting that the law needs to show more compassion, so with that in mind he might be willing to provide some sort of assistance to Joseph. Karen and Agnès are willing to show much more. Agnès especially begins to fall in love with Joseph, the first real man she's ever been close to apart from her father. But Joseph knows fully well he couldn't escape with Agnès in two, so he gets closer to Karen. Eventually, though, she leaves, and when Joseph just can't shake Agnès, he knows the two of them are going to have to run off together. Not that she can handle independent life, however....

Rapture was a movie I had never heard of before seeing it show up on FXM, even though I know I would have run across the title on Douglas' IMDb page. The big reason it's little known has to do with its production. This was an international co-production that Fox distributed in America. The opening title has a cheap-looking clip for "International Classics", whatever that was, and the copyright is to "Panoramic Productions". There's an international cast with the leads being two Americans, the French (despite the Italian-sounding surname) Gozzi, and Swedish Lindblom, with much of the shooting being on location in Brittany. I'd guess they had money that had to be used in France thanks to the old capital controls.

As for the movie itself, it's not bad, but I have to admit that it's the sort of people other people will probably like better. A lot of this has to do with my apathy toward the mentally unstable Agnès character. Still, the acting is generally good, the cinematography is nice even it would have been nice to see these locations in color, and Georges Delerue provides yet another lovely score. The movie isn't available on DVD, probably thanks to its origins as a little international co-production. So you'll have to catch the FXM showings before they put it back into the vault.

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