The Rain People
Time Out saysCoppola's fourth feature, a fascinating early road movie made entirely on location with a minimal crew and a constantly evolving script. Never very popular by comparison with Easy Rider probably because it suggested that dropping out was mere escapism, it has far greater depth and complexity to its curious admixture of feminist tract and pure thriller. Knight is outstanding (in a superb cast) as the pregnant woman who runs away in quest of the identity she feels she has lost as a Long Island housewife, and finds herself increasingly tangled in the snares of responsibility through her encounters with a football player left mindless by an accident (Caan) and a darkly amorous traffic cop (Duvall). Symbolism rumbles beneath the characterisations (Caan as the baby she is running from and with, Duvall as the sexuality and domination she is trying to deny) but it is never facile; and the rhythms of the road movie (leading through wonderfully bizarre locations to a resonantly melodramatic finale) confirm that Coppola's prime talent lies in choreographing movement.