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THE RAIN PEOPLE (airing on April 11)


HoldenIsHere
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Airing tonight (April 11) on TCM is the early Francis Ford Coppola movie THE RAIN PEOPLE, featuring a mesmerizingly real performance by Shirley Knight.  

I saw it for the first time when it aired on TCM last year. I'd never heard of the movie so I went into it not really knowing what to expect. I was completely captivated by this movie, especially by Shirley Knight.

 

For those who love American movies from the late 1960s and early 1970s (as I do) I highly recommend THE RAIN PEOPLE.

One warning though: if you don't like movies where there is not a clear "hero" or "villain," you may not like this movie.

Shirley Knight plays a flawed character --- in other words, a real human being. For some viewers her realness (and the realness of the movie itself including its pacing)  might be exasperating, but for me it was utterly compelling.

The people of the movie are, in fact, not "rain people" but are viscerally real.

 

In addition to Knight, the movie also features James Caan and Robert Duvall.

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Airing tonight (April 11) on TCM is the early Francis Ford Coppola movie THE RAIN PEOPLE, featuring a mesmerizingly real performance by Shirley Knight.  

I saw it for the first time when it aired on TCM last year. I'd never heard of the movie so I went into it not really knowing what to expect. I was completely captivated by this movie, especially by Shirley Knight.

 

For those who love American movies from the late 1960s and early 1970s (as I do) I highly recommend THE RAIN PEOPLE.

One warning though: if you don't like movies where there is not a clear "hero" or "villain," you may not like this movie.

Shirley Knight plays a flawed character --- in other words, a real human being. For some viewers her realness (and the realness of the movie itself including its pacing)  might be exasperating, but for me it was utterly compelling.

The people of the movie are, in fact, not "rain people" but are viscerally real.

 

In addition to Knight, the movie also features James Caan and Robert Duvall.

Shirley Knight also turns up on TCM in HOUSE OF WOMEN, made earlier in the same decade. As for Caan and Duvall, they both costar in THE KILLER ELITE (as well as the GODFATHER movies).

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It's a gentle and sad little film.

Kind of a "road movie"  that's more about people than events. All three of the main characters (Knight, Caan, Duvall)  have some kind of loneliness that they don't know how to deal with.The James Caan character, in particular, is heartbreaking.

One of Francis Ford Cuppola's earlier works (although by no means his first, he'd made about 7 or so before "The Rain People".)

 

 

Didn't anyone else watch this?

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Knight's never been considered among the "finest" in her field, and I'd agree, however, she IS capable of turning in a fine performance, depending on the material.

 

Now, I've never been a "fan" of this movie, but I've seen worse, so it's not that bad of a suggestion.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Knight's never been considered among the "finest" in her field, and I'd agree, however, she IS capable of turning in a fine performance, depending on the material.

 

Now, I've never been a "fan" of this movie, but I've seen worse, so it's not that bad of a suggestion.

 

 

Sepiatone

Caan was kind of an idol of mine in the '60s and '70s...........a studly, athletic, sexy Jewish guy.

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It's a gentle and sad little film.

Kind of a "road movie"  that's more about people than events. All three of the main characaters (Knight, Caan, Duvall)  have some kind of loneliness that they don't know how to deal with.The James Caan character, in particular, is heartbreaking.

One of Francis Ford Cuppola's earlier works (although by no means his first, he'd made about 7 or so before "The Rain People".)

 

 

Didn't anyone else watch this?

 

Watched it, recorded it, put it in my personal collection. It's the 2nd time I'd watched it - the first time is what made me decide to record it when it played again.

 

Seems to me that Knight is very, very good in this - I felt like I understood everything that was going on inside her at all times, so either her acting was perfect or my intuition leads me on.

 

Certainly the sweetest of all James Caan's performances. I'm actually beginning to form a new appreciation for his work as I revisit it. I thought he was so ridiculous in that John Wayne movie he was in, I think it may have prejudiced me going forward - filing him under "shallow beefcake" for many years. Finding I may have been wrong about that, based on some of the movies I've watched over the past year or so, very much including 'The Rain People'.

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I've seen this movie a few times.  First time, many years ago, when I saw it I was curious because of the cast and it being early Coppola.  The last time was when TCM showed it a couple of months ago.  Everyone in it is very good but I found it incredibly sad and I don't know if I can sit through it again because it is so tragic.  Shirley Knight (or Knight Hopkins, as she was known for a while) is an interesting actress to watch.  She's been on various LAW & ORDER fanchises usually playing a villain.  Before RAIN PEOPLE she gives a very touching performance in DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.  DARK may seem a bit "soap opera-ish" to some viewers but it has a great cast headed by Robert Preston.

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Knight's never been considered among the "finest" in her field, and I'd agree, however, she IS capable of turning in a fine performance, depending on the material.

 

 

Shirley Knight is highly acclaimed and respected by her peers.

She's been awarded a Tony, 3 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes.

She's worked more on the stage than in film and put her family and artistry above "Hollywood" fame. She was nominated for an Oscar for two of her first film roles (in THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS and SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH), but she relocated to New York City to study and focus on stage work. She was married to British playwright John R. Hopkins until his death.

 

Her acclaimed stage roles include Irina in THE THREE SISTERS, Blanche DuBois in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and Lola in COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA.

Tennessee Williams wrote the role of Dorothea in A LOVELY SUNDAY FOR CREVE COEUR for her.

After seeing her performance in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Williams reportedly said he had finally found his Blanche. 

 

Among her many television appearances, one of my favorites was her recurring role as Bree Van de Kamp's mother-in-law on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (for which she was nominated for an Emmy).

In fact her role on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES was my first exposure to Shirley Knight. When I saw her as Phyllis Van de Kamp, I was blown away and had to find out more about her.

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Read about Shirley in 'Dutchman' (1967) and tell me you don't wanna see that!

 

Which reminds me - she was an alluring (if somewhat odd) beauty way back when. It was around the time I saw her in 'Endless Love' (1981) that it hit me that she was aging poorly in that respect.

 

Actually, let me take that back. I just realized she was about 44 when she filmed that - and that considered, she didn't look like she was aging all that poorly after all. Anyway, not everyone can maintain like Jane Fonda.

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Read about Shirley in 'Dutchman' (1967) and tell me you don't wanna see that!

 

Yes!

In DUTCHMAN Shirley Knight is reprising a role that she played to great acclaim on stage.  

I read where she considers that to be one of her favorite films probably because its connection to her experience on stage.

 

Here's what Roger Ebert said about her performance in the movie:

"A word about Miss Knight's performance, which won an award at Cannes: It is superb. She plays the bitchy blond with such skill that this becomes one of the best performances by an actress in memory."

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  • 1 month later...

Read about Shirley in 'Dutchman' (1967) and tell me you don't wanna see that!

 

Which reminds me - she was an alluring (if somewhat odd) beauty way back when.

I thought she was also great in Petulia (1968) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

And in Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) for that matter.

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I thought she was also great in Petulia (1968) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

And in Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) for that matter.

 

Shirley Knight received Oscar nominations for her work in DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (which I hope TCM airs soon) and SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH bur re-located to New York to focus on stage work and study.

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