Rage (1966 film)

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Directed by Gilberto Gazcón
Written by Gilberto Gazcón
Starring Glenn Ford
Cinematográfica Jalisco S.A.
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 1966 (1966-12)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rage is a 1966 American-Mexican drama film, starring Glenn Ford and written and directed by Gilberto Gazcón. The opening credits indicate the title of the film is "48 Ore Per Non Morire," which translated from Italian to English is "48 Hours Not To Die."


Dr. Reuben lives alone with his dog at the medical clinic in a small Mexican town. He drinks excessively and blames himself for the death of his wife and baby in childbirth. He refuses to treat Maria, who likely needs a Caesarean section. Maria's husband, Pancho, works for a nearby construction crew. Pancho's co-worker Fortunato complains that his cat has been acting unusual. The cat bites Reuben's dog. The dog later bites Reuben.

A supply truck brings a group of women into town as "entertainment" for the workers. One of them, Perla, is attracted to Reuben, but he shows no interest. The next morning the women leave town, but Reuben finds Perla asleep on his examination table. It will be ten days before Perla can leave on the next supply truck.

Fortunato is brought into town by his fellow workers to see Reuben. He is delirious, restrained by ropes, foaming at the mouth. Reuben concludes the man has rabies and cannot be cured. Fortunato dies that evening. Ten days later, Perla plans to leave, but makes one last effort to befriend Reuben who, again, rebuffs her. He explains that he blames himself, not her, for his sour attitude. He offers her a sack of fruit and bids her goodbye.

Pancho arrives in a horse-drawn cart and tells Reuben that Maria is having contractions. Reuben follows Pancho in his Jeep. On the way, Reuben's dog rabidly attacks Pancho's horse. Reuben shoots the dog and realizes he himself must be infected. Counting the days back to the dog's bite, he now has only 48 hours to be treated for rabies before it is too late. Pancho grabs Reuben's gun and threatens to shoot him if he doesn't first attend to his wife. Reuben drives off.

Haunted by the memory and guilt of his pregnant wife's death, Reuben reverses course and successfully delivers Pancho and Maria's child. His time frame for treatment is now 36 hours. Pancho volunteers to escort Reuben to the hospital in Buenavista, leaving Maria and the baby. The construction workers learn of Reuben's predicament and phone ahead for an ambulance to intercept them. The pair encounter various problems along the way including collapse of a narrow bridge, an overheated radiator, and running low on fuel. They find some gasoline at a roadside station where they see Perla. Perla joins them over Reuben's objections. The Jeep runs out of fuel and the threesome set out on foot toward a shortcut over the mountains leading to the highway.

By nightfall, the ambulance locates the abandoned Jeep. Reuben, Perla and Pancho camp for the night. Reuben almost kisses Perla but pushes her away mindful that he is contagious. Perla chides Reuben for blaming himself for the death of his wife and child. She tells him it was just their time to die, and he should think about living. The next day, they cross the rugged, hot desert before finding a pond with a waterfall. Reuben appears to be sensitive to light and sound, symptoms of rabies; but, when he stoops to drink the water, Perla and Pancho infer that he has not yet contracted rabies, which also includes fear of water.

The three make it to the highway where they hijack a school bus at gunpoint. Pancho reveals Reuben's condition to the driver and the children. Perla tells Reuben he will be cured, but she won't be cured of him. Reuben tells Perla she opened his eyes the night before about life; and, she should open hers too by making something of herself. The children taunt Reuben and the driver runs the bus off the road and orders the children out. The driver agrees to take the three to Buenavista and return for the children, but the bus breaks down after travelling only a few yards.

The children help push the bus up an incline over which the bus is able to coast almost all the way into the city before stopping again. With the town close in sight, the threesome run the rest of the way. Reuben smiles as he anticipates his survival.


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