Rage (1972 film)
|Directed by||George C. Scott|
|Produced by||Fred Weintraub|
|Written by||Philip Friedman
|Starring||George C. Scott
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Cinematography||Fred J. Koenekamp|
|Edited by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Rage is a 1972 film starring George C. Scott, Richard Basehart, Martin Sheen and Barnard Hughes. Scott also directed this drama about a sheep rancher who is fatally exposed to a military lab's poison gas.
While on a camping trip, sheep rancher Dan Logan (Scott) and his son are inadvertently exposed to a secret Army nerve gas from a helicopter passing overhead. Both end up in a military hospital in which they are kept apart, unable to contact outsiders, and lied to about their condition by a mysterious major (Sheen), who looks at the incident as little more than an opportunity to study the effectiveness of a nerve gas on humans.
Logan tries to hold someone accountable for their actions, but he and his family physician (Basehart) are stone-walled from every angle by military authorities and by bureaucrats staging a cover up—with those responsible already well insulated by their positions of power. He is hospitalized and put under observation by the government for symptoms related to exposure to nerve agents, and to record his physiological responses to the toxins.
Becoming increasingly anxious over his son, Logan leaves his room to search the hospital. His investigation leads him to the morgue where he is traumatized to find his dead son in a post-mortem state. Initially stunned and shocked at the sight of his son's mutilated body, he becomes enraged which transitions into a cold rage.
Having determined the company that has manufactured the nerve agent which has killed his son, he destroys it. At this point he begins exhibiting obvious symptoms of the nerve agent, and heads toward the military base from which the nerve agent was dispersed. He breaches the base's security fence, but is obviously allowed to do so. There ensues a poignant ending, as Logan is surrounded by military troops and government agents in HazMat suits while he lies twitching and convulsing in the final stages of nerve agent poisoning.
- George C. Scott as Dan Logan
- Richard Basehart as Dr. Caldwell
- Martin Sheen as Major Holliford
- Barnard Hughes as Dr. Spencer
- This film marked George C. Scott's debut as a director.
- The plot was based on a historical event, the Dugway sheep incident, in which a jet accidentally sprayed VX, a lethal nerve gas, in Utah's Skull Valley, resulting in the deaths of 3,000-6,000 sheep.