Rider on the Rain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rider on the Rain
French film poster
Directed by René Clément
Produced by Serge Silberman
Written by Sébastien Japrisot, Lorenzo Ventavoli
Starring Marlène Jobert
Charles Bronson
Annie Cordy
Music by Francis Lai
Distributed by Avco-Embassy (US)
Release dates
January 21, 1970 (France)
Running time
120 min.
Country Italy, France
Language English
Box office $30,964,823[1]
4,763,822 admissions (France)[2]

Rider on the Rain (French: Le Passager de la pluie) is a 1970 French mystery thriller film starring Charles Bronson, directed by René Clément, produced by Serge Silberman, with film music composed by Francis Lai.

Plot summary[edit]

In a god-forsaken, off-season French seaside town we meet "Mellie" (Marlène Jobert), who watches a mysterious stranger step down from the bus into the pouring rain. He follows and eventually rapes her, while her husband (an airline navigator) is away from home.

However, when she comes to her senses again, she manages to kill her attacker and dispose of the corpse. She decides to keep quiet about the whole incident to avoid complications with her jealous husband.

But just then a tough, mysterious figure, Harry Dobbs (Charles Bronson), appears on the scene. Dobbs confronts her, and she is shocked that he seems to know exactly what has happened, but she sticks to her story of knowing nothing.

Since Dobbs is less than forthcoming about his own interest in the case, she also starts to worry about her absent husband possibly being implicated in something shady.

She discovers that Dobbs is a US Army officer, apparently a military policeman, and that her attacker might have been a serial rapist who escaped from an American military prison, and that Dobbs's job is to recapture him.

Then a dead body is discovered on the beach where she dumped the rapist's body – and further complications ensue.



In 1970, the film won the Special David of the David di Donatello Awards. In 1971, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and for the Golden Laurel.


Box office[edit]

The film was a big hit in France. Bronson's agent Paul Kohner said it was "the turning point for Bronson - and probably his best. In a few weeks, his name was so big in Europe that hundreds of theatres there were running old American pictures with the name Bronson above the title, even though originally he had played the third or fourth lead."[3]


The Los Angeles Times called the film "a spellbinding suspense and detection story, done with the kind of affectionate tip of the chapeau to the Hitchcock Hollywood mastery of the form."[4]

The Washington Post called it "one of those silk-purse-from a sow's ear exercises, fairly absorbing if you go to it casually, but possibly a cheat if you go expecting the last word in civilised movie expense."[5]


In 2011, Wild East released Rider on the Rain on a limited-edition DVD alongside Adieu l'ami (Farewell, Friend), also starring Charles Bronson.


"Rider on the Rain" is also the main theme of the original movie soundtrack (with lyrics by Sébastien Japrisot and sung by French chansonette Severine). The American singer-songwriter Peggy Lee wrote English lyrics for the song, and recorded it on her 1971 album Make It With You as "Passenger in the Rain".


  1. ^ "Le Passager de la pluie (1970)". JP Box Office. Retrieved 1970-01-21.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ French box office information accessed 14 December 2014
  3. ^ America discovers a 'sacred monster': Bronson looks as if at any moment he's about to hit someone Bronson 'Charlie Bronson really is a guy with a lot of humor and a lot of tenderness, both of which he hides.' By Bill DavidsonRobert Mitchum. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 22 Sep 1974: 260.
  4. ^ 'Rider on the Rain' in Suspense Genre Champlin, Charles. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 28 May 1970: f13.
  5. ^ Rider on the Rain' By Gary Arnold. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 12 June 1970: B12.

External links[edit]