Who’ll Stop the Rain? (1978)
“I’ve been waiting all my life to fuck up like this.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
While it’s essentially a crime thriller, Who’ll Stop the Rain? is heavily driven by a core set of noteworthy performances. Nolte, “looking fit, is an action hero to rival Rambo”, and is eminently believable in his role — though one can’t help wishing a bit more of his personality was revealed or explained; at one point he’s referred to as a psychopath, but, despite his propensity towards violence, this clearly isn’t an accurate assessment. Meanwhile, Moriarty (who Peary notes it’s nice to see “in a non-neurotic role”) perfectly captures the quiet, jaded cynicism of a man who has seen far too much violence and “lunacy” during the war to remain idealistic; and Weld’s portrayal as his wife — a seemingly milquetoast bookstore employee and mother who becomes addicted to heroin during her nightmarish ordeal — is both brave and memorable (though again, one wishes the screenplay provided a bit more insight into who she is and what makes her tick). Another minor quibble: while Masur and Sharkey are appropriately menacing as the two thugs chasing after Nolte and Weld, they somehow come across a bit cartoonish at times; however, this is easy enough to overlook, as the story continues to propel us towards its bleak, violence-ridden finale.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
One thought on “Who’ll Stop the Rain? (1978)”
First viewing. Not a must.
Generally speaking, director Reisz is something of a master at character-study films. Because of that, he was able to rope in an impressive cast for this one.
Problem is…there’s no story. The script is the equivalent of a single sentence and nobody has very much to play. For his part, Reisz does a fine job here – but that’s saying almost nothing, considering the film still gets tiresome early…and stays there.