Rapture: Dual format DVD/Blu-ray

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 23:00 Written by 

Rapture - out nowRapture” is a beguiling film about a disturbed young woman who makes a scarecrow that she believes comes to life, but the strange man who enters her life is fact a criminal on the run. Patricia Gozzi, star of the Oscar-winning “Sundays and Cybele” is the petite Agnes, and a youthful Dean Stockwell (Quantum Leap, “Blue Velvet”) is Joseph. John Guillermin, better known for “The Towering Inferno” and “Death on the Nile” directs.

Set on the beautifully rugged coast of Brittany, the movie considers the felon's impact on the life of a family still struggling to come to terms with the death of the mother some years earlier. The stern and brooding father is played by Melvyn Douglas (“Being There”, “Hud”), a former judge who resigned under a shadow. Heavily engrossed in his writing, the task of bringing up Agnes is primarily left to foxy live-in housekeeper Karen (Gunnel Lindblom - "The Seventh Seal”).

The fifteen-year-old Gozzi blazes away at the centre of the film, in a performance as captivating as any I can remember. The actress brilliantly captures the mental fragility of the role, at times deliriously happy when she is a free spirit left to her own devices, lying down on the edge of a cliff staring up at gulls, but then crashing down into a withdrawn state of despair and outright panic when placed in situations outside her incredibly narrow comfort zone.

The supporting cast is uniformly excellent: Stockwell’s Joseph is very likable and masks the criminal's true intentions, Lindblom's maid is sultry and sparks off Agnes, and Douglas gradually reveals more layers to the aging father figure underneath his apparently impenetrable, stony exterior.

Guillermin frames the movie magnificently, effortlessly segueing between sweeping shots along the coast or through woods and then coming in close on the principal actors. This is primarily a character piece but the key action scenes are exhilaratingly tense and punchy. The crisp black and white cinematography emphasises the turbulent relationships and dreamlike goings on in Agnes’ mind that sometimes seem to leak out into the real world.

In a word, fantastic!

Special features include:

  • Exclusive new commentary with film historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redmon
  • Booklet featuring an essay by critic Mike Sutton, vintage stills and more

The HD transfer of the film is quite grainy during the many outdoor scenes but even so the detail levels are good and there is plenty of depth and graded shading in the picture.

“Rapture” (1965) is out now on dual-format DVD and Blu-ray (two discs), courtesy of Eureka. The main feature has a running time of 105 minutes approx., carries a ‘12’ certificate and retails for £17.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Monday, 28 July 2014 12:11

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