A few days ago, I mentioned that I’d discovered the 1965 film Rapture starring Dean Stockwell, Patricia Gozzi, Melvyn Douglas, and Gunnel Lindblom. I gave it a pretty rave review. What I didn’t know when I wrote that post is that this particular movie would invade my consciousness. I’ve now seen the movie at least four times. “At least”… I think I’m starting to lose count. I guess that’s embarrassing, especially considering that the only way I can watch it at the moment is in eleven separate parts on YouTube. The performances are just stunning to me, and the music is so effective. Georges Delerue’s score is beautiful and haunting. I suppose those two words describe the film as a whole for me. I haven’t yet actually spoken with anyone else who’s seen the film, though I know there are some other fans out there, but I have a feeling it’s not for everyone. Or maybe I just secretly want to keep it for myself.
Whatever the case may be, I haven’t been this inhabited by a movie since I was a kid. I think the last time I just kept watching a movie over and over was when I first discovered It’s a Wonderful Life. Of course, that is a totally different animal. But it’s been THAT LONG. Yeah. I actually have an order in for a copy of the Rapture Blu-Ray even though we don’t (yet) own a Blu-Ray player. At the moment my order is pending and I’m slightly nervous that something will go wrong. Up to now, I wasn’t even particularly interested in getting a Blu-Ray player.
I also just ordered myself this poster. One of these days when I have my own office again, this will live on the wall, hopefully alongside the poster we got at the Filmsmuseum in Berlin.
Mind you, I’ve been a bit of a miser lately. I did not make these purchases without giving them some thought (neither was terribly expensive, but even so).
Now, of course, I am interested in seeing as many of Patricia Gozzi’s other films as I can. With the possible exception of Sundays and Cybele, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1962, that’s likely to be a challenge. I’m sure I’ll dig further into Dean Stockwell’s filmography. I already watched all of the nearly three hours of Long Day’s Journey Into Night starring Stockwell, Katherine Hepburn, Jason Robards (another favorite actor of mine), and Ralph Richardson. I have an increased respect for Melvyn Douglas now as well, having discovered that he continued making movies right up to his death in 1981. His career spanned a full fifty years, and he stayed married to the same woman–the intriguing Helen Gahagan, who appeared in one film and then entered politics, eventually losing to Nixon in a race for the U.S. Senate–for nearly all of it (from April 1931 until her death in 1980).
And then there’s Gunnel Lindblom. While her performance is secondary to the others, she’s still quite good. A living Swedish actress, she appeared in several Ingmar Bergman films, including The Seventh Seal. As for Georges Delerue, his massive body of work dwarfs me. So there’s a lot here.
I’ve also looked into locating a copy of the book upon which the film is based. It’s not available in my library system, but a smattering of old copies are available through abebooks.com and ebay. I’m a little wary because it looks like it might be a bit of a pulp romance. Of course, Now, Voyager was pretty much a pulp romance, and that book was turned into a great film. Someday I will read Rapture, but I’m not sure I’m ready to risk breaking the spell of the film just yet.
Oh. I also have a correction, though it’s more to something I repeated that someone else said rather than my own mistake. The film’s director, John Guillermin, is British–not American. Perhaps the person who said that Rapture is like a French New Wave film in the hands of an American director knew that but was making some kind of statement on his directorial style. At any rate, he is British.