Baby, the Rain Must Fall
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Steve McQueen is a small Texas town parolee whose wife suddenly drops in on him with their young daughter whom he's never met. As he tries to retain his family, while following his dream of becoming a famous songwriter, his temper gets the best of him and threatens to send him back to the Big House.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Woe be the day I pan McQueen, but even I can't defend this uneven, unsuccessful 1964 story about a wannabe rocker trying to make good with his wife and kid. McQueen delivers a decent performance, despite some pretty bad lip-syncing that would make even Britney's sweet potato of an ass wince in her pants (if she wore any), and the late beautiful Lee Remick is solid if monotonous in her role as the distraught family wife trying to get a semblance of normalcy for her small family. Unfortunately for them and for us, the film itself goes nowhere and the plot unravels into what amounts to a series of events that, while believable, aren't necessarily entertaining. There's an entire aspect of the plot which seems to be making some headway toward some big conclusion, but eventually ends up being quite anti-climatic. Working its way through the entire film is "Ms. Kate", a woman feared by everyone in town and whose mere mention makes McQueen's lips quiver in fear. I spent the whole film trying to figure out who she was and what she could have done, but I couldn't contain my own letdown when it turned out the way it did.
It's too bad because some of the elements could really have worked. On top of the cast, the film has the quaint look of small town America in the middle of the 20th century. Great big cars, friendly neighbors and rockabillies bopping at the local dance club. There are even a few genuinely touching moments, as you'd expect in a tale of broken families. There just isn't enough to really make your tear ducts go the extra mile and the actors themselves don't really express much emotion, making it difficult to empathize with anyone. The running time is pretty short at 100 minutes, but the investment just doesn't pay off in the end. This is reserved only for Steve McQueen freaks who need to see every frame of film the man has under his belt, but other than that, I don't see this finding much of a modern day audience.
None to report.
As I said above, aside from a target audience of Steve McQueen fanatics, this is better left on the shelf and passed up for the likes of BULLITT, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN or any of the other awesome movies he made. Very disappointing overall. The story just isn't strong enough to carry this to your DVD player.