Having discovered that she is pregnant, Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight), a Long Island housewife panics and leaves home to see if she might just possibly have made something different out of herself; if she can manage to unshackle her grocery list worth of responsibilities that add up to a life with a husband she loves. In a motel room where Natalie stops to rest during the day, she sits motionless on the bed, and experiences the exuberance of complete freedom and the queasy feelings of new beginnings. Natalie continues on with her journey and picks up a young hitch-hiker -Killer (James Caan), an attractive brain-damaged football player. It is through Killer that poses a more disturbing question to Natalie than that of domestic responsibility. How deeply are we wedded to chance meetings and are we responsible for the crimes that we witness?
He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father was a composer and musician Carmine Coppola. His mother had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola’s first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations, including writing an adaptation of This Property is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams (with Fred Coe and Edith Sommer), and screenplays for Is Paris Burning?, and Patton, the film for which Coppola won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. In 1966, Coppola’s 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George… read more
In the John Huston tradition of losers who take the road to find themsemelves, getting in contact with people with more and deeper needs to their pathetic and meaningless existence. Coppola's first mature plunge in filmmaking hits the right chords. He's both sensitive and crude, when needed for the sake of such a heartbreaking story.
Not a great film, but plenty to love in it. It's bold and provokes us constantly in regards to Natalie's decisions, though it's crushed by the weight of melodrama in the end. I love melodrama, but Coppola botches it here because this film doesn't warrant such an ending. He can't think his way out, so he introduces a resolution that's pure sham. Worth seeing, though, especially because of its fine performances.