At last I could see this movie. I like the works of director René Clément. So far, all that I have seen are very good: Gervais, Jeux interdits, Plein soleil, Che gioia vivere, Les félins, Paris brûle-t-il? and now this. I hope to be able to watch La bataille du rail in the future. Now it's indeed available on DVD, but the price is so high.
Its English title "Rider on The Rain" is not easy to comprehend, at least for me. However after the movie starts, I think I can understand its meaning. The movie starts with a passenger get off a bus, in a small town in Southern France. It is raining. The heroine, Mellie (played by Marlène Jobert), sees him from behind a window. If I'm not mistaken, she is in her mother's house. The stranger follows her when she is buying a new dress and to her home, where he rapes her. She wants to call the police, but changes her mind as she remembers her jealous pilot husband. She finds the man is still in the house, shoots him down, and dumps the body to the sea. The next morning, in the newspaper there is a news that a body has been found in the shore. Then arrives Colonel Harry Dobbs (Charles Bronson) from US Army who tells Mellie that he knows what she has done. He tells her that the stranger was bringing a bag full of money and had her husband photo with him.
In most part of the movie, there are only Mellie and Dobbs alone. He tries to make her acknowledge that she has killed that man, but she insists she knows nothing - until Dobbs tells her that the man's mistress has been caught by the police as the murderess. Mellie thinks she must tell someone that the mistress is innocent. The ending can be categorized as a happy ending, I think. Both main actors are wonderful. Jill Ireland, Bronson's wife, has a little role here, but she is not very convincing.