Skip to main content

OUTRAGE

USA, 1950 (MIFF 1996, Ida Lupino - Director)

Director: Ida Lupino

For a film on the then taboo of rape, Lupino's| Outrage opens breezily enough. It's book­keeper heroine Ann (Mala Powers) has a fiance, whose raise assures her happy integration into the life-style of her community, Ann's future seemingly predestined in scenes of family dinners, engagement announcements and effusive ring-admiring enthusiasm.

The rape changes all of this, radically and overnight. The slow ascending withdrawal of the camera from the actual rape not only places the event in the larger social context of the unheeding city, it also locates it in the recesses of Ann's psyche. The negatively charged blank it leaves at the film's centre is also in Ann's mind the rape cannot be recorded as it cannot be assimilated (even its immediate sequel, Ann's stumbling walk home, is symptomatically dislocated, appearing totally out of sequence under the opening credits)

The post-rape scenes have a spaced-oul feeling, the specifically subjective hallucinatory effects (the increasing volume of an office; worker's pounding rubber stamp, the certiginous montage of the police lineup) often less strange than the suspended animation of the town—half-imagined, half-real. Guilt veers from man (Ann as damaged goods), all reactions quivering with a funeral, almost squeamish unease.

The 'therapeutic' second half of Outrage presents quite a contrast to the first, prefiguring the Lupino-starring. On Dangerous Ground in its city/country split. The menacing glances of the city are here defused, defetishised, through the medium of the pipe-nursing minister Doc (Tod Andrews), Ann's newfound intercessor and shock absorber. Yet a strange ambiguous poetry of sublimated sexuality pervades the country scenes the outward gliding movement of the camera among the slowly turning dancers like soft dream-projection of Ann as, drawn to yet fearful of the involvement, she skirts the periphery. (RS)

See also...

NEVER FEAR (AKA YOUNG LOVERS)

... ... Carol Williams is a dancer; Guy Richards, her partner/choreographer. The opening se­quences spotlight a series of professional and private celebrations by the about-to-be-married couple ... More »

MR GEORGE

... ... An extraordinarily visually inventive tale of ghosts and greed, Mr George follows the 'efforts of a trio of middle-aged parasites to rid themselves of the little-girl heiress left in their ... More »

THE BIGAMIST

... ... Lupino's last two Filmmakers outings dealt not with adolescent girls but with middle-aged men. In Edmond O'Brien, the perpetually pressured 'middleman' of the 50's, Lupino found the perfect ... More »

The Bride Who Died Twice

... ... In the introductory Boris Karloff commentary (the only recurring gimmick of the Thriller series) to The Bride Who Died Twice, there is a surprising insistence on the difficulty of believing ... More »

No.5 Checked Out

In and of itself, No. 5 Checked Out constitutes a compelling case for the viability of the short form in film. Brilliantly acted, superbly crafted, it comes damn close to perfection-a state Lupino's ... More »

The Masks

"Mr. Jason Foster, a tired ancient who on this particular Mardi Gras evening will. leave the earth. But before departing he has some things to do, some services to perform, s some debts to pay and ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director