Outrageously prolix titles were the signature of director Lina
Wertmuller. The full name of this film is "The end of the world, in our
usual bed, on a night full of rain." That's relatively short compared to
her Guinness record-hollder: "Un fatto di
sangue nel comune di Siculiana fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si
sospettano moventi politici. Amore-Morte-Shimmy. Lugano belle. Tarantelle.
Tarallucci e vino." (Aka: "Blood Feud"). Ms.
Wertmuller's titles were not the only sign that she marched to a different
drummer. She occasionally appeared on American talk shows back in the 70s,
wearing eyewear from the Elton John collection and making outrageous
pronouncements in heavily-accented English with exaggerated stresses: "Eet
Although she was known for arty films, Wertmuller had established such a reputation in Europe
Warner Brothers offered her a four-picture deal to make them some movies
in the English language. How did they plan to make a buck on this deal? God only
knows. Perhaps they thought the 70s had created the precise political climate
which would encourage audiences to support a female director. Whatever Warner's
reasoning might have been, it turned out to be specious. This was the first
picture she created for them, and it performed so badly that it would also be
the last. When the suits saw the box office results, they promptly
summoned the legal
team and told them to find a way out of Wertmuller's contract.
The film she turned in is exactly what they should have expected, a typical
example of 1970s European arthouse fare, filled with usual
excesses of that genre: disjointed narrative, people reciting political
speeches for dialogue, bad dubbing, interminable close-ups of faces,
people speaking as a Greek chorus, socialist politics, characters without
names, and so forth. It includes everything required for an SCTV parody of
an art film, with the possible exception of a dream populated by evil dwarves.
The film portrays the turbulent relationship
between a male chauvinist Italian man and a liberated American feminist.
If you have that much information and know the title, I've already spoiled
it for you, because that's all there is. The two of them are in bed on a
rainy night in the later stages of a long relationship. They are arguing,
remembering, arguing, reconciling, remembering, fighting physically,
reconciling, threatening to leave, mumbling, remembering, reconciling, fucking, fighting some
You get the idea.
In other words, it is not the kind of film that was going to pack
the American theaters for the studio that had rather rashly decided to finance it.
And it was not one of her better efforts. In fact, you
could reasonably argue that Night Full of Rain is her worst film. It
is the lowest-rated Wertmuller film at IMDb.
I find Wertmuller's best films to be tedious, so you can well
imagine that I found this an absolute ordeal to watch.
"So why did you I watch it," you are wondering. "Surely
you knew what you were getting into."
I had quite a good reason. It includes a nice clear topless scene from
Candice Bergen, and that scene is the one and only chance to see her