A French woman, “Mellie”, kills the man who rapes her (he’s still in the house) and tells no one about it. An investigating American colonel demands to know the truth. Mellie lies to him, all the while being thrust into a world of bullying and profound moral decay.

This is Rider on the Rain, a 1970 French-American production directed by Rene Clement. Despite absurdity in the plot, it is a unique and piercing potboiler—starring Charles Bronson yet! Ah, but the capital actor here is Marlene Jobert, who is magnificent as the consistently worried, often gutsy Mellie. She appears in nearly every scene. Most of the film’s virtue is hers, though it is also nice that spiky Rider has a happy ending.