Set within a small town, the film follows Dr Reuben (Glenn Ford). He lives in a tiny town, so small that he is the town’s only hope when people become unwell or fall pregnant. In the present day, Dr Reuben enjoys spending his spare time getting drunk and is generally an angry loner due to his past which haunts him.
While trying to get by in his day to day bitter lifestyle, he soon meets a beautiful young woman named Perla (Stella Stevens) who visits the town with a group of women to provide entertainment. Despite his obvious anger and hurt, Perla feels he is generally a good person inside and begins to reveal her affection towards him. At first, the good Doctor thinks her approach is pure rubbish.
But Dr Reuben will have to deal with many more significant problems as he discovers he has rabies which he received from a rabid dog bite. Now he has only 72 hours before the disease takes control. Quickly, he decides to leave the town and journey to a hospital before the disease takes his life. Thankfully Dr Reuben won’t have to make this journey all on his own.
To my surprise, Rage is more of a tense drama with some moments of suspense. The setup is generally pleasing even though it does take a while for the plot to get underway. The film has excellent character development as we see the leading man at his worst, and viewers gain a real understanding of his heartache and dark past. His early interactions with Perla were also interesting to see and I wondered if the Doctor would eventually warm up to her caring and kind nature. Once the clock begins to click on his own life, the film’s pace increases quite rapidly.
Performances here are excellent, with Glenn Ford easily being the major standout. The actor delivers a wide range of emotions, including showing past hurts, and depicting the struggle of not succumbing to rabies. It is quite a massive task for the actor to deliver, and thankfully he is terrific here and always convincing. Actress Stella Stevens was also a nice touch and actor David Reynoso as Pancho, who becomes a great asset and friend, was also pleasing.
Overall, Rage is a dramatic film which includes many positive elements, including a fantastic and convincing performance by Glenn Ford. The film’s plot does take a little while to get underway, still, once the characters are introduced, and the story develops, I found myself quite invested and enjoying some of the film’s unpredictable and suspenseful moments.
Rage (1966) is Now Available on Blu-ray!