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Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
Things start to go wrong for a group of criminals after they kidnap a young heiress and hold her for ransom at a beach house in France. Fighting among the co-conspirators boils over shortly after the ransom is picked up, leading to a violent end for most. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
A girl (Pamela Franklin) finds herself kidnapped by a group of kidnappers (Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Rita Moreno) but is sworn her life is safe as long as her father pays the ransom. Soon it becomes clear that the kidnapper's most difficult thing is going to be dealing with each other.
THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY didn't make much of a splash when it was originally released and throughout the decades it still hasn't gained much of a cult following. For fans of Marlon Brando this was released during a period when the actor was struggling or just not really caring what type of movies he was doing as long as there was a paycheck attached. While there are certainly many flaws with the picture I think it's a rather underrated kidnapping yarn.
What I enjoyed most about the film was the cast. Brando delivers a pretty good performance here as the kidnapper who quickly realizes this plan isn't working. I thought the actor was quite good in the part and I enjoyed the more psychological nature he brought the character. Boone and Gerard Buhr as a friendly cop are also quite good and Moreno is also very memorable as the kidnapper with the drug problem. Franklin is also good here in a role that doesn't offer her much to do but it's still fun seeing her.
The film obviously wants to be like the various Euro crime films that the decade was full of. The biggest problem is that director Hubert Cornfield goes for a laid-back approach, which is fine but a bit more energy or tension would have been nice. I'd also argue that there's really nothing overly special about the screenplay and the main story. THE NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY doesn't last too long and it's mainly going to appeal to people for its cast.
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