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Paul Sorvino plays a very faithful husband who is raped at gunpoint by a woman one evening on his way home. This is a comedy, believe it or not. I remember that the husband had a hard time convincing anybody that he had been raped. The husband was sexually taken advantage of by another woman in the story, who thought he was a stud. I doubt that this one will ever see the light of day again; the subject is too distasteful.
There is some merit to the idea of examining the question, "what if a
were to rape a man," notwithstanding the fact that, unless the woman had
some drug capable of inducing an uncontrollable erection, such an incident
is physiologically unlikely.
Unfortunately, while this film did manage to bring up the question, it did so mainly for the sake of a few tasteless laughs, which managed to overshadow anything meaningful it might have tried to say.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
... and it's a rather smart story at that, although I seem almost alone
in that opinion given the other reviews. I remember the commercials for
this when it first came on - I was not quite 17 - and the commercials
gave the impression that the victim was some kind of male chauvinist
who was raped by a woman and thus given a lesson in empathy. Those
commercials were completely misleading.
Everyone else is right about one thing - this will never be on DVD and NEVER be given another run on any TV channel, cable or broadcast. That was why I was grateful somebody put it up on youtube, where anything goes that is not pornographic.
Paul Sorvino plays Harry Walters, and the initial scene has him dressing for a Rotary Club dinner with complete instructions from his wife. He lives in a big house he does not like because his father-in-law wants his daughter to look successful, his father-in-law made the sizable down payment, and we later learn that Harry wanted to be a teacher, but again, the father-in-law interfered and convinced him to join the family business and sell real estate. In short, Harry Walters has spent the last 20 years of his life being a complete doormat to the wishes of his wife and in-laws.
Then comes the life changing moment. When his car breaks down on the way back from the Rotary Club dinner a beautiful well dressed "respectable looking" woman offers him a ride. However, instead of taking him home, she drives on a deserted road, forces him to remove all of his clothing at gunpoint and rapes him. Like so many women, Harry would probably have said nothing to anyone about this, but she dumps him in the middle of nowhere completely naked. He steals an apron from a woman's clothesline to cover himself. The homeowner sees this and calls the police who wind up arresting Harry!
So Harry goes to the police station as a perp not a victim, and here is where there are so many parallels to what happened to women then, and still happens 41 years later. Nobody believes his story. He wants to talk to a male officer about the rape - request denied. Nobody shows any compassion. He is asked if he liked it. He is asked details about a crime he would rather forget. People question how he was dressed when he was picked up by the woman and how he was acting. Does any of this sound familiar ladies...and gents? Worse, a local newspaperman who hangs out in the police station gets wind of the story and prints all of the details, and Harry's name, on the front page. At work he is greeted by snickers and pointing. His boss yells at him for making the firm look bad. At home his wife SAYS she believes him but she is treating him ...differently...like "damaged goods" although that phrase is never used.
The epiphany moment comes when Harry is faced with a choice. He can plead guilty to the indecent exposure charge and get a small fine, or he can fight. He chooses to fight against all advice and pressure from his attorney and wife. He says - and this is one line that would never get on TV today - "I've allowed it (rape) to happen my whole life." This time he is fighting back. He goes back to the police station and files charges against a woman whose identity is unknown, he pleads not guilty to his own charges, and gets the reporter who outed him in the papers to help him find the rapist with a composite sketch. How will this all work out? Watch and find out.
So the theme of this film is working on two levels. It is saying that if men were (commonly) raped rather than women, maybe the system would work better and more compassionately. It is also telling people to "not sell out", go for your dreams, don't be a doormat, which was a common 60's-70s message. If you do ever see it, watch it in the context of its time, don't get offended like you are watching a film made last week. And also watch it for an early Paul Sorvino performance. He was so unknown when the film aired on TV that I didn't even remember he was the leading man until I recently watched it again.
Smarter-than-usual TV-movie takes several sly, satirical jabs with role-reversal premise concerning a Los Angeles family man (and eternal doormat) who is forced into having sex with a woman while she holds him at gunpoint. He wants to forget the whole ordeal in the morning, but a reporter has gotten wind of the story and exploits it with the headline, "Man Cries Rape!" Not an exceptional comedy, but a funny one, written with a knowing wink by Earl Barret and Arne Sultan. It certainly benefits from Paul Sorvino's wonderful performance in the lead; Michael Learned also good in change-of-pace role as Sorvino's controlling wife and Adam Arkin (Alan's son) terrific in low-keyed scene with dad Sorvino on the couch (nicely played by both). Though the courtroom finale gets too silly, Sorvino is never less than engaging, and there are quick, clever lines of dialogue all the way through.
This movie has stood out in my mind until this day. I loved this movie
because of the laughs but it is also good that we got to poke fun at a man crying rape instead of a woman. It wasa comedy and was meant for us to laugh about it.
The father, played by Paul Sorvino either gave a ride or got a ride with a much younger beautiful woman. I won't give everything away suffice to say he ended up naked hiding in the back of a woman's house, trying to get clothes from her clothes line to cover himself with, she saw him and called the police. He told the cops he was raped and of course they do not believe him. They were all snickering and laughing at him, they just thought was a pervert. It was not a serious movie, it was more of a comedy and was made for laughs and should be looked at that way. That is what most movies are for, for us to have fun. People should not be so serious about something that should be funny.
Those days we were not as politically correct as today and people was able to poke fun at things they could not get away with now. Don't know why.
I watched and love it for the laughs and you will too, if you ever get to see it. I would love to see it again myself.
About the only good thing I can say about it is that it isn't Rabbit
This bottom-of-the-barrel made-for-TV makes light of rape, a crime that
arguably even more grievous than murder. Probably the most amazing thing
about it is that Get Smart alumni Arne Sultan accepted writing and
credits under his own name, and that as many stars participated as
It could perhaps be argued that it at least attempted to point out the difficulty women have historically had in getting rape taken seriously, but its success at that attempt is debatable at best.
There was a big controversy when this first played on TV. It was on at
8:00 (I believe) and the TV station (I THINK it was ABC) was blasted
for showing such a movie of questionable taste so early in the evening.
Well, I was 12 when I saw it and I wasn't particularly shocked or upset
by it. I found it pretty lame and stupid and didn't find anything funny
about a woman forcing a guy to strip nude at gunpoint. And despite what
other reviewers have said here rape wasn't even suggested (from what I
remember). And she just did it for kicks (!!!!). This movie also goes
out of its way to make fun of Sorvino's character. Sorry but I don't
find sexual assault that funny. There's no way this will be seen on TV
now (except maybe VERY late night) but that's no great loss. I wonder
what Paul Sorvino thinks about this now.
Silly, stupid and pretty sick. Don't bother.
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