6.3/10
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10 user 4 critic

Cold Comfort (1989)

R | | Drama, Thriller | 10 May 1990 (USA)
Three lonely people depend on each other when they get stranded at a deserted gas station in a blizzard. Floyd is a truck driver balancing on the edge of lunacy. He is the caring father of ... See full summary »

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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Floyd Lucas
Margaret Langrick ...
Dolores Lucas
...
Stephen Miller
...
Mrs. Brockel
Ted Follows ...
Roy
Richard Fitch ...
C.I.L. Truck Driver
Grant Roll ...
Mechanic
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Storyline

Three lonely people depend on each other when they get stranded at a deserted gas station in a blizzard. Floyd is a truck driver balancing on the edge of lunacy. He is the caring father of 16-year old Dolores, but is also torn up by sexual feelings for his daughter. Sales rep. Steven also ends up in the blizzard with his car in a ditch. Floyd rescued Steven and brings him along as a birthday present for Dolores. In all the confusion Steven doesn't realize at first how he has become a prisoner. He is the pawn in a chess game between father and daughter which evolves in a matter of life and death. Written by Evert Meulie, esq. <evert@royal.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not always safe to come in from the cold. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

10 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A hideg ketrec  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut for Vic Sarin. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Miller: This is the very latest in ersatz Italian leather!
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Soundtracks

Strange One
Written by Mavety & Stannard
Published by Warner Brothers Music Ltd.
Performed by Marianne Faithfull
Courtesy of Island Records
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User Reviews

 
Beware this good Samaritan
2 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As the snow gets deeper and the night draws in, local outcast Floyd finds a stranded motorist on the edge of town. Taking the man home to his dilapidated house-cum-farm, Floyd offers the unconscious traveller to his teenage daughter Dolores.

The relief which the waking motorist Stephen feels at being rescued, is quickly replaced by one of growing discomfort and then fear as he realises he is at the mercy of an unbalanced and indeed psychotic man. Starting as it means to go on, the film turns the screw ever tighter on Stephen.

The most fascinating aspect of the film however is not the plight of Stephen, but the peculiar and even bizarre relationship between Floyd and his daughter.

After watching the film I did begin to wonder Is Dolores really Floyd's daughter at all? By taking stranded stranger Stephen back to his house, the suggestion is Floyd is a decent soul. But by then remarking casually to his daughter that, if she doesn't like him, they can 'feed him to the dogs' it is clear Floyd has lost almost any empathy with the outside world.

Dolores, by contrast, is an engaging and attractive girl. Touchingly played by Margaret Langrick, the girl is both excited by the arrival of Stephen, and intrigued by the glimpse of the outer world he offers, a life of hotels, restaurants, women and work.

As the two form a tentative bond, provoking the first stirrings of dangerous jealousy in Floyd, it grows increasingly clear Dolores will try any trick she can to engineer herself away from the rundown house and the isolated existence she lives with her father.

This brings me back to my original question: Is the girl really Floyd's daughter or the victim of an abduction? I did wonder whether Dolores may have arrived at the house in similar circumstances to Stephen; perhaps clutched as a baby from a tourist's car, or snatched from an unsuspecting mother.

The stark backdrop of the icy wilderness and a haunting score, add to the growing unease which director Vac Sarin creates from the opening moments. Few films have ever managed to convey in such compelling fashion the need for human contact.

As threatening and deranged as Floyd is, he is also deeply lonely and lacking in both physical good looks and social graces. He holes himself up in a house miles from anywhere presumably because it is (i) cheap, and (ii) the one place where no-one judges him.

Yet above that loneliness and insecurity simmers a psychotic temper, and a raging jealousy which is determined to keep Dolores by his side and stop Stephen at any cost from reaching outside help.

You want Stephen to escape what quickly becomes a nightmare, and even more for Dolores to somehow find a happy place in life, yet over them both towers the increasingly unstable Floyd.

Adapted by Richard Beattie from the play by James Garrard, the film maintains its tension right to the final moments. A claustrophobic and unsettling psycho-thriller, with winning performances, and an ending of haunting and poetic poignancy.


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