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* ThirdPersonPerson: When Natalie gets anxious she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.

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* ThirdPersonPerson: PlayedForDrama. When Natalie gets anxious she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.


This low-budget, slightly experimental film won some admirers when it was released but was largely ignored. But after Coppola's later fame it gained a cult following, reappraised as an early attempt to deal with feminist themes in film. It also marked the beginning of Coppola's friendship with Creator/GeorgeLucas, who worked as an assistant on the film.

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This low-budget, slightly experimental film won some admirers when it was released but was largely ignored. But after Coppola's later fame it gained a cult following, reappraised as an early attempt to deal with feminist themes in film. It also marked the beginning of Coppola's friendship with Creator/GeorgeLucas, who worked as an assistant on the film.
film and directed the making-off film, (one of his early credits) ''Filmmaker'', a short documentary showing behind-the-scenes footage as well as bits of Coppola's life (it also features a scene of Francis without his beard, if you can believe that).


In West Virginia she picks up a hitchhiker, former college football player Jimmy "Killer" Kilgannon (Creator/JamesCaan). Natalie is attracted to the handsome Killer and charmed by his unassuming personality, until she realizes that his simplemindedness is the result of a brain injury he sustained while playing football. The pair travel all the way to Nebraska, where she tries to abandon him. But she's pulled over and given a speeding ticket. Gordon (Robert Duvall), the officer who gave her the ticket, finds her attractive and asks her out on a date. But it turns out Jimmy isn't out of her life after all.

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In West Virginia she picks up a hitchhiker, former college football player Jimmy "Killer" Kilgannon (Creator/JamesCaan). Natalie is attracted to the handsome Killer and charmed by his unassuming personality, until she realizes that his simplemindedness is the result of a brain injury he sustained while playing football. The pair travel all the way to Nebraska, where she tries to abandon abandons him. But When she's pulled over and given a speeding ticket. ticket, Gordon (Robert Duvall), the officer who gave her the ticket, stopped her, finds her attractive and asks her out on a date. But it turns out Jimmy isn't out of her life after all.


Long Island housewife Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight) learns that she's become pregnant. Feeling that she's not ready to accept the responsibilities of motherhood and feeling stifled in her marriage causes her to abruptly leave her husband one morning and go on a road trip with no particular destination.

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Long Island housewife Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight) learns that she's become pregnant. Feeling that she's not ready to accept the responsibilities of motherhood and feeling stifled in her marriage causes her to motherhood, she abruptly leave leaves her husband and their stifling marriage one morning and to go on a road trip with no particular destination.


* ThirdPersonPerson: When Natalie gets nervous she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.

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* ThirdPersonPerson: When Natalie gets nervous anxious she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.

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* AlphaBitch: Jimmy's college girlfriend Ellen.


* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Rosalie, Gordon's daughter. She's not quite a teen but fits the description.



* CoversAlwaysLie: One early VHS release had a publicity still showing Shirley Knight holding a gun in the air while Robert Duvall kisses her breast on the cover, implying that it's a sexy thriller, rather than a moody character study.

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* CoversAlwaysLie: One early VHS release had A lot of the video covers over the years use a publicity still showing Shirley Knight holding a gun in the air while Robert Duvall kisses her breast on the cover, breast, implying that it's a sexy thriller, rather than a moody character study.


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* SnoopingLittleKid: Rosalie.

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* WholePlotReference: The main storyline can be seen as ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen'' with a woman in the role of George.

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* {{Antihero}}: Natalie is a bit self-centered and irresponsible, but also clearly someone who's suffered a lot and deserved the chance to break away from her life the way she did.

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* CoversAlwaysLie: One early VHS release had a publicity still showing Shirley Knight holding a gun in the air while Robert Duvall kisses her breast on the cover, implying that it's a sexy thriller, rather than a moody character study.

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* TitleDrop: Jimmy tells Natalie a cryptic story about people made of rain who melt away when they cry. It might be a fractured memory of his past.

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* ManChild: Killer's injury has turned him into one.

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* ShoutOut: ''Film/BonnieAndClyde'' is advertised on a drive-in theater marquee.
* SceneryPorn: A few of the driving scenes count.

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* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: In her phone calls back to her husband Vinny, Natalie begs him to let her have an abortion. He's adamantly opposed at first, but later says he'll let her do it if she'll just come back home.
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: We only see Natalie's husband Vinny in flashbacks and photographs, but hear his voice on the telephone a lot.


* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:Jimmy gets shot after he saves Natalie from being raped, and she has a nervous breakdown afterwards]].



* ThirdPersonPerson: When Natalie gets nervous she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.

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* FreeRangeChildren: Gordon is having trouble raising his daughter Rosalie and lets her roam around unsupervised most of the time.
* RoadMovie: A depressing example. Rather than symbolizing freedom, the road ultimately leads to despair. Still, the film features some great location shooting in various small towns throughout West Virginia, Tennessee and Nebraska.
* ThirdPersonPerson: When Natalie gets nervous she starts referring to herself as "she" or "the lady". This might be a symptom of some deeper mental health issues.issues.
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: We see quick-cut flashbacks for the three main characters depicting the key moments in their lives that led them to where they are now.
* WrongSideOfTheTracks: Gordon lives in a small trailer in a run-down trailer park. However, [[spoiler:he used to own a house, but it burned down]].

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