More than a half century ago, Ida Lupino was blazing a trail where too few have followed: A career as a female director in Hollywood. Working within the studio system, she made small, modest pictures — many in the noir vein — that still outclassed the output of many of her male colleagues.
And “Outrage” is one of her finest, an unvarnished examination of the consequences of rape, told from the woman’s point of view. It’s a perspective few others of the day could offer and Lupino drives her message home with full force, over the rough road from the terror of the initial attack, to the humiliation, acceptance and healing that follow.
Lupino’s direction and Mala Powers’ fine performance as the victim should have combined to make this a landmark in social commentary — instead, it has become an unjustly forgotten treasure.
“It’s our fault, all of us. Our generation has produced too many neuroses, too many mentally displaced people right here at home. We need more hospitals, more men to turn human scrap back into useful human beings.”
Lupino not only gave a small part to her sister Rita, but also worked in an unbilled cameo for herself in the country dance scene.
“The Accused” (1988).
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