As of this writing (November 8th), it is a couple of hours (2:45PM Eastern) until TCM will feature Ida Lupino’s 1950 film Outrage as part of their series Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers on TCM. When I saw this title pop up on the programming schedule, I was quite happy. For anyone who has been on my site regularly over the past decade, you may be aware that I have previously expressed my admiration for the work Ida Lupino produced in her role(s) of writer/director (click here for a sampling).
It was at this past year’s TCM Film Festival at the historic Grauman’s Egyptian that I had the honor of seeing Outrage for the first time ever, and on the big screen, no less. Sure, it was heavy viewing for a Saturday morning at 11:30, but I tell you it was well worth it.
Directed by Ms. Lupino and co-written with producers Malvin Wald and her then-husband Collier Young, Outrage tells the tale of a young woman, Ann (Mala Powers) and the aftermath of her assault.
After this incident, the remainder of the film is spent walking the audience through Ann’s trauma (and post-trauma) and its impact on her interactions with the relationships.
Tough Subject, Truthfully Told
Even before seeing the film, I was drawn by the fact of the topic being presented (sexual assault/rape). My general knowledge of how Hollywood productions were managed under the Hayes Code at that time led me to understand the uniqueness of this film at this time. Rarely, if ever did films deal with rape in such a direct and raw manner.
Coming out of the screening, I was touched by what I had just seen and it really got me thinking. What jumped off the screen for me goes beyond the fact that she was a female making a film about such a “controversial” topic. Sure, crimes of this nature disproportionately affect women, but what I was emotionally moved beyond that simple point of fact. At many times, Outrage penetrated what I can only describe as my own imagined “narrative barrier” to really delve into the psyche and internal monologue of a person who has gone through this agonizing process of grief, horror and pain. In other words, it felt very personal.
Where to Watch
If you get the chance to, I encourage you to set your DVRs or catch it on the Watch TCM App, where I assume it will be available*. But if you aren’t able to that way, I suggest a Google search might be your friend to find out more about this film I consider a must-see.
I close with a few other write-ups which provide a greater level of detail about Outrage.
The latter article in particular, written more recently in the context of the #MeToo movement, adds another layer to the conversation of sexual assault in society and also how it is portrayed in our media.
* If you are fortunate enough to live in the greater New York area, this weekend Film Forum just happens to be screening Outrage as part of their Ida Lupino 100 series (November 9-22).
- As a Director and/or Writer: The Hitch-Hiker, Hard Fast and Beautiful, The Bigamist (featuring Joan Fontaine and Edmund O’Brien), The Trouble with Angels (featuring Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell)
- As a Featured Performer: The Hard Way, On Dangerous Ground, Women’s Prison and High Sierra.