When first filmed in America in 1946 (it was previously adapted in France as LE DERNIER TOURANT  and in Italy as OSSESSIONE ) with John Garfield and Lana Turner, Cain's steamy novel fell victim to the restrictions of the Hays Code. In 1981 director Rafelson thought he could
get away with bringing the novel's sex to the screen, and he cast Nicholson as the Depression-era drifter who takes work at a California roadside diner run by a likable but abrasive Greek (Colicos) and his lovely, much younger wife (Lange). Uncontrollable lust brings Nicholson and Lange together,
eventually uniting them in murder. Cain's lightning pace and economy is unfortunately lo...