The Rain People is Francis Ford Coppola's character study of a Long Island pregnant housewife who writes a goodbye note to her sleeping husband and runs away. Natalie (Shirley Knight) feels like her life is not her own now that she's a wife and soon-to-be mother. She drives west, where she picks up a hitchiking college football player. Killer Kilgannon (James Caan), who suffered brain damage on the field, has been given $1,000 in cash by his college and told to leave. The two travel together, and slowly Natalie realizes that Killer has no place to go and no one to help him. After she finds him a job working for a sadistic rancher (Tom Aldredge), Natalie speeds guiltily away only to be pulled over by a motorcycle cop, Gordon (Robert Duvall). Killer and Natalie are reunited briefly until she leaves for a date with Gordon, whose own miseries quickly surface. The Rain People was notable for being the first time Coppola worked with some of the cast and crew who would become Zoetrope regulars: actors James Caan and Robert Duvall, editor Barry Malkin, sound engineer Walter Murch, and producer Mona Skager.