In the metropolis of Rain City which is run under a military state, Wanda’s Café is the meeting point for several individuals, who, in the words of Lt. Gunther of the police department, are converging on “the shit (they’re) wallowing in”.
Former Rain City police officer John Hawkins – Hawk to his friends – has just been released from prison where he served eight years for murder, a crime to which he readily admits. He killed Fat Adolph, a mobster, in an effort to clean up the streets and protect the ones he loved. He has returned to Wanda’s – Wanda who was his former lover – to restart his life.
Straightforward Wanda still loves Hawk, but is not in love with him, and as such offers him a place to stay with no strings. Wanda has just hired largely innocent Georgia to work in the café. Penniless Georgia and her husband Coop have just arrived in Rain City with their infant son Spike in the run-down camper in which they live.
Trouble in Mind is a 1985 neo-noir film, shot in Seattle, which follows an ex-cop just released from jail after serving time for a murder sentence as he returns to the mean streets of the fictional “Rain City.” It was directed and written by Alan Rudolph, and stars Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Geneviève Bujold, and Lori Singer, with an out-of-drag appearance by Divine.
The story starts off with the world-weary 1920s blues standard “Trouble in Mind” and ends with a song of love and reassurance, both performed by Marianne Faithfull. The opening line is “I wouldn’t say no to a woman or a job”.
The movie flips between reality and unreality in a variety of ways, with the time, language and setting unclear. The leading characters all display traits of the opposite of what they seem to be (the heroic ex-cop, for example, is a convicted murderer; the protective mother abandons her child; criminals show themselves to be sensitive philosophers; the wayward husband loves his wife; the straight woman shows a dark past; etc.).
Trouble in Mind (1985)
Directed by: Alan Rudolph
Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Lori Singer, Geneviève Bujold, Joe Morton, Divine, John Considine, Antonia Dauphin
Screenplay by: Alan Rudolph
Production Design by: Steven Legler
Cinematography by: Toyomichi Kurita
Film Editing by: Tom Walls
Costume Design by: Tracy Tynan
Set Decoration by: K.C. Fox
Art Direction by:
Music by: Mark Isham
Distributed by: Alive Films
Release Date: December 11, 1985