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Rain or Shine (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 August 1930 (USA)
Woman inherits a traveling circus which brings financial difficulties.


(as Frank R. Capra)


(dialogue and continuity), (dialogue and continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Joan Peers ...
Mary Rainey
Bud Conway
Tom Howard ...
Amos K. Shrewsberry
Dave Chasen ...
Alan Roscoe ...
Dalton - the Ringmaster
Adolph Milar ...
Foltz - the Lion Tamer
Mrs. Conway
Mr. Conway (as Edward Martindale)
Grace Conway
Tyrell Davis ...
Lord Hugo Gwynne (as Tyrrell Davis)


After her father's death, Mary Rainey takes over the Rainey Circus (which operates twice daily, rain or shine) but runs into financial troubles. In one bit reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, the circus performers are up to some ridiculous antics at a dinner party with the family of Bud Conway, Mary's beau. As times become worse and the performers go on strike, Mary must try to save the circus from rioting patrons. Written by Paul Donahue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Laugh Sensation of the Season! (original one-sheet poster)


Comedy | Drama | Romance






Release Date:

15 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luci del circo  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


(1928). Stage Play: Rain or Shine. Musical. Music by Milton Ager and Owen Murphy. Book by James Gleason and Maurice Marks. Lyrics by Jack Yellen. Music orchestrated by William Still and Arthur Schutt. Orchestra under the direction of Don Voorhees. Dances directed by Russell Markert. Dances Directed by Tom Nip. Scenic Design by Clark Robinson. Costume Design by Charles Le Maire. George M. Cohan's Theatre: 9 Feb 1928- 15 Dec 1928 (356 performances). Cast: Paul Brack, Walter Bremer, Dave Chasen (as "Simley's Protege/The Head Waiter"), Joe Cook (as "Smiley Johnson"), Ben Cutler, Vance Elliott, Rita Garcia, Edgar Gardner, James Gregory, Marion Herson, Tom Howard, Warren Hull, Vernon Jacobson, Ernest Lambart, Helen Lynd, Joe Lyons, Alex McKee, Rosie Moran, Ethel Norris, Walter Pharr, William V. Powers, Dimples Riede, Janet Velie, Nancy Welford, Devah Worrell. Produced by A.L. Jones and Morris Green. Note: Produced by Columbia Pictures as Rain or Shine (1930), directed by Frank Capra and starring Joe Cook. Although the stage version was a musical comedy, the musical numbers were deleted from the film version due to the public's distaste of the genre from 1930- early 1933 (until successfully revived by Warner Bros). The film is one of the least seen Capra films and is generally regarded as giving us a mere approximation of the extent of Joe Cook's talent which was far more effectively conveyed on stage (a situation somewhat comparable to Al Jolson's film career). Dave Chasen, later a world-renown restaurateur, and Tom Howard reprised their stage roles for the film. None of the songs in the original musical were used in the film except as background music. See more »


Smiley Johnson: Princess, I would like to have you to meet Mr. Shrewsberry. He's going to be one of the new owners of the show, one of the new partners.
Frankie: Oh, what great, big, shoulders you have!
Smiley Johnson: Not too rough, Princess. He isn't put together any too well. Don't do that. Now, don't do that.
Frankie: Oh, I just love athletic men, Mr. Gooseberry.
Amos K. Shrewsberry: You should see me pitch horse shoes.
Frankie: Oh, I'd love to, Mr. Strawberry.
Amos K. Shrewsberry: No, Blackberry, eh, Shrewsberry, is the name.
Frankie: You come and see me in my wagon sometime, Mr. Raspberry.
Smiley Johnson: Hey, ...
See more »


Sittin' on a Rainbow
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Dan Dougherty and Jack Yellen
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

Lesser Capra
23 May 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Rain or Shine (1930)

** (out of 4)

Mary Rainey (Joan Peers) takes over her father's circus after his death but soon finds herself in major financial trouble. The manager, Smiley Johnson (Joe Cook), always has a positive spin on everything but soon not even his fast talking can help the situation. Opinions on this film seem to be extremely mixed and I'm going to have to fall on the negative side. It's rather hard and perhaps unfair for my to criticize the film for the reasons I'm going to but here goes. I found Cook to be an incredible talent here and he gives an amazing performance. At the same time I'd say his performance was too amazing because he plays an annoying character and that's exactly how it struck me. The frustration the owner in the film has over his attitude and actions is the same frustration I started to feel and this really started to take away from the film for me. The first thirty-minutes kept me entertained but then I finally hit a wall to where I was wanting to hit certain characters. Again, it's somewhat unfair for me to bash Cook for giving a great performance but I couldn't help but to have his character on my nerves. The supporting performances are rather good as well and that includes Tom Howard as a dimwitted fool who can't keep anything straight. In perhaps the funniest and most unbelievable sequence, Ethel Greer, a real life "Fat Woman", falls out of a trailer and gets stuck in the mud. The men can't pick her up due to her large weight so they have to get an elephant to do the job. This scene is certainly outrageous and in some ways so shocking that I couldn't help but laugh my behind off. The ending picks up a lot of steam but by that point I was pretty much wore out and ready to move on.

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