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,... See full summary »

Director:

(as Frank R. Capra)

Writers:

(dialogue and continuity), (dialogue and continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Frankie
Joan Peers ...
Mary Rainey
William Collier Jr. ...
Bud Conway
Tom Howard ...
Amos K. Shrewsberry
Dave Chasen ...
Dave
Alan Roscoe ...
Dalton - the Ringmaster
Adolph Milar ...
Foltz - the Lion Tamer
...
Nero
...
Mrs. Conway
Edward Martindel ...
Mr. Conway (as Edward Martindale)
Nora Lane ...
Grace Conway
Tyrell Davis ...
Lord Hugo Gwynne (as Tyrrell Davis)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luci del circo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character, Smiley Johnson, explains to Tom Howard that he was born in Evansville, Indiana. In fact, Joe Cook, the actor who played Smiley, was born in Evansville, Indiana. See more »

Quotes

Smiley Johnson: See, you eat too fast. Don't chew your food, masticate your food.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Joe Cook, the "One Man Vaudeville"
11 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

RAIN OR SHINE is a neat little circus film directed by Frank Capra and based on a Broadway musical that ran for almost a year in 1928.

By the time this film went into production, the vogue for musicals was over, so all the songs were cut from the film (a common occurrence in 1930). Still, there was enough plot to carry the 90-minute film.

Joe Cook was the star. The long-forgotten, Cook was a major star on Broadway. His nickname was "the one-man vaudeville" because he could sing, dance, do comedy, and perform a series of juggling tricks. Cook made his film debut in a 1929 talkie short called AT THE BALLGAME.

In RAIN OR SHINE he plays the fast-talking manager of a failing circus owned by a girl (Joan Peers) who inherited it from her father. Two employees are in cahoots to ensure the circus fails so they can take it over. In a weak subplot, Peers and her boyfriend (William Collier, Jr.) attend a disastrous dinner party at his snooty parents' mansion.

Cook is front and center through most of the film as he attends to all the problems and egos under the big top. There's also a funny running gag with Cook and a local citizen (Tom Howard) and how he becomes a partner with the help of the Princess (Louise Fazenda).

The finale is quite exciting after the bank attaches the day's receipts and the performers realize they won't get paid. Cook is terrific in a series of circus tricks as he tries to put on a big-top show all by himself. Peers and Collier are OK as the young lovers, Fazenda has little to do, Howard is funny as the local, and Dave Chasen (who founded the famous restaurant) is funny as the stooge.


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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