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The Rains Came (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 15 September 1939 (USA)
The adventurous Lady Edwina Esketh travels to the princely state of Ranchipur in India with her husband, Lord Albert Esketh, who is there to purchase some of the Maharajah's horses. She's ... See full summary »



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Bannerjee
Miss Mac Daid
Aunt Phoebe - Mrs. Smiley
Mrs. Simon
Rev. Homer Smiley
Lily Hoggett-Egburry
William Royle ...
Raschid Ali Khan
General Keith (as Montague Shaw)


The adventurous Lady Edwina Esketh travels to the princely state of Ranchipur in India with her husband, Lord Albert Esketh, who is there to purchase some of the Maharajah's horses. She's surprised to meet an old friend, Tom Ransome who came to Ranchipur seven years before to paint the Maharajah's portrait and just stayed on. Ransome has developed something of a reputation - for womanizing and drinking too much - but that's OK with Edwina who is bored and looking for fun. She soon meets the local doctor, the hard working and serious Major Rama Safti. He doesn't immediately respond to her advances but when the seasonal rains come, disaster strikes when a dam fails, flooding much of the countryside. Disease soon sets in and everyone, including Ransome and Edwina, work at a non-stop pace to save as many as possible. Safti deeply admires Edwina's sacrifice but fate intervenes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacht über Indien  »

Box Office


$2,600,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Modern sources list Harry Revel as co-writer of the title song; however, he is not listed on the published sheet music or in the ASCAP database for the song. See more »


Even though Rama and Lady Edwina are caught in the same thundershower on the same street, when they arrive at Mr. Das's music school, his clothes are wet while hers are incongruously dry. Also's the wet spots on Rama's clothes migrate to different areas from scene to scene as they move from room to room in the school. See more »


Lady Edwina Esketh: [Noticing a handsome Indian man at a nearby table] Who's the pale copper Apollo?
Thomas 'Tom' Ransome: Major Safti.
Lady Edwina Esketh: Not bad - not bad at ALL.
Thomas 'Tom' Ransome: Well, don't waste your time. He's a surgeon and a scientist. Any interest he *might* have in romance is purely biological.
Lady Edwina Esketh: You make him sound even MORE exciting.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Each set of credits (except for the 20th Century-Fox logo) disintegrates after it appears, as if it were washed away by the rain falling in the background. See more »


Spoofed in Patient Porky (1940) See more »


The Rains Came
(1939) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Written for the movie and possibly played instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

American Perspective
6 March 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the unique things about this film is that for once a British Raj story is told not from a British point of view. It should never be forgotten that John Bromfield was an American. You would never see a character like Nigel Bruce in any British screenplay about the Raj. Of all the supporting players, he comes off best in what has to be the most unusual part in his career. For those used to seeing him as the ineffectual Dr. Watson in those Sherlock Holmes movies, playing the bigoted Lord Esketh is quite a switch.

Not until A Passage to India was filmed in the 80s was the Raj ever shown in a less than perfect light.

Ty Power is his usual noble self, the rest of the cast plays well. Twentieth Century Fox borrowed two big names from other studios, Myrna Loy from MGM and George Brent from Warner Brothers to support Power. Loy is Lady Esketh, a woman of the world, left pretty much to her own devices by her husband, decides Power would be a perfect boy toy for her. The part is a throwback to Loy's earlier days of playing mostly bad girls before The Thin Man.

Brent has a very nice role her as a man who's living a dissolute life himself in India, but really steps to the plate during the time of crisis when the flooding starts.

H.B. Warner and Maria Ouspenskaya play the rulers of Ranchipur, you will not forget Ouspenskaya easily. Nor will you forget first the cultured, than the wailing Joseph Schildkraut as Bannerjee. Today no producer could ever get away with casting all these occidental types as Indians, but they all do a fine job.

In the year of Gone With The Wind and all the Oscars it won, the one for Special Effects went to The Rains Came, beating out Gone With The Wind's burning of Atlanta. Judge for yourself if the Academy voters were right.

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

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