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 »
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
In the hospital scene toward the end, Fern is in Lady Eskwith's room when Tom arrives. He enters and stands next to Fern, and he clearly has nothing in his hands. Lady Eskwith asks Fern to leave and then we see a close-up of her in the hospital bed as she talks to Tom. When the scene changes to Tom, he is standing with a large envelope or file folder in his hand, tapping or flicking it with one finger. He leaves the room with the folder in his hands. See more »
Incredible special effects, a solid story, beautiful directing, and marvelous acting are the highlights of "The Rains Came," another movie from that famous year in film-making, 1939. Its stars are Tyrone Power, Myrna Loy, George Brent, Brenda Joyce, and Maria Ouspenskaya. A bored Loy and her disagreeable wealthy older husband, portrayed by Nigel Bruce, are in Ranchipur, India when the rains and an earthquake hit. Loy, whose husband keeps a list of her lovers, once had a fling with Brent. Then she gets a gander at Power who plays Major Rama Safti, a doctor highly regarded by the rulers of Ranchipur. One look at him, and there's no sense in treading over old territory. Despite Power's apparent lack of interest, Loy falls madly in love with him, even volunteering at the hospital after the disaster.
I was completely captivated by this film, particularly in light of the recent Katrina horror. The flooding, the destroyed homes, demonstrated by brilliant special effects, the orphaned children, the need for volunteers, were all too familiar.
Two love stories go on during the rains - one between Brent and the lovely Fern, portrayed by Brenda Joyce, and the other between Power and Loy. Both romances are unbelievably tender - with very little actual physical contact shown.
Loy gives a compelling performance as a haughty, spoiled woman who is suddenly consumed by love. When I read the book, one thing I remember is that the character just screamed Lana Turner and sure enough, she did the role in the remake. But Loy makes it her own. The studios didn't like their leading men to do accents, so Power, in dark makeup as the "Copper Apollo" so described by Loy, has none. He is handsome as ever until one sees him without his turban. Then, in closeup, he describes to Loy how he came to love her, and his face is beyond breathtaking. His monologue is beautifully done, as is his essaying of the character's conflict of love versus responsibility. This is one of his finest performances, and no camera ever loved an actor like it did Tyrone Power. George Brent, usually not commanding enough, does fine under Brown's direction in his role as a man with no purpose in life who finally finds one. Tiny Maria Ouspenskaya gives a strong performance.
The only thing I didn't like was that Loy had to pay for her sins (i.e., slutty behavior) and of course, Brent did not.
Like the rains of Ranchipur, India, "The Rains Came" will sweep the viewer away. Highly recommended.
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