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A struggling young actress with a six year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
Rich American socialite Lady Edwina Esketh, who obtained her title by marrying English Lord Albert Esketh, travels to Ranchipur where Albert hopes to buy a prize stallion from the Maharani. Theirs is not a happy marriage and after she meets a prominent local doctor, Rama Safti, falls madly in love with him. He too is in love with her much to the Maharani's disapproval as she has great plans for the good doctor. Also living in Ranchipur is Tom Ransome an old friend of Edwina's who perhaps knows too much about her past. When a natural disaster destroys much of Ranchipur, disease follows forcing Safti to choose between treating the sick or being with Edwina, who is also deathly ill. Written by
The original film on which The Rains Of Ranchipur is a remake, The Rains Came share one thing in common. The Rains Came won the second Oscar given in the category of Best Special Effects and The Rains Of Ranchipur was nominated in the same category. But other than that while the first was a tidal flood of emotions this one barely registers a drizzle.
Unhappily married Michael Rennie and Lana Turner come on holiday to the Indian province of Ranchipur. He married her money, she married his title and she's had a long string of affairs in both hemispheres that always make the gossip columns. She takes one look at Hindu doctor Richard Burton and decides he will be her latest conquest. She also meets another of her former conquests Fred MacMurray who is living out here on his inheritance and who missionary kid Joan Caulfield decides he's got the makings of a reformation project.
That's about how the original film is laid out. But the changes and softenings of the story and the characters make The Rains Of Ranchipur lose all its punch. The biggest changes are to the characters that Lana Turner and Michael Rennie play who were essayed by Myrna Loy and Nigel Bruce in the original. See the two side by side and you'll know what I mean. In addition Joan Caulfield is way too old to be playing college age girls. Her part in the original is done by Brenda Joyce.
Color has been added and some nice location cinematography of India during its first decade of independence is nice to see as well as the earthquake and flooding sequences. It makes up for a watered down story.
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