Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she's just plain plain! Even the town ...
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Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.
In rural 1840's Scotland, Gavin Dishart arrives to become the new "little minister" of Thrums's Auld Licht church. He meets a mysterious young gypsy girl in the dens and to his horror ... See full summary »
Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, "disguises" herself as a boy, "Sylvester." They are ... See full summary »
Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming a hopeless old maid. Her wit and intelligence and skills as a homemaker can't make up for the fact that she's just plain plain! Even the town sheriff, File, for whom she harbors a secrect yen, won't take a chance --- until the town suffers a drought and into the lives of Lizzie and her brothers and father comes one Bill Starbuck ... profession: Rainmaker! Written by
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After Starbuck shows up at the Currys' house, H.C. and Noah are playing a game of checkers. They start the game with H.C. playing red and make a few moves, then the phone rings. After the call, the game has reset to the beginning, and H.C. is playing black. See more »
When The Rainmaker came to Hollywood it was decided to get a couple of movie star names with some box office draw to replace the Broadway leads of Darren McGavin and Geraldine Page. The Rainmaker ran for 164 performances in the 1954-1955 season on Broadway and got good critical notices.
Paramount wisely retained the services of playwright N. Richard Nash to do the screen version and he very nicely expanded the play which on Broadway was set in the Curry parlor to include all kinds of outdoor scenes. But the biggest thing they did was signing Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn as the leads.
Hepburn plays somewhat against type, though not apparently so. She manages to successfully hide her Bryn Mawr speech and does do well as a mid western spinster. The last time Kate went middle west it was for Alice Adams over 20 years before.
But Lizzie Curry is no silly little girl like Alice was. She's an educated woman, a little too smart for most of the town folk where she lives. She intimidates them with her education. In fact she's being unfairly contrasted with Yvonne Lime who plays a silly flirt that her younger brother Earl Holliman is stuck on.
Into her life comes Starbuck who says he can make it rain for $100.00 of Curry money that father Camerone Prudhomme forks over, much to older son Lloyd Bridges's objections. As Starbuck, Burt Lancaster is in dress rehearsal for his Oscar winning role as Elmer Gantry five years later. Lancaster gives Hepburn the great romance she's been seeking and needs in the same manner he wooed Sister Sharon Falconer in Elmer Gantry.
My favorites in The Rainmaker are Hepburn's two brothers, Holliman and Bridges. Holliman in fact got a Golden Globe Award and young Earl more than held his own against this experienced group of veteran players. He's not terribly bright as he was in a whole lot of his early roles, but Earl has a good heart. Bridges is this control freak of a brother to whom the father has ceded much authority in the family and the running of their ranch. Cameron Prudhomme is the only one from the Broadway cast appearing in the film.
Rounding out the cast are Wallace Ford and Wendell Corey as the sheriff and deputy who are both on Lancaster's trail and who the Currys try desperately to fix their sister up with. Corey has a few issues of his own to resolve however.
Katharine Hepburn got one of her Best Actress Academy Award nominations for The Rainmaker, but she lost to Ingrid Bergman in Anastasia. The Rainmaker holds up very well for today's audience. After all, every family has some member they're trying to see happily wedded.
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