Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965) Poster

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Underrated Horton Foote Beauty
Annalaura9 November 2001
I just saw this hauntingly beautiful film last night on AMC. It's subtle beauty requires viewers' attention and participation. Do not watch it if you're in the mood for an easy escape film. To appreciate it you must be sensitive to facial expression and non-verbal signal. It also helps to understand a little about the culture of the South.

It works on two levels, at least:

First, it tells the story of a wife's dawning understanding of the hopelessness of her marriage and her resolve to have a good life anyway.

Second, it shows the tragedy of severe child abuse in great depth and reveals the community's culpability. I've never seen a more powerful visual metaphor than Henry's escape attempt, where camera facing him head-on, he runs furiously, climbing and clinging and failing to make it onto the back of a speeding truck.

The film juxtaposes Henry's relationship to his adopted mother to the relationship of his wife to their daughter. This loving, beautiful relationship is the pivot around which the story revolves. Henry, dull, unintelligent, abused Henry is lost, but in one area he had supreme luck (or supreme judgment). His child has what he never had, and will grow up beautifully. He could not have chosen a better mother for his daughter.

The screenplay, acting and direction are all superb.
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7/10
Let it pour.
ptb-821 March 2004
I find this film quite fascinating because of its setting and style.

The credits on the road and the black and white photography are so striking and evocative of its time that if one in the year 2005 wants to get a real sense of the quiet 'sixties rural/suburban time, this film will do it for you. I find it a companion piece to BUS RILEY'S BACK IN TOWN and even THE STRIPPER all made around the same time, as if a set of films of a similar tone and look all made in the same US town. Where I lived in Australia in 1965 was exactly like all these films but this this one gives me the childhood recollection of hearing the sad adult conversations of neighbors. These 3 films deserve better awareness of lonely and changing 60s life before Vietnam horror and psychedelia took over and perhaps offer the best sense of time travel one could wish for. If you also want a bitter chaser with a wicked laugh, add KISS ME STUPID to the mix.
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8/10
Exquisite performances
jjnxn-112 May 2013
Beautiful performances from Steve McQueen and especially Lee Remick highlight this rather sad rambling film of the type Hollywood doesn't make anymore. A small personal drama that explores the lives of regular people just struggling to make a place for themselves in the world. Nothing blows up, it's all about emotions here. Horton Foote's screenplay, based on his play, shows his customary understanding of how people react and interact with each other while Ernest Laszlo stark black and white cinematography evokes the dusty small town Texas setting in a way color never could. Something that you'd find either on the indie circuit or maybe on cable today certainly not in major markets as this was and hardly with stars of this magnitude.
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9/10
A great but overlooked Steve McQueen film
rosebud7722 May 2005
Next to "Sand Pebbles," this film is the best of Steve McQueen. The audience feels his "imprisonment " by the countryside , by the once rich lady who took him in , by his desire to be a singer in a band even if he hasn't all that much talent. I also felt his frustration with being unable to do what his heart desires , a frustration that almost destroys him. I love the symbol of the hope represented by the final shot of the china-berry tree he plants for his daughter , the title song that helps define McQueen's character ,and the final line in the film given by Lee to her daughter..What other human being has not felt these feelings ? A minor classic for me! A gem for both Steve and Lee"s acting , acting almost without words!
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Thoughtful, sensitive film whose strengths outweigh its weaknesses
Poseidon-317 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Based on a short-lived Horton Foote play "The Traveling Lady", this character study focuses on faithful wife Remick, who is reuniting with her husband McQueen who has just been released from prison after several years following a stabbing. Arriving in his hometown, she is surprised to find that he has actually been released for close to a month and is working for room and board at a local couple's home while pursuing a career as a honky-tonk singer at night. Overseeing his behavior with great dismay is his decrepit foster mother Simmons, who prefers him to attend night school in order to make a living. As McQueen struggles to readjust to life on the outside, now with a family to support, he longs for Simmons' approval of his dream to sing for a living. Meanwhile, as Remick begins to break under the weight of McQueen's issues, local Deputy Sheriff Murray provides support, even as he is grappling with the loss of his own spouse. Remick, an actress who usually exuded brains and sophistication, tries hard here to present a simple and plain character and generally succeeds. McQueen takes on a role that is almost autobiographical in terms of the character's past. He is quite authentic and believable except when it comes to the singing. Here he is notably poor at lip-synching and effectively rendering the musical numbers in the film. It's a shame because, otherwise, this is among his best work as a legitimate actor. Murray is amiable and sensitive. Block gives a very unaffected and naturalistic performance as McQueen and Remick's little girl. (This is her only screen credit.) A number of talented character actors dot the cast, though most of them could do a lot more than for what they are called upon. It is perhaps not the most arresting movie since very little actually happens over the course of it, but it does contain some committed acting work from its cast, sports some nice black and white photography, has a vivid, weary, small-town atmosphere and begins with Saul Bass-inspired credits. Also, the title tune (a hit single for Glen Yarbrough) and another one or two numbers are heard. Impatient viewers may bail out long before the end, though fans of the stars should see it and will likely enjoy it.
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9/10
Watch it without interruption - it's 100 minutes of thought.
pj-baker17 July 2005
I first saw this picture when it was released and was so impressed I had to go back several times. I thought that it was a biography played as an autobiography. McQueen seemed to be playing his actual life on the screen. His formative years without a fathers guidance, his detention in a youth reformatory, a hit-or-miss education, and a spotty work record, all of this is covered in one form or another during the film. Steve is a great actor and an actors job is to convince the audience but here the viewer can almost see Steve's thoughts as he says his lines; you can hear the phrases '...this is my life, I've been through this all before...' The script shows him as a person who is forever controlled by someone else and indeed at one time he really was. Lee Remick and Don Murray are good, as they usually are, and are the only romantic interest in the entire film. The final scenes can make the viewer say 'god! Steve McQueen can really act!' but was he?
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8/10
quiet achiever
eigaeye20 March 2012
This film comes close to being something truly great. It is beautifully photographed and acted (particularly the work of Lee Remick), and the theme, not confronted head on, of child abandonment/abuse, which plays under the images, is quite powerfully evoked. The film's shortcomings are mainly mechanical: some rough transitions in the story-telling; the unsatisfactory attempts by Steve McQueen at miming to a too-professional singing voice; and the omission from the scenario of one or two more direct references to the childhood from which McQueen's dysfunctional character has emerged. Certainly, the loving inactions between Remick's character and her screen daughter, Margaret Rose, are completely convincing and form a strong counterpoint to her husband's damaged personality. But we are not sure where we should be focusing: on their relationship, on the wife and husband relationship, or on his relationship with his adoptive mother (who appears only briefly, but is the unspoken menace). Of course, this difficulty is very much part of what the film is about; however, the various relationships sit so apart from each other, the tragic impact of the one on the others is somewhat lost. I suppose it is a testament to the delicacy and understated-ness of Robert Mulligan's directorial touch (seen to greater effect in 'To Kill a Mockingbird') that this sort of reaction is called up at all. One feels this film has so much that is good, the potential is there... A reflection of its time, perhaps: while it was being made, news broke of a shooting in Dallas and the death of a young president.
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10/10
Wonderful Movie
TRRkey8 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I totally agree with the writer who said this and "Sand Pebbles" are McQueen's finest, my favorites anyway. I can't think of anything that would have made this film better from the casting, realistic dialogue and locations, and especially the hopeless nature of the characters, their relationships, which are driven home, I think, all the more by the deliberately laconic pacing. Windblown people on a windblown landscape! I am sure that McQueen didn't have to dig very deeply to conjure up his approach to this part given his background. I first saw this movie over 40 yrs. ago and it touched me then and still does. I particularly like the scene in which he confronts the loud bar patron, for I have worked as a club musician and singer for many yrs. and it very profoundly projects the angst a performer feels when they are attempting to communicate a feeling and are ignored {or in this case beaten up}. Don't let the slowness of the action fool you, that's how things move in a small prairie town. Watch and listen closely because there are a whole lot of things going on in this great story, maybe not always on the surface all the time.
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A Dose of Reality
mikeedgar9 August 2004
This movie is short on plot, but long on attitude. As I watched this movie, I kept looking for it to take a more optimistic, even-the-bad- guys will overcome story line.

In its time, it was a remarkable realistic view of the life of someone on the outside, one who didn't fit. The images and emotions displayed all combine to help you understand those people who were not the class presidents, sports stars, or young professionals. There are no heroes in this film.

I understand that this movie is semi-biographical for Steve McQueen. I think that is why he plays his role so well.
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10/10
Man cannot escape his childhood of being abused
Patty Sherman6 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
What horrified me about this story was that the judge, the neighbors and most of the town knew this man as a little boy was being beaten on a regular basis by the woman the judge gave him to. The judge even laments years later after Henry's many problems and imprisonment that he wishes he had not given the boy to this woman, who apparently had power because of money, but no money when she dies in the film. At any point he could have removed the boy and found him a better home. Was this woman above the law? He says he thought it was better than an orphanage when Henry as a small child ends up at the police station crying, apparently abandoned by his parents or parent. Now Henry cannot keep from acting out his years and years of suffering even though out of jail, working, singing again in band and with his wife again and his child he never knew till now. He does not know why he is like that and what is wrong with him. This is about more than being just a bad person who cannot go straight. At one point someone says they asked this woman why she beat Henry so much and her answer it was good for him, he needed it. So they do nothing to help him. No one helped him as a child and now as a adult they do not help him when they all know he was beaten all of the time and still fears this woman years later even though she is elderly. Excellent acting and a haunting, tragic story.
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7/10
A symbol that works.
cmvoger22 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The desperately hopeful wife (Lee Remick) wants to help establish a home by planting a tree on their lawn. She hooks the husband (Steve McQueen) into the project to help with their bonding, but he really isn't into gestures like that. They dig the hole; then, while she is distracted by a conversation, he drops in the sapling, STILL ROOTED IN THE #10 CAN IN WHICH SHE BROUGHT IT HOME, into the ground and covers it up, getting the chore over with and done.

Thie one passage tells us where the story, and their lives, are going. Nothing reverses this omen. The frantic dash after the truck at the ending is also a good working symbol of their destiny.
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7/10
Ungovernable Temper
bkoganbing14 December 2010
The team that brought you To Kill A Mockingbird has also given us Baby The Rain Must Fall another southern based drama though the protagonist is hardly as admirable as Atticus Finch. Steve McQueen and Lee Remick star in this film as a married couple trying to make a new start in life after McQueen is released on parole from prison.

McQueen is a musician/singer of sorts and while I doubt he could have a career in big time country music, he doesn't have the talent to make the really big time. You won't see McQueen at the Grand Ole Opry, but he could make a respectable living doing the honky-tonks if it weren't for an ungovernable temper. In the few instances we see it displayed we never do see exactly what sets him off, the film might have been better if we had, we might understand McQueen more.

But the temper is a given and he's on parole. A wife and a daughter who the people of his Texas home town have never met and don't know the existence of, have come to join him. Lee Remick is the patient and loving wife, but she's coming slowly to the realization that this just isn't going to work.

Don Murray plays the local sheriff and a childhood friend who does what he can for McQueen. It's interesting to speculate whether Remick and Murray will get together afterward. Paul Fix has the same kind of part he did in To Kill A Mockingbird as a kindly judge.

If James Dean had lived this would have been a perfect role for him. But McQueen who had a background of foster care, who was a product of the social welfare system raising him, had a lot to draw on for his performance.

Steve McQueen did his own vocals though country singer Glenn Yarborough had a hit from the title song. Better that way then to have a real singer doing it lest the viewer think this guy has the talent to make it big.

Although this is not as good as To Kill A Mockingbird, writer Horton Foote and director Robert Mulligan did a bang up job in Baby The Rain Must Fall.
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Bleak, but real...
Mick-L25 June 2000
Being a parole officer myself,this uniquely sad and frustrating movie is exactly what goes on in the recitivist's life. A good caring wife, new family, he knows what his weak points are, but does them anyway maintaining the downward spiral to the inevitable return to prison. The victim here is not McQueen but the wife and child and their helplessness in getting him to be what they want. A responsible and loving husband/father. This is exactly what we see in the job every day. The sad part, there is no help or hope for the family....
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5/10
2 Stars Make Up For Depressing Tale
ccthemovieman-110 November 2005
This is a little slow by today's standards, and not really much of story. It's also a sad, haunting kind of movie. What I liked was the cast, which featured two of my all-time favorite actors: Steve McQueen and Lee Remick.

I got rid of the tape and frankly, I'm sorry I did because I'd to give this film another chance. Remick plays an old-fashioned sweet woman that is rare to see on screen these days. It was not a glamorous role, but I don't believe she's ever looked prettier. Her unspoiled daughter in this film was a nice kid, too.

If this film just wasn't so darn depressing at times, I would have kept it. Maybe three viewings was enough. Most people, especially younger people of today, wouldn't make it all the way through one showing since it's slow and the story, frankly, isn't that memorable. Perhaps that it's a sad story makes me want to forget. Whatever!

Yet, it does have McQueen and Remick, and those two keep drawing me back.
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Credit Where Credit Is Due!!
MCETXCEM20 September 2003
I have read the reviews on the title "Baby The Rain Must Fall" and I say anyone who doesn't love this movie is out of their mind, to me Steve McQueen never gave a bad performance, and yes that even includes "The Hunter" and the Campy "The Blob", This film is basically about a dreamer who can't seem to stay on the right side of the law and out of trouble,and Lee Remick, I can never tire of watching her, this is a **** star movie and a real gem

For those of you who didn't like the film, well all I have to say is go watch Howard The Duck instead, because I am sure that is your "Casablanca"
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7/10
"King of Cool", but certainly not "The King". (possible spoiler)
TheMemphian16 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
It's to bad this movie didn't come out 6 years earlier when Rockabilly was still in style. It may have found a young audience. But, this was 1965 and Baby, Rockabilly was dead. So was the Black and White, "Kitchen Sink" drama that haunted British films of late 50's and earlier 60's. (i.e. "Look back in anger" '58 and "This Sporting Life" '63) Color films with contemporary themes were quickly coming into vogue by 1965, as the Flower Children were beginning to bloom. Mcqueen is the coolest, but he may have been just a minute too old for rock and roll, or perhaps it's just that his kind of cool is bigger then rock and roll. Watching him on stage with that guitar is like watching Superman with a golf club. He's got the juice, but he's not sure how to apply it to the task at hand. Maybe he is supposed to look untalented, but it doesn't come off that way. Nevermind the horrid dubbing and title song.

Even so, this is top notch Mcqueen. He's never been as morbidly intriguing, as when he takes that knife and goes after his dead foster mother's buried corpse, set against a creepy Harpsicord solo. It's so intense and over the top, that you can't help but be impressed.

I would only recommend a rental to the truly Mcqueen afflicted. But, for anyone else, it's worth catching on TCM - on a rainy day.
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8/10
"Why do I do these things?"
classicsoncall27 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Steve McQueen draws on the experience of his own unhappy youth in his portrayal of Henry Thomas, a would be singer who's recently paroled, as he tries to make it as the front man of a local string band in Columbus, Texas. His dysfunction as a husband, father and indeed, as a human being is poignantly demonstrated in his first appearance on screen with wife Georgette (Lee Remick), he merely shakes her hand. If you didn't know this was going to be a sad and depressing film, this would have been the first hint.

As the viewer, one painfully relates to Lee Remick's character, desperately looking for a way to reconnect with her husband, but finally realizing that she must come to terms with her disillusionment and head for something better for herself and her young daughter (Kimberly Block). One's appreciation of the movie will have to come from the performances of the principal players and not the story itself as it's not a film that will leave you hopeful.

What adds to the already somber tone of the movie was a pall that was cast during filming with the announcement of John F. Kennedy's assassination. For McQueen, who had met Kennedy earlier in his career, the event was as traumatic as for the rest of the cast and crew. Filming was interrupted for a number of days before shooting could resume, and it wouldn't be out of the question that the President's death had a subliminal impact on the tone of the story.
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......and the wind must blow.
dbdumonteil5 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Baby the rain must fall" is a slow-moving intimate story;so if you're looking for an action-packed movie such as many of McQueen's ,you probably won't get something out of it.

Filmed in stark black and white ,in a dreary landscape ,with a sky so low it might crumble and fall on the unfortunate couple.Lee Remick ,excellent as ever ,portrays a strong woman ,who had to cope with many setbacks and who however succeeded in raising her little girl.And most of all,she stands by her man,she 's convinced that he will be a famous singer/songwriter some day.Mac Queen is moving as the father -the scene when he says goodbye to her is really harrowing- but less credible as a singer (Clint Eastwood did a better job in "honky tonk man" ) .

Like in some other movies by Robert Mulligan ,there is a mysterious side ,something threatening in the dark : Mulligan's flair for eerie disturbing atmosphere was already present in "the spiral road" and would emerge again in later works such as " the stalking moon" and its "enemy" as omnipresent as he is almost invisible and "the other" in which he creates terror in the midday sun.Here "Miss Kate" represents the repressed hidden terror back in the hero's childhood .This lady only appears on her death bed and there's an almost unbearable desecration scene.

"Baby the rain must fall" never takes the easy way out:for instance ,no romance between Remick and Don Murray,the nice deputy and the end of the movie can be seen as the beginning of a new "cycle" : the heroine will wait till her husband is released,then they 'll try to pick up the pieces till...
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6/10
Remick magnificent, McQueen not so much
jam-bone15 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
*****warning spoilers***** Being a Remick fan this was on my list to watch, don't expect something like "Experiment in Terror" (probably the best Remick in my opinion) in terms of movie-making.

The plot is not very well written and seems to be aiming nowhere. McQueen as an ex-con is somewhat ridiculous, he has preposterous fits of rage alternating with songs, yes songs, I defy anyone to think that the voice is really coming from him, the sliced in overdubs with a voice totally different than his are just ridiculous and from the first occurrence on it's impossible to take his character seriously.

The character development of McQueen is quasi absent. His anger at the old women from the boarding house is left mostly unexplained, the scene where he stabs at her graves after she is buried is also ridiculous.

There is a great beauty in Remick's sadness however, and we can relate to her being lost, she brings forth anxiety but it's hard to buy she was so in love with McQueen for most of the film, she then just moves on to yet another town perhaps realizing that he was a big mistake in her life. On that aspect I guess the film is successful. Her interactions with her daughter are at times poignant, especially when she stands with her in the winds and their hair get mixed together, (in the scene where McQueen tries to say goodbye before he his sent off to jail again) the bond of mother daughter strongest even in a dismal situation and poverty.

The photography is great, especially for the outdoors sequences where we do feel "the south" as is the editing, a few awkward post grainy zooms on McQueen McQueen (who is a competent actor) is wasted...

See it if you enjoy Remick, she delivers.
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10/10
The existential struggle of a honky-tonk orphan for a home.
Liam726 November 2002
Beautiful textual telling of the search for recognition, family and a home by the master director Robert Mulligan, "To Kill A Mockingbird". Steve McQueen at his best with a brilliant supporting cast. A fitting and moving antithesis to the Disney formula.
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6/10
BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL (Robert Mulligan, 1965) **1/2
MARIO GAUCI4 January 2009
This is the kind of film which seems to struggle to find an audience outside of its immediate setting – in its case, the American Deep South. It's basically a familial drama where husband and wife are driven apart by the former's troubled persona – especially due to his own inclination to violence and the enigmatic relationship with his eminent but dying guardian. Director Mulligan had created an all-time classic with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962): this updates the atmosphere (including a failed attempt to replicate the Gothic touch associated with Robert Duvall's Boo Radley character in that film) but still throws in a little girl at the core of the story. Steven McQueen goes through the whole 'Rebel Without A Cause' act to little lasting effect – the performance is even more hurt by the fact that, playing a wannabe rockabilly singer, he's forced to mimic to a number of tunes (including the title number). Similarly, co-stars Lee Remick and Don Murray have typical roles, and John Wayne regular Paul Fix also has a nice bit as a benign Judge. The film notches up some tolerable intensity with scenes where McQueen is beaten up, feverishly tries to dig up the old lady (for whatever purpose) and finally escapes custody – if only for a short while; otherwise, the greatest points of interest here are Ernest Laszlo's moody cinematography and Elmer Bernstein's eclectic score.
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7/10
Comentaries about the DVD edition
jcplanells324 January 2006
Last week I saw this movie in DVD. Fortunately for me, there was Spanish subtitles. I said fortunately, because the Paramount edition says that the subtitles were only in English and french, but the menu of the root offered also Japanese and Spanish, so I could see the movie better than with subtitles only in English (I am Spanish,I can read English more or less, so I need subtitles in the DVD). The film remembers very well the atmosphere of "To Kill a Mockinbird", the photography, the way in what Mulligan put the actors in front of the camera, the way they talk inside a room, and a character is listening outside.
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4/10
Good Story & Characters
lastrada5214 December 2010
I gave this film a 4 rating despite the good story and characters. Why? McQueen turns in his usual good performance because he's a pro. But for me it was not a memorable one. It seemed like McQueen's attempt at James Dean. It just isn't McQueen. Lee Remick was also beautiful and turned in a good performance but not as intense as her Sherwood character in 1962's "Experiment In Terror." The over all cast carried the film. What got lost on me is the vocalizing McQueen had to sing to. The vocals simply don't match his face. You can tell immediately this wasn't McQueen's voice. Voice and face is a tricky match when it isn't your real voice. McQueen's dramatic acting while not excellent was better than most actors of that time. The failure came when he started to sing the songs. I guess no one musically coached him. He looked painfully amateurish. But it's the type of thing that can be forgiven easily. The movie is somber and poignant at times but if you don't pay attention a viewer can get lost. The story is a good one. Did anyone catch a young Glen Campbell over McQueen's shoulder in the first performance song of the movie? Everyone starts somewhere.
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7/10
The Middle Ground
joeyblue-5195319 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have read some of the reviews for this film, some people state that this is one of the greatest films that Steve McQueen appeared in, not at all in my opinion, it's a good film, but it certainly isn't one of his best. Other people state that it's a terrible film, one reviewer even goes as far as saying that it's the worst film that he's ever seen, we all have our own opinions, but the worst film that he has ever seen? His film collection must be fairly small.

Baby the Rain Must Fall is not one of Steve McQueen's most well known films, nor one of his most action packed films, but it is somewhat of an obscure little gem. Again, upon reading reviews, it is clear that people have mixed views about Steve McQueen's performance in this film, one of the weakest parts of the film is the overdubbing, clearly Steve McQueen does not sing, but he cannot take any blame for this, so putting that aside I would say that McQueen does a fine job of portraying Henry Thomas. There are one or two stand out scenes for me, in which he excels, but I won't give anything away, the other actors also gave strong performances, Lee Remick playing the role of Georgette Thomas very well, I think that both of the leading actors complimented each other brilliantly.

I watched this late at night, in darkness, not expecting to see a typical Steve McQueen film, judging by some reactions to the film, others may have watched this film with preconceived notions, which is foolish. This is not a movie to watch with a group of friends, it's not a popcorn movie, it's a dark and unique drama, which was shot in some interesting locations. As a fan of Steve McQueen, I quite often watch one of his films, the reality is he appeared in two or three obscure films, that happen to be very good in my opinion, Soldier in the Rain is a personal favourite of mine, The War Lover is a good film, Hell is for Heroes is an underrated war film, I enjoyed Baby the Rain must Fall, but I would rather watch the other three films that I mentioned, and they wouldn't be in my list of the top five McQueen films. I really don't think that Baby the Rain must Fall is as good as others have said it is, but it is no way near as bad as some people have made it out to be, it's a good film that's worth watching.
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Slow, With Compensations
dougdoepke16 March 2015
Slowly paced, bleakly photographed, virtually plot-less, the 100-minutes is not everyone's cup of tea. There are compensations, however. That lonely clapboard house forlorn on the dreary prairie is a perfect metaphor for Henry (McQueen) and Georgette's relationship. He's all pent-up rage at his brutal upbringing, while she's clinging to hope and their little girl (Block). Together, their silences speak louder than words, the distance just too great. All this plays out in elliptical fashion that requires some patience, and I'm not surprised the movie was a flop, given what McQueen fans likely expected. There are moments of frantic action, as when Henry attacks his guardian's grave for the wrongs done him, especially now that she's left him nothing from her meagre assets. But the prevailing pace is contemplative, to say the least.

I'm not sure McQueen was the best choice for the tormented Henry. The actor, of course, excelled in action pictures, nuance not exactly being his forte. Yet Henry's real tragedy calls for a sensitive range that's largely missing from his scenes with Georgette. We get the distance, but not the struggle, and without the inner struggle the tragedy is diminished. Certainly, no one can be accused of overplaying, especially Don Murray whose sheriff comes across as something of a well-meaning cypher. Somehow the movie reminds me of an episode typical of the old TV series Route 66 (1960-64). The bleak location photography, the downbeat dramatics, the forlorn characters, all typify that ground-breaking series. I wonder if there was some cross-over given the time period.

Anyway, action fans should skip this McQueen feature. For others, patience with the slow- developing human interest should provide compensation.

( In passing-- thanks to the reviewer who confirmed my glimpse—Henry does plant the hopeful cherry tree with the roots still in a tin can bottom. Is that act of sabotage intentional or just his usual carelessness.)
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