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Rain or Shine (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 15 August 1930 (USA)
Woman inherits a traveling circus which brings financial difficulties.


Frank Capra (as Frank R. Capra)


Jo Swerling (dialogue and continuity), Dorothy Howell (dialogue and continuity) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Joe Cook ... Smiley Johnson
Louise Fazenda ... Frankie
Joan Peers ... Mary Rainey
William Collier Jr. ... Bud Conway
Tom Howard Tom Howard ... Amos K. Shrewsberry
Dave Chasen Dave Chasen ... Dave (as Dave Chason)
Alan Roscoe ... Dalton - the Ringmaster
Adolph Milar Adolph Milar ... Foltz - the Lion Tamer
Clarence Muse ... Nero
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Conway
Edward Martindel ... Mr. Conway (as Edward Martindale)
Nora Lane ... Grace Conway
Tyrell Davis ... Lord Hugo Gwynne (as Tyrrell Davis)


After her father's death, Mary Rainey takes over the Rainey Circus (which operates twice daily, rain or shine) but runs into financial troubles. In one bit reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, the circus performers are up to some ridiculous antics at a dinner party with the family of Bud Conway, Mary's beau. As times become worse and the performers go on strike, Mary must try to save the circus from rioting patrons. Written by Paul Donahue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Laugh Sensation of the Season! (original one-sheet poster) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance








Release Date:

15 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Luci del circo See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The main character, Smiley Johnson, explains to Tom Howard that he was born in Evansville, Indiana. In fact, Joe Cook, the actor who played Smiley, was born in Evansville, Indiana. See more »


Smiley Johnson: See, you eat too fast. Don't chew your food, masticate your food.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When this film was produced, not all theaters had converted to the "sound on film" system. Also, some of the dialogue was too lengthy to include on inter-titles or referenced things unfamiliar to foreign audiences. To address these issues, Columbia and other studios filmed foreign and domestic versions simultaneously with the same cast. (They would soon switch to filming separate versions, utilizing the same sets but different casts as was the case with the Spanish version of Universal's "Dracula.") The 68 minute "silent" international version is included on the Turner "Frank Capra: the Early Collection" set. (Some spoken dialogue remains without any title cards, mainly in the climatic fire sequence.) Most of the banter is eliminated but additional tricks and stunts have been added. Although both versions were directed by Capra (usually there were separate crews), the international version has additional scenes fleshing out the Ringmaster's machinations. It also features an alternate ending to the domestic version. See more »


It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'
(1923) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Wendell Hall
Sung a cappella by Joe Cook often
See more »

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User Reviews

25 October 2012 | by ristowgeSee all my reviews

It's evident this is a dated movie, but I think it is eminently watchable. Not Capra's best by any means, but a decent insight to the workings of circuses in the late 20's. A score of wonderful character actors, slapstick and physical comedy nicely blended with vaudeville routines. Yes, the dialog is fast-paced, but there are great one-liners and wholesome comedy. It's a shame the musical numbers are dealt with in the opening and closing credits rather than scored in the movie. Joe Cook is amazing as he juggles, tightrope walks, and balances his way through the movie. His dialogue is quick, tight, and funny. Most of the actors were unknown to me as an amateur film buff, but now I will look for more of their movies. The viewer can see the similarity to Wheeler and Woolsey, The Marx Brothers, Al Jolson, and other stars of early talkies. The visual reproduction is very good, with little background noise, as is the audio recording. This movie is part of a new Early Capra release with four other titles.

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