Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... 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
Even though Rama and Lady Edwina are caught in the same thundershower on the same street, when they arrive at Mr. Das's music school, his clothes are wet while hers are incongruously dry. Also, the wet spots on Rama's clothes migrate to different areas from scene to scene as they move from room to room in the school. See more »
[Last lines, spoken to Major Safti, who is assuming leadership of Ranchipur]
The time is here, Rama. Your people are waiting.
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Each set of credits (except for the 20th Century-Fox logo) disintegrates after it appears, as if it were washed away by the rain falling in the background. See more »
One weekend (it was raining), I watched 1939's "The Rains Came" and then the remake, 1955's "The Rains of Ranchipur".
"The Rains Came" is a story of redemption. Tom Ransome (George Brent) is slowly dissipating in the pre-independence Indian kingdom of Ranchipur when his decline is interrupted by the arrival of a former lover, Edwina (Myrna Loy). Now married to the elderly Lord Esketh (Nigel Bruce) Edwina is restless and bored.
She sets out to seduce Tom's friend, Indian doctor, Rama Safti (Tyrone Power), however she ends up falling in love with him. This disturbs the Maharani of Ranchipur who sees Safti as a future ruler of the kingdom, Then the rains come destroying much of Ranchipur and bringing out hidden depths of character in Tom and Edwina.
The 1939 version is a moody, artistic looking film. Myrna Loy is photographed with luminous close-ups and lighting accentuating cheekbones and lips. There is none of that for Lana Turner as Edwina in the newer version. Instead the Cinemascope process delivered static, overlit scenes that distanced us from the actors.
George Brent was always low-key, but it's what the role needed. Fred MacMurray played the same part in the later movie and his delivery suffered in comparison.
Richard Burton wears Safti's turban in "The Rains of Ranchipur". However it's not a good fit; he projects somewhat of a neurotic edge; it's hard to believe the passion he arouses in Edwina. On the other hand, Tyrone Power's calm demeanour and serenity in "The Rains Came" only enhanced his charisma.
Burton was not entirely to blame; he is required to spout volumes of sanctimonious drivel in his scenes with Turner. Things had changed in India and the script needed updating, however where a look said a lot in the "The Rains Came", the characters in "Ranchipur" say it.
The only character enhanced in "Rains" Mk II is Michael Rennie's Lord Esketh. It's a more intelligent characterisation than Nigel Bruce's blustering stereotype. The remake features location footage but it's not enough to elevate it above bland interiors and unbelievable characters.
Finally I was surprised at how good the first version is, but also surprised at how much the second one missed the mark.
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